College football – who will be battling relegation?
In the first of a two-part piece, The Tab looks at the teams who might struggle in this year’s football league
In the first of a two-part piece, the Tab looks at the teams who might struggle in this year’s football league.
Catz avoided the drop last season by a solitary point above Homerton but ended the season with the worst goal difference in the division. Scoring goals was not the issue for Catz last year, with the team knocking in 21 goals in 12 matches. Defensively, however, Catz were much more shaky – conceding 35 in the same number of matches and failing to keep a clean sheet all season in the league. If they are to avoid relegation, Catz will have to remain as competitive a unit as they were last season but add some quality to the ranks. With half the first team due to leave, it could be a bridge too far.
Tab prediction: 10th
King’s enjoyed a solid if not spectacular season last year, finishing comfortably in mid-table after three wins and a draw from their final four league matches. This end of season form could be cause for concern though as King’s only managed to pick up four points in their opening five league matches, which left them fighting relegation until a spectacular end-of-season turnaround. With the division looking stronger this year with the introduction of Pembroke and St. John’s, King’s could be looking at another relegation dog-fight. The goals of Kert Putsepp, Kings’ top scorer for the past two seasons, will again be crucial but may not be enough to help them avoid the drop.
Tab prediction: 9th
Selwyn surprised many people last season by finishing third in the league in a run of form which only included two league defeats. There is no doubt that Selwyn will yet again prove to be a tough opponent with the likes of Sam Gregson making up the core of the team. The concern will be whether last season’s top scorer, Lewis Ball, can replicate his form which saw him finish the season as joint third top scorer of CUAFL. If he can, Selwyn might be able to cause a few upsets as they did last season.
Tab prediction: 8th
Downing did not have their strongest season last year, finishing down in seventh despite winning the title only two years ago. In order to fire themselves back into contention for a top half finish they will be relying on the defensive solidity of Joe Moorcroft Moran and returning keeper Alex Matthews, who has represented the university in the past. If Downing have a good base to build from this might allow potent striker Max Burley some freedom up top. Whether Downing can compensate for the losses of former captain Clark Glasgow and centre back Rob Dunn remains to be seen.
Tab prediction: 7th
There has been almost unanimous celebration amongst college football as CUAFL legend Donald Bogle finally announced that he was leaving Cambridge. Whilst his incessant moaning at referees and the opposition may not be missed by the Fitz team, his goals certainly will; scoring almost a goal a game from defence over the past two seasons, his departure will leave a big hole to fill. Fitz should not be underestimated, however, with strong debut seasons from Dan Sandy, Paddy Tice and Michael Roniek. Especially in Cuppers when the class of playmaker Joe “Picasso” Painter and keeper Henry Warne is added to the team, they will take some beating.
Tab prediction: 6th