Sun, Sport and Short-Shorts: Meet the Varsity Sports Presidents getting ready for next week’s battle

“Varsity means everything”

american captain captains Football jmu liv uni liverpool netball rugby sport ultimate frisbee Varsity

The weather forecast is sunshine, and the UoL sports forecast is even brighter. 2017’s University of Liverpool varsity teams are stepping up onto their pitches, courts and into the pool this coming week to defend our reign as Varsity champions against LJMU.

The Liverpool Varsity kicks off on Monday at 7pm in the pool, with the curtain raiser swimming event. Tuesday will see the netball and basketball teams take on their nemesis’ at Greenbank Academy at 6pm and 8pm respectively, while Wednesday is packed with matches from 1pm down at Liv Uni’s Wyncote sports grounds, including football, American football, hockey, lacrosse and rugby.  A full list of the times for all varsity events this week can be found here.

We spoke to some of the sports clubs’ Presidents about how they plan to thrash our city rivals off the scoreboards for, and how you can get involved supporting our teams from Monday- Wednesday next week.

Gaby Sims, AU President

“Varsity means everything: it’s the chance to step onto the field wearing your Uni of Liverpool badge with pride against our counter partners, John Moores. It’s the event that every student looks forward to, and this year’s varsity won’t disappoint. We are continuing with the headliners on the Tuesday night with Men’s Basketball and Netball which will have a great atmosphere – tickets available from the sports centre! I’m most excited about the Wednesday Main Event, which is American Football this year, with cheerleading putting on a half time show.

“It’s not an event to be missed and what better way to spend your Wednesday afternoon than at sunny Wyncote supporting all our teams! It won’t be easy but I have every faith in our teams to bring home the wins so I can lift the Varsity 2017 Trophy!”

Alex Head, Ultimate Frisbee

“This is the first year Ultimate Frisbee has had the chance to play Varsity, as JMU have got their team off the ground this year. We’ve had a hand in supporting them as they grew to becoming their own club, so we’ve got to know their players very well while we’ve trained with them.

“Ultimate can be both indoors and outside, but we’re playing Varsity outdoors, making it 7-a-side match. This means a gust of wind can make all the difference, but outdoors let’s you throw further and run harder, so overall it’s a more enjoyable game. For Ultimate, Varsity will be a mixed match, so both our men and women are looking forward to playing. We’ve been training more as a team, so we know we’ll give JMU a good game. Bring on Wednesday!”

Tom Milner, Rugby Club President

Tom Milner, Rugby Club President, on the right

“The team is looking in good shape for Varsity, having clinched promotion last Wednesday away at Keele. The club has had a great season, with all four teams getting promoted and the first team also reaching the cup final, so form wise leading into this we are looking strong.

“We’ve got an experimental look to the side for Wednesday, with our 2s already having beat JMU home and away a few boys will be making their first team debuts to level the playing field. Boys such as Andy Allright, who has been Vice-President this year and captaining the 5th team will hopefully get a chance to get involved, so it should be a great event. It’s one of the highlights of the year and a lot of our last matches for University so we want to sign off in style. ”

Brandon Clifford, Liverpool Raptors President (American Football)

“Being such a young team, we have been really happy with the progress we have made over this season. After a few weeks rest and recovery at the end of the season, we returned to training and are back at full strength. Over the last few weeks we have had joint practices with the local senior team, who have helped step up our game. With the Fury just finishing their first division 1 season, we know they’re not to be underestimated. However, we have proven we can hold our own against any team we have faced and are confident in our abilities. The key players in this match up will be Quarterback #7 Callum Harris and Running Back #80 Jimmy Sutherland on the offence; and on the defence #99 Matt O’Connell and Linebacker #54 Eddie Webster.”
Emily Katherine, Netball President

“Netball have had a brilliant 2016/17 season:, all the girls have trained extremely hard throughout the year and this had been rewarded by finishing strongly in their leagues. Special mention to LUNC 6th who have been undefeated all season. The 1st team have been training specifically for this match for the last three weeks, focusing on set plays and fitness. We hope to utilise what we have done in training and apply it to the game on Tuesday. I know 1st team are really excited to be part of this year’s varsity headlining event and can’t wait to play in front of a 400-person crowd. I hope it’s going to be a fantastic game of Netball and of course I hope we smash LJMU!”

Joe Marsh, Men’s Football First Team Captain

“The football 1st team can’t wait to play this years Varsity as the majority of our squad are in their final year at the University. We have a mature team and the lads have really gelled resulting in a very strong season. We’ve won 17 games from 21 and narrowly missed out on promotion by 1 point. These emotions are still quite raw in the players’ minds and victory at their last Varsity is a must!

“One of  final year players is prolific goal scorer Sammy Wilson, who has  scored 20 goals in all competitions this season and is looking for a record tally by putting a few more past JMU on Wednesday. Second year midfielder, Tom Rutnam, had also proved vital to the squad this season and will no doubt take 1st Team captaincy on his return from a year in industry. JMU are currently a league above us in BUCs and we want that to change as soon as possible. We certainly have a point to prove.”