JCR Football Preview: First Division

The third in our JCR Football series features a bunch of intriguing teams, and also Magdalen.


The First Division can usually throw up some interesting stuff, primarily because of how teams rise and fall in the JCR pyramid as their golden generations come and go.

You’ve got teams who’ve come down from the JCR Premier, on the brink of disaster, desperately trying to salvage themselves before they become the next Christ Church. You’ve got your one-man and two-man teams looking to crawl out of the pits of mediocrity to establish something for the next generation to protect.

At the end of the day, lots of people are going to leave Oxford disappointed. The drama, it’s delicious.

New faces: with Sam “Donaldo” out, can NCAFC still contend?

There’s stories abound in the First Division this year. A Magdalen side robbed of their star striker Pat Meniru by injury and Blues commitments managed a rare feat; they lost all twelve JCR Premier games, as well as their cuppers game, to achieve an imperfect season with no forfeits. History would suggest another beating, but no-one should ever count out a team that lost every week and somehow kept coming back for more.

Also in limbo are Lincoln and New; both Cuppers semi-finalists, both veteran teams losing veteran Blues talents, both still likely to be in competition for a promotion spot; odds are, however, that only one of them makes it.

Merton/Mansfield are most likely to be the third team in contention for promotion spot, with varsity debutant Samuel Firman returning for another season at the helm of a talented offence.

Brasenose look to be a team that can beat anyway on their day again, and Trinity will want to build on their highest finish in the JCR pyramid since 2005.

The real wildcard could be Keble; with a side devoid of the classic JCR League super-striker, and packed with first- and second-years, their 54 goals in 12 games was the best in any division and could make them a dark horse for success in 2014.

 Tab Prediction: Lincoln top, Trinity to shock everyone by stumbling into the second spot, Magdalen to stabilise themselves, Keble to fall flat against competent defences