Sport 2013/2014: Football

MPW Sport 2013/2014: Football

Football is MPW’s longest-standing team sport, with a fixture list dating back to 1998 that has featured matches against opposition such as Trinity School, Reigate Grammar, Colfe’s and St Dunstan’s. These schools remain regular fixtures, with the exception of Trinity, which has recently been replaced by Royal Russell. Football at MPW includes regular training sessions during the first two terms of the academic year, raising fitness, skills and discipline. It provides an opportunity for participation in a team sport that is similar to the model available at university.

During the Autumn Term of 2013, MPW’s 8-a-side team played four matches. We played Duff Miller twice in November, losing the first match but coming out on top in the second. The pattern was repeated in our December fixtures against Ashbourne, where a win on the 3rd was followed by a narrow defeat in a hard-fought match a week later. In Spring Term, the side played three matches. On Jan 16th we played Lansdowne: a hard-fought and evenly matched game that resulted in a 3-3 draw. Exactly a fortnight later, on the 30th, we played against fellow sixth-form college Duff Miller. This time the opposition proved the better team, defeating our boys 3-1. However, in our final match, on the 13th of February, we managed another draw of 1-1against CIC.

In our 11-a-side matches, we lost 3-1 to Reigate in early November but looked forward to matches against St Dunstan’s in mid-January and fixtures with all our regular schools, including Royal Russell, after the February half-term. However, our 11-a-side matches during the Spring Term were plagued by the season’s bad weather, with a number of fixtures having to be cancelled, just like the rugby, because of waterlogged pitches. Nevertheless, we were luckier on the 26th March in getting a good game against Reigate, to whom we had lost 3-1 last November. With an ever-rotating squad this year, the game was full of new plays. Jamie Davies, who has been a pillar of the team throughout this year, kept a tight and efficient defence, breaking forward and attacking well. Juan Ferreiro, another stalwart of the MPW team, proved near impossible to pass and equally difficult to stop. Much excitement surrounded the new midfield arrival, Freddie Champion: ex-Spurs, QPR and now semi-pro, Freddie was the player on whom our high hopes rested. He did not disappoint. Freddie was solid, surging and lightning-quick on the ball, and opened up his MPW account with a breath-taking piece of skill that saw him carve up and taunt the Reigate defence in their own box, before deciding to launch the ball into the back of the net once he had ran out of defenders to play with – a contender for goal of the season and make no mistake about it!

Joseph Powell returned to the nets as the MPW goalie and played like a pro from start to finish. Goals are never just the fault of the goalie, and the three goals conceded that day were no reflection on the performance of the mighty JP! Notable mentions must also be given to Julian Thompson (JJ) who returned to the team stronger than ever and contributed to the game with his usual flair and pace. Jakob Levring also made a strong return, adding to his MPW tally with a typically assured and wonderful goal to put MPW in the lead. Tirso Merry Del Val also scored after a quick-footed exchange with Eduard Uribe. Both players have been a joy to watch throughout the season and brought their telepathic in-game communication to the leafy grounds of Woodhatch Road. It was an end-to-end game, with both teams displaying their best work and digging deep to produce for their side. The score line, a nail-biting 3-3, justified this fast-paced match and sent both teams home with a fair result and muddy knees.