Fitzpatrick Cup 2022 Team Previews: Cardiff Met

2022 will see a grand return of the Fitzpatrick Cup after a year on the sidelines and a fresh crop of formidable European University AFL teams is ready to clash in Cardiff on February 5. To commence our team previews, returning to the tournament for just the second time, is Cardiff Met University, who will enjoy the roar of the home fans with their city playing host to the tournament. Cardiff’s Conor Neesan offered his insight into how his team plans to start the year strong after a tumultuous 2021 season in the NUL.

What has the last year looked like for Cardiff Met?

The past year has been difficult for us, as for every team, with Covid and regulations on playing. However, we have grown the team ahead of 2022 and this will be our first year with a full squad of students, with two alumni players helping to coach.

What’s the aim of the team for this year’s tournament and NUL competition?

This year we want to be competitive across all formats and the Fitzpatrick Cup is the perfect place to start. However, as we are a fairly new team and have limited access to facilities due to the size of rugby in the university and how AFL is not very known in the region, we are keeping our expectations tempered.

Any young stars to keep our eye on?

Expect big things from Matty Morris, he’s a rookie full back transitioning from rugby with a great build for the position. Also be on the lookout for Dan Magennis, another rookie, who is transitioning from Gaelic football and will get some time in the midfield and off half-back.

What’s the key strength of the team?

The key strength of the team is undoubtedly our determination, we are a small fish in a big pond, but we will always compete and put it up against Oxford and Cambridge with relentless tackling and strong defensive play. Our strengths will go a long way towards helping us against their experience and knowledge of the game.

Who’s the coach in charge for this tournament?

The main coaching role has been divided up this year across myself, Club alumni Thomas Lindsay, Vice-Captain Callum Hills, and Cardiff Panthers player/coach Calumn Newman helps when he can.

The 2022 Fitzpatrick Cup will take place on Saturday February 5 at St Peter’s Rugby Club – The Harlequins Playing Fields, Minister Road, Cardiff, CF23 5AS.