In the lead up to the 2017 Fitzpatrick Cup to be held in Cork, Ireland on the 4th February we’ll be taking a look at each side attending the annual universities tournament. Next up in the previews is Oxford University.
Oxford will be a real contender in Cork. They’ve always be around the top at the Fitz and 2017 could be the year they go all the way.
What has happened since the last Fitzpatrick Cup?
Since last year’s competition in Birmingham, the Blues have had a successful year on the field, beating Cambridge in the Varsity Match. Facing tough matches against Birmingham and the West London Wildcats following last year’s cup, we fought the entire match against Cambridge to ensure a 58-52 victory with a game-winning smother of the Tab’s last shot at goal.
Fitzpatrick Cup history
We had a great tournament last year in Birmingham for the Fitzpatrick Cup, finishing third. We brought a huge Oxford squad with mixed fresh faces and grizzled old timers. We lost a close Semi final to the University of Cork.
Players to watch
We’re looking forward to see which players step up and surprise our anxious competitors in the Cup. Practices and early matches this season have shown us that we have new vocal leaders on the team. Certainly, watch veterans like Irishman Tommy Griffin and the ubiquitous Geoff Pascoe.
So, who’s in charge?
Oliver Bartlett, a Brit in his 4th year at the club.
Interview with Daniel Tracey – Men’s Captain of the Oxford Blues
Aims for the tournament?
“We undoubtedly will enjoy playing the match in Cork, and get to know our fellow Irish lads. However, we aim to improve on our third place finish in 2016. We fought hard last year, and intend to bring the same intensity to the pitch.”
Which players have the X-factor?
“This year we have an incredibly deep bench, and everyone has contributed to make the season a strong one so far. It’s hard to name individual players, but Tommy Griffin, Geoff Pascoe, Alex Coccia, and Ewan Selkirk have a the tendency to make quick and strong plays for the score.”
How have the preparations been going?
“We’ve got a lot of new players on the team, some new to the sport entirely, and others who have played before internationally. Of course it is always a big job to build up the team but after three solid matches this autumn, we have many guys showing up and contributing. We are fielding a very diverse team who are ready to build up even more.”
What are the main attributes of your team?
“We have solid 1 on 1 contests, and great team communication. The attitude this year has been that everybody gives it a good go and tries hard. We’ve got a few experienced players and many new players who are learning quickly.”