After closing the gap on Trent in the Basketball and Netball, Uni will be looking to take the lead for the first time this Varsity series in the Hockey on Friday. With the crucial fixture only days away, Impact caught up with the men’s captain, Adam Jolly, and forward, Todd Mills, to gain an insight into the season so far and the final preparations for the biggest match on the hockey calendar!
The men’s team had mixed fortunes heading into this season after being promoted to the Premier League, but then losing twelve members of the squad to the inevitable plague of graduation. Despite this draw-back, the team have done better than expected, managing to recruit a wealth of eager fresher talent. With the help of an impressive win against Loughborough, completing the satisfying double against Trent and managing to relegate Leeds, the team have proven that they deserve to retain their place in the Premier League ahead of the next season.
Having already faced Trent twice season, and having beaten them on both occasions, the Uni team will head into Friday’s match as clear favourites. Todd has experienced three Varsities so far, each with a different, but increasingly improved result. After a devastating loss in his fresher year, and a marginally better draw in his second year, his first Varsity victory came in last year’s match. He therefore wants to continue with this gradual progression and complete his Varsity career with a landslide victory.
However, Uni will have to approach the match with caution as Todd warns of Trent’s erratic unpredictability in that they can perform sublimely on some occasions but abysmally on others. It simply depends on what Trent team turns up! Uni on the other hand pride themselves on being a consistently solid side which is largely due to the dependable quality of some of their key players. These include fresher, Andy Sutherland; left-back, Sam Arnold; show-boating forward, Todd Mills; and hopefully Great Britain International, Nick Catlin.
As the seasoned veterans of the team, both Adam and Todd know full well what to expect on Friday. However, with a squad composed predominantly of freshers, there is a clear danger that they will fail to appreciate quite how crucially important the occasion is, not just to the hockey club, but to the University as a whole. Todd appears to thrive on the pressure and gravity of the occasion but is fully aware of how daunting an experience it can be. Adam hopes that the players won’t get too intimated or riled by the crowds and will just focus on the match and continue with the fantastic form that they have displayed all season.
With both Adam and Todd graduating this summer, they are determined to make this Varsity match the greatest and most memorable to date. Will this be the result that takes Uni into the lead for the first time in the 2011 Varsity series?
Image by Alix Blankston