With the Premier Division fully underway, the Men’s 1s and Ladies 1s turned their attention to BUCS Wednesdays, as both sides were eager to retain their Gold Crown. Vinay Patel interviews midfielder George Baugniet and forward Jodie Collins, as they discuss Wednesday’s action and look ahead to another away day in the Premier Division.
The Men’s 1s picked themselves up and dusted themselves off, after a 5-0 defeat at the hands of Hampstead & Westminster, with a 3-1 victory against Loughborough Students to kickstart their BUCS campaign and claim their first win of the season.
How did it feel to kickstart your BUCS campaign with a win?
“Yeah, it was a really good feeling actually. It was a repeat of the BUCS final last year, against Loughborough, so we knew they were going to be a tough opposition, but I thought we played really well and put away our chances when they came. And yeah, that was a really great feeling to win our first game of the season.”
Were you happy with the team’s response after a tough away defeat to Hampstead and Westminster?
I thought we played well and were motivated by that defeat
“Definitely, I feel like we had a tough time at Hampstead [and Westminster], obviously with a 5-0 defeat but I think that score line was a bit unfair. That really motivated the boys to come out yesterday, to play really hard and I thought we played well and were motivated by that defeat.”
How important was yesterday’s victory in terms of a morale boost, for another away game against East Grinstead on Saturday?
“Yeah definitely important, obviously we lost our first two fixtures of the season against some of the big dogs in the Prem. So it was really nice to get a win under our belt against a quality side in Loughborough and it will hopefully start a winning habit for us. It definitely builds confidence going into the East Grinstead game on the weekend.”
With three games under your belt, how will you look to improve against East Grinstead?
“I think we looked to build on what we’ve been doing so far. I think the big progression we made yesterday was actually scoring goals.”
Hopefully that will build our confidence and go and score a few on the weekend
“We scored one goal in the last two games, so to score three yesterday was really big for us. Hopefully that will build our confidence and go and score a few on the weekend.”
What would it mean to grab your first Premier Division victory of the season on Saturday, after two tough defeats?
“Yeah, it would be really big for us and nice to get some points on the board as well. Obviously there are 5 or 6 alumni at East Grinstead, so it will be quite a competitive game and it would be great to get a victory over them.”
George also had a quick word to say about the freshers in the side…
“Handling their first BUCS game and the big crowd, I thought they dealt with the pressure really well and rose to the challenge.”
The Ladies 1s also shook off a tough 4-1 defeat to Hampstead & Westminster, to emerge victorious against local rivals Loughborough Students, in a 2-1 victory. I spoke to goal scorer Jodie Collins, whose winning strike secured their first of the season for the Ladies 1s.
How did it feel to fire in the winner against Loughborough?
I could hear my assistant coach, Tom, screaming Jodie!
“It felt really good, I was actually supposed to be coming off the field and I could hear my assistant coach, Tom, screaming Jodie! because I needed to sub. I saw our captain, Maddie Axford, get the ball on the halfway line and was deciding between subbing myself off and getting to the far post.”
“Ultimately, I decided the latter and just sprinted with everything had in me, after playing for 70 minutes already and just got that tap in.”
“To see crowd on the other side was really cool, and my team was going absolutely mental because Loughborough is a bit of a rivalry and has been for a while. So it just felt really good.”
You have a very good record in this competition, so do you think you can win BUCS Gold for a third consecutive year?
“Yeah definitely, I think last year, our average age as a team was 19.5 and we’ve not lost many players. So we still have a very strong team who know each other’s style of play and brought in even stronger freshers. So I definitely think it’s in the cards for us and hopefully we can do it for a third year in a row.”
After a tough away defeat to Hamstead and Westminster, what will you look to do differently?
“I think it’s always tough for us to go away to London, it’s quite a far bus journey and teams like Hampstead & Westminster and East Grinstead, have players who are lot older and have much more experience on the national stage. So it’ll always be tough for us to go and play against them, but I think it’s just building on what we did in previous weeks.”
“We had a tough result against Loughborough in our first week. A 3-3 draw wasn’t a good reflection of the game and then, to go 4-1 down against Hamstead is also quite tough.”
Beat[ing] Loughborough 2-1 away, definitely put us in a good position going into the weekend
“But then to build on that and beat Loughborough 2-1 away, definitely put us in a good position going into the weekend, as well as working hard, training and just doing the right things before Saturday.”
Would you say the squad is quite settled, now that the season and the semester is fully underway?
“Yeah, I would say that we are but we have a couple of girls out with injuries at the moment. So people who ordinarily might not, have now stepped in to fill those roles. To have some big names in our team not playing, and still come away from Loughborough with a 2-1 win is a really good result for us and shows the depth we have in our squad.”
“The fact that we can go to Loughborough with 15 players, despite having five people not playing because of injury and still come away with a win is really good for us. I think the freshers have come in and are really settled, gelling well with the rest of the team, which is really good.”
What would it mean to grab your first victory of the season on Saturday after two difficult games?
“It would be really cool to go down to London, at East Grinstead’s home and come away with a win. I think this is a really big game for us because for a lot of the girls, they are players that they have looked up to from a very young age.”
It’s a huge occasion, playing against some of your idols
“East Grinstead have a number of England senior players in their team, so it’s a huge occasion, playing against some of your idols and to win that game would really mean a lot to the team.”
“And we have a goal, to be top six in the Premier Division by Christmas and to do that we’ve got to start getting some points. So hopefully we come away from Saturday with the win.”
Jodie was full of glowing praise for the leadership figures in the squad…
“Having Matt Taylor as a coach, is really great, he’s definitely a massive part of our success and building into things, we had a really structured pre season which was good. We had a lot of games to develop our squad and gel as a team.”
“I love having Maddie as captain and she’s really, really good in that role and I think she’s a key person in the team. I like to give credit where credit is due and it’s definitely towards Matt and Maddie.”
Both sides return to Premier Division action on Saturday, as they travel to East Grinstead, in search of their first 3 points. The Ladies 1s kick off first, at 4pm, with the Men’s 1s following two hours later, at 6pm.
Featured image courtesy of UoN Sport. Permission to use granted to Impact. No changes were made to this image.
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