As season 2011/12 draws to a close for the Light Blues, the committee and I wanted to take this chance to thank all those players and supporters for their involvement with Cambridge footy. Our sophomore season as a stand-alone club was another strong one, and while the ultimate prize remained just beyond our grasp, there is no doubt that the gap has narrowed and that persistence will see the elusive Varsity Cup returned to its rightful place at Parker’s Piece.
One of the aims of the committee for the year was to continue building the atmosphere of the club off the field. We wished to develop the feeling of a “true” football club, a place where anyone with an interest in football in Cambridge could meet and converse with like-minded people, regardless of their experience, background or athletic ability. We wished to do so to not only encourage as much on-field participation as a possible, but also in the hope that the spirit of such a club, one of inclusion, participation and humility, would provide a welcome contrast to some of the less admirable aspects of life in Cambridge. To that end, we hope that events such as the John Daley Invitational, won by the indomitable Tomas Harrington, the fundraising night with the North London Lions (and the conception of Bob the Drinking Mascot), the presentation dinner (where Bob met an untimely end) and Sunday post-training pints will remain integral aspects of the club.
Of course the ultimate aim of the CUARFC is to win the annual Varsity Match, and this year we were unable to accomplish this goal. The final score of 9.11.65 to 4.12.36 belies the fact that this was one of the most competitive Varsity matches in recent times. The Light Blues dominated much of the first half, with persistent effort through the midfield and half-back line resulting in Cambridge winning the inside-50s count in the first two quarters. Rumor has it that the Dark Blues began the match with some of the better players on the bench (including their ringer) in the hope of saving said player’s legs for the latter stages of the match, a strategy that was reversed before quarter time as we took the ascendency. Unfortunately, dogged defense from the Dark Blues kept the scoreboard in check, with a lack of support for our tall forwards a telling factor, and the battle of the midfield shifted their way in the third quarter. With one key ball-winner Sean Ryan, going down with a broken rib in the first quarter, and injuries to our two ruckmen Nick Owen and Patrick Myers prior to the match, it was clear we would face an uphill battle to secure the ball as the game wore on, and this became telling as Oxford kicked away in the premiership quarter. With the honors split in the final quarter, Oxford ran out five goal winners to again claim the Varsity Cup, their superior fitness and disposal by foot being the difference on the day. All who donned the light blue on the day can hold their head up high, and special mentions must be made to our best afield Daniel Juhasz as well as Paul Newberry, Pat Stirling and Ciaran Boyle for their terrific contributions.
We must now make note of several stalwarts of the club who are unfortunately leaving us for greener pastures. This year we say farewell to ex-committee members, Joe McIntyre and Jon Ketchesen, both of whom have earned four caps for the Light Blues and have made crucial contributions getting the club off the ground. Ketch’s ability to recruit from incoming LLM classes and Joe’s as until recently unacknowledged ability to monster a pint of ale will both be especially missed, and we hope that they can build the legacy of the Light Blues in London and Adelaide respectively. We also say farewell to two terrific on-field servants of the club; Tom Elton and Dan Juhasz. Tom has been one of the most talented athletes the CUARFC has “produced”, having never touched a Sherrin prior to three years ago, and since then has learned to consistently out-mark many of us who’ve played the game for decades, and also how to put the ball on a plate to a leading forward. He leaves with three caps for the club. Dan, our best-and-fairest this year will also be sorely missed, not just for his telling contribution on the pitch, but also as a terrific character to have around the club. We wish him the very best of luck back in Oz, and on the professional roller-derby circuit, when that time comes.
A few administrative notes for those who are interested. We end the year with a small net positive cash position, thanks in part to the kind contributions of ex-players and supporters of the club around the world and ongoing fundraising efforts through the year. We have completed our kit expenditure, purchasing a set of football shorts for the club to go with the jumpers obtained last year. Having now acquired proper AFL posts for our home fixtures and a full kit, two major capital expenditures that the nascent club needed to fund have been acquired and we are in a terrific position to build the financial resources of the club in to 2012/13 and beyond. I would like to sincerely thank Miles De Blasio for his tremendous efforts keeping the books for the club. We would be severely lost without his diligent service as Treasurer. I would also like to sincerely thank Jarrod Voss for his tireless efforts as club captain and committee member. He was instrumental in organising many of our events including the John Daly, the presentation dinner, and fundraising with the North London Lions, as well as again leading from the front on the field and the training track. We are very lucky to have both of these men around for season 2012/13 and hopefully beyond.
Finally, we wish to formally introduce the CUARFC committee for 2012/13. We have been able to recruit a very strong leadership group for next year, and we are very confident in their ability to produce another terrific year for the CUARFC, one that will hopefully lead to our deliverance:
President: Tomas Harrington
Treasurer: Miles De Blasio
Secretary: Ross Dennis
They will be in touch shortly. In the mean time, for those that are around, we will be meeting this Sunday at 3pm on Parker’s Piece for one last kick of the footy, and of course, a jar at the Elm Tree.
President CUARFC 2011/12