The Merton-Mansfield men’s football team consists of 25 players in the 1st team and 18 players in the second team. We hold approximately 15 weekday 11-a-side games per year, coupled with weekly 5-a-side evening football. We train on Saturday afternoons and also have several team social events each term.
We had a strong season in 2015-16 with a strong squad, and after imprinting a winning mentality into the team, the 1st XI won 10 out of our 12 league games, overall playing 14 games and winning 11 (club record of 79% win percentage), achieving promotion to Division 1. This record also placed us joint second across the whole of the JCR leagues in terms of most wins this season.
Particular highlights saw us find our very own Usain Bolt in Dillon ‘Pace’ Lancaster (Mansfield 2014) who later discovered his diving abilities during our 5-1 win against St Peter’s 1st XI following his dive in the penalty box that earned us a penalty. His penalty kick was less than impressive, however, and could not have been any slower in going into the goal. We had two fantastic strikers up front, and a mean defence headlined by Bill Beck (2015), Louis Blatherwick (Mansfield 2015), Ulysse Schnyder (Mansfield 2012), Mark Hattersley (Mansfield 2013), Andy Stevens (Mansfield 2015) and Angus Braithwaite (Mansfield 2014) along with our keeper Matthew Raybould (2012), which saw us achieve one of the best defensive records in the whole of the JCR league with the second highest number of clean sheets. Most bookings award goes to Andreas Hadjinicolaou (2014), our very own under-21 Cypriot international, who was solid both defensively and offensively before he pulled his hamstring (four times in four games). Next year’s captain, Andy Stevens (Mansfield 2015), has been a fantastic revelation for us this season, playing in almost every position when the team needed him most.
It’s been a pleasure to captain the 1st XI this year, so thank you to the team for the many fantastic memories. I would like to thank the groundsman, James Lisle, and the AMALGAS treasurer, Simon Hooker, for their help and support this season.
Kasra Amini (2012)
Merton-Mansfield Men’s Football Captain (1st XI) 2015-16