By George Bond
Van Mildert Men’s Football As are the newly-crowned Premiership champions, breaking a long spell of Collingwood domination after a season of unprecedented success. The title was sealed on 25th February with a 5-2 victory over nearest rivals Hatfield, confirming Mildert as champions with a game to spare. Perennial favourites Collingwood became the first college to field four teams in the Premiership, following Collingwood Ds’ promotion last season.
However, whilst all four sides have secured their place in next year’s top division, none could come close to stopping Mildert’s title charge. There can be no doubt that this is a well-deserved success, coming off the back of the only 100 per cent record across all six divisions of Men’s Football. In winning all eleven of their league fixtures, Mildert’s stern defence have conceded just seven goals, alongside seven clean sheets, including – at one point – a run of eight league and cup fixtures which saw only one goal conceded. Fuelled by the precocious goalscoring talents of prolific centre-forward Jake Pope, Mildert have – at the time of going to print – also scored the second-highest number of goals across the Men’s Football leagues, with 44.
Led by captain Robbie Goldstone, this demonstrates a rapid rise for a team who finished just three points above the Premiership relegation zone as recently as the 2014/15 season. The team are now pushing for success on two fronts, hoping to complete a double by claiming the Knockout Cup. Here, they face Mildert D, the lowest-ranked side still left in the tournament, for a place in the semi-finals. The only blemish on Mildert’s season came in the Floodlit Cup, with Mildert being knocked out by a 1-0 defeat to Josephine Butler A. Mildert’s success was recognised by being selected for the Men’s A match in the recent York varsity event, which again saw them victorious, defeating Langwith 4-3. Mildert Football President and A team member Joe Cass commented that “winning the league was an amazing feeling and to do it so convincingly made it even more satisfying.
“The lads have worked hard from the start, so I feel it’s a well-deserved victory. “It’s great seeing the rest of VMAFC performing so well too. With so many other teams pushing for the title and promotion, it’s fair to say it has been a very successful season for the club”.
Photograph: Robert Earles