DUAFC are gearing up for their first charity match of the season this Wednesday against old rivals the University of Stirling in what promises to be a tight battle in the Premier North.
The game will kick off at 15.00 at Maiden Castle tomorrow, with all proceeds going to the charity Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY), which helps to raise awareness of young and sudden cardiac death.
The 1s will be hoping for more of the same magic which saw them thrash local rivals Northumbria 6-0 in the last round of Premier North fixtures. They find themselves in third place in the men’s premier division, three points above Stirling who have a game in hand.
A win here in front of a strong crowd could ignite their season and prove vital to their chances in the BUCS play-offs at the end of the season, as league position determines whether ties are played home or away.
Club captain Josh Buys stresses the importance of the home advantage and encourages as many supporters as possible to make their way to Maiden Castle tomorrow.
“It’s hugely important for us to have a big crowd at MC for the game,” he says. “Often when we go away to other unis they have big crowds supporting them and we see the boost it gives them. Having that home support may well make the difference between winning and losing for us.”
DUAFC’s choice of charity is particularly significant given a player from another men’s team recently suffered a cardiac arrest during a training session. The player survived, but Buys describes the incident as a “wake up call”.
At least 12 young people a week die from undiagnosed heart conditions in the UK, and CRY works to reduce these deaths through promoting and developing heart screening programmes and funding medical research.
“This is something that happens a lot more often than people may be aware of,” says Buys. “We are all young and it is something that could happen to any of us. Supporting an amazing charity like this is a way to minimise the chances of that happening.”
Having won two out of four fixtures so far – including that emphatic victory over Northumbria – the 1s have got off to an encouraging start in the league. This match, then, represents a marker for head coach Mike Slater and his side.
“It’s a big game for us, as every game in the league is, and one in which we hope to continue our good form,” says Buys. “We think it will be an awesome opportunity to raise money for a great cause while getting some people down to support the boys.”
The match will take place on the track pitch with a minimum £2 donation, though more is encouraged. You can follow @DUAFC on Twitter and Durham University Men’s Football on Facebook to keep up on social media.
Image by Bernadette Wang