Football at Oxford

University football

There are two men's University teams at Oxford, both of which compete in the BUCS league: the Blues (first team) and Centaurs (second team). The Blues have just finished first in Midlands Division 1, but missed out on promotion to the Premier League in the play-offs, and the Centaurs finished fourth in Division 3A. Both teams also play several friendly fixtures during the season, including matches against Oxford United and Oxford City and traditional fixtures such as the annual matches again the Amateur Football Alliance. The climax of the season for both teams is the Varsity match against Cambridge University. For the first time in 2007 the Varsity match was decided by penalties, with Cambridge winning the shootout 4-3.

Two women's teams, the Blues and Furies, also compete in the BUSA championship and in annual Varsity matches.

College football

Each College also has one or more teams which compete in the JCR and MCR leagues, sponsored by Slaughter and May. The colleges also compete in the famous Cuppers competition, instituted in 1881, the final of which takes place at Iffley Road. The current (2011/12) Cuppers champions are Worcester, whilst Wadham hold the JCR Premier Division title.

Getting involved

The opportunities to play football at Oxford are exceptional for players of all abilities. Whether it's playing for a college 3rd XI or playing for the Blues in the annual Varsity match against Cambridge, all football related to the University is governed by OUAFC. Terms at Oxford are very short, and it can be difficult to work out exactly what standard you are capable of playing at when you first arrive. OUAFC is committed to improving the footballing experience of everyone at Oxford, at whatever level.

Trials take place at the beginning of Michaelmas Term every year. Players from all years, from freshers to veterans of college football, are invited. Trials take place over two days: the first day is open to everyone and the second day is reserved for players invited back. Further details will be posted on the web site closer to the time. Players who impress at trials will be invited to join the University squad, from which teams are selected to represent the University in fixtures throughout the year. The University squad will typically consist of between 30 and 40 players. It is inevitable that some players will be missed, and players who miss out in trials but who impress in college football are usually invited to training added to the squad at a later date: it is the goal of the Football Club that the squad truly consists of the most talented individuals in the University.

The Blues and Centaurs play one or two games every week in Michaelmas and Hilary terms, with two or three training sessions.

In addition to the senior University teams, each college has one or more men's football teams playing in the highly competitive college leagues. Each college is responsible for organising its own trials and selection process and you should find more details directly from your college football captain. Some of the smaller colleges have arrangements with bigger colleges whereby students can play for the bigger college in the higher regions of the college leagues. There is nothing to stop players playing for both University and college, although the demands (both physically and on time) are such that most University players are unable to play regularly for their colleges. Players who are in the University squad but aren't selected for the Blues or Centaurs in a particular week are encouraged to play for their colleges to keep their match fitness levels up to the standard that is required if they are called on to make the step up to Centaurs football.

If you are coming to Oxford for the first time in October, either as a graduate or undergraduate, and think you may be interested in playing for the University, then please fill out the form on the freshers' page. We will ensure that you are kept informed about trials and, depending on numbers, we may invite you to take part in pre-season training before the start of term.

If you have any questions, please contact us.