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 (1sts) and Furies (2nds), also compete in the BUCS leagues. Last season (2013/2014), the Blues were promoted from Midlands Division 2A, reaching the final of the Midlands Conference Cup also. The Furies finished fourth in Midlands Division 3A. Both squads took part in numerous friendlies. This included the Blues partaking in the first ever Town vs. Gown match against challenging WSL2 side Oxford United as well as a premier Brookes Varsity match which proved to be a comfortable win at the beginning of Hilary term. Unfortunately, Cambridge were to win both annual Varsity matches this year, with a 4-0 win in the Furies match and a 2-0 win in the Blues game.

College football

Each College also has one or more men's 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.

There are 24 women's college teams registered to the Women’s College League, of which there are 4 divisions. Eight of these are joint teams made up of two or three colleges. Like the men, the female teams also compete in the Cuppers competition, which was won by Worcester this season (2013/2014).

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 for both the men's and women's squads take place at the beginning of Michaelmas Term every year. Players from all years, from freshers to veterans of college football, are invited. Trials for the men 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.

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The women's trials are traditionally held on Saturday of 0th week of Michaelmas term. Players of all abilities are invited to attend. The trials are usually quite relaxed, with a few easy drills and some small sided games. Players are usually invited to continue training for a few weeks after the trials and so giving plenty of time to impress and try to earn a place in one of our two squads. Likewise with the men, there is plenty of opportunity to play at college level as well, but we encourage anyone who is keen to play football at a more competitive level to come along! Even amongst our two squads we currently have a range of ability from some of our Blues having played at national and international youth level, to some of our Furies having only picked up the sport in coming to Oxford.

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The Blues and Centaurs play one or two games every week in Michaelmas and Hilary terms, with two or three training sessions. The women have weekly matches in their BUCS leagues, and train two to three times a week similarly.

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.


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