Team Talk: The Riders of Rohan (7 a side football)

First of all what is the story behind the team name?

“It wasn’t actually my idea for the name, but basically it was a friend of mine’s brothers team and it originally started as a joke on a night out, and then he said to me last year come and join. Because I’m such a Lord of the Rings geek I was wowed into playing and all the team like football and Lord of the Rings so it was a match made in heaven”.

So why out of all the LOTR characters, the Riders of Rohan?

“I guess all the other teams in the league have jokey names, I don’t really know the origin of it, but it’s quite funny because other teams will see our name and think that we’re not going to be any good”.

Where would Aragon fit in the team?

“He would have to play up front because he has less of an ego as our striker at the moment!”

You’re top of the league, how has the form been this year?

“It has been fantastic. We went up into the top division after the first semester and the team was a bit apprehensive, but it has been really good. We lost our first game 4-0 and everyone just wanted the season to finish after that day, but since then we have won all of our games and not conceded a goal, the confidence now is really high”.

Is there a team you look forward to playing the most?

“I’d have to say, along with Campus Sport, the Asian Society. They beat us last semester and are probably our closest title rivals. The boys feel they have got a bit of a score to settle with them.

Is there good banter between the teams?

“Some teams will take it very seriously and some will think it’s a laugh, which it is. We all give each other a bit of stick but it is all good natured”.

Is there a style of football that the Riders of Rohan play?

“We have been criticised by certain teams for playing too defensively. As it is 7-a-side we play 3 at the back with two playing as wing-backs. We have some quick players and a nice mix. If we all thought we were Ronaldo bombing up the pitch we would probably lose every game, but we have got the balance right between attacking flair and rigid defence”.

What are the rules of 7 a side?

“It is similar to 11-a-side but you can’t slide tackle because of the 3G pitch, which is great may I add as you can play in all conditions. Instead of a throw in it’s a kick in; you can’t go in the ‘D’ area where the goalkeeper is and he can’t come out of his ‘D’; and the pitch is about the size of half a pitch and it’s long and narrow.”

How many more games do you have remaining?

“We have four games left, with the Asian society still to play. Dare I say it, a couple of cup finals left to play, we don’t really want it to end”.

What is your role as captain?

“I am the only person to get the fixtures so we have a nice routine where I get the fixtures on a Sunday and I will publish them and everyone gets excited. Monday I will see who is available which is either really fun or really frustrating, for example last week eleven turned up and sometimes we will struggle to get seven, so Monday is a strange day. I’ll organise the team on the day without much of a warm up. I’ll give a team talk because the captain has to be a manager, a man motivator and put a shift in so at this level it’s anything you want to make of it”.

Do you give a pre game speech like Aragon?

“Last season our previous captain had to give a couple Lord of the Rings-based speeches to get the morale up, we get a couple of strange looks from other teams”.

I would think Legolas would be quite a good footballer, quite light on his feet, who on your team is the Legolas (Ponytail optional)?

“So someone who is nimble and light, perhaps a bit poncy… I’ll say Luke Wilshere: he is nimble, sometimes a little overdramatic, but definitely a hard worker for the team! ”

Finally, do you have socials?

“If it is a Wednesday one, we’ll do Riders of Retros. We also have an end of the year awards night where we’ll get suited and booted (we should probably wear Rohan armour, but obtaining that is more difficult than you think). We have certificates and awards and plenty of drink. Wednesday night is usually a good night for a social, if we have won everyone will be in good spirits”.

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