UAL Men’s First XI captain Jamie Luis Ford has expressed his delight after the side clinched the South Eastern 7B League Championship.
They claimed the title with a 5-0 victory against the UAL Men’s Second XI. Ryan Davies, and Max Petch both hit braces, whilst Will Mowbray also got his name on the score sheet.
Ford admitted the reality of his side’s achievement had not yet sunk in. “It was quite surreal considering it’s never expected of an Arts team to win a league in the way we did.”
He added: “When I started in the first year, we finished rock bottom, failing to register a single victory. Last season was a slight improvement as we started winning games, becoming stronger.
“This season, we haven’t looked like a team that can be beaten. We’ve lost one game but that was undeserved. It feels fantastic. It hasn’t sunk in just yet.”
Despite the impressive manor of the victory, Ford believes the true celebrations will begin following their final fixture of the season away to University of Essex 6th.
“It was quite a funny atmosphere. Obviously we won the league against the Seconds, but as much as I don’t want to say it, it was an anticlimax.
“Obviously we were so happy we won, but ideally we wanted to win it in style against a side that would be desperate to stop us. The Seconds put up a good fight, but we pulled through and put five past them, and played so well.
“There was singing and chanting in the changing rooms, but I think the major celebrations will follow the game away at Essex on Wednesday.”
Ford praised the entire squad, revealing that the determination and hunger shown by every player was a key factor in their title-winning campaign.
“The success we’ve had has stemmed from the depth in our squad. Not only do we have a fantastic group of 14-15 players, it’s the fact everyone believed in the project, and every single player was hungry for it.
“Even after the first couple of games where we suffered a defeat and a draw, and it looked like we were going to have another regular Arts season. I think everyone believed we had the ability the achieve something special. Belief was the main thing.”
Ford has played in the Men’s first XI for three consecutive seasons, and added: “It’s probably by far the best First team I’ve ever played in.
“We’ve got everything a team needs. I genuinely believe at this level, we have the complete team, and I hope in years to come, the progress can continue within the UAL football teams.“
With the league title secured, Ford has called for focus heading into the Essex clash – his last league game in an Arts shirt.
“I’m looking forward to it more than any other this season. I’m not going to lie; it’s going to be a very emotional occasion. This team has meant so much to me. I actually cried on two occasions last season. It will be great to go out on a high.”