Above l to r: the opposition are on the back foot!; Charlie Marques addresses the ball; Jamie Elderton gets the better of Pinky and Perky; 2nd XI manager Matthew Clark and would-be 1st XI player Joe Collings
The Shrewsbury School football season is well into the swing of things, even though the last of the cricket trophies was still to be washed out this week. With 19 school teams in action on a regular basis, it is small wonder there has been a host of goals for the football enthusiast to marvel and wonder at. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the 2nd XI - this Thursday’s team of the week.
Manager Matthew Clark is very positive about his side’s chances this season. He points to a lot of experienced players in his team, none more so than skipper Henry Gittens, who is following in his brother’s footsteps and probably his boots too! Henry is certainly the fans’ favourite and it is no wonder that he is the player Mr Clark would least like to see snatched away from him by the 1st IX.
Other players to catch the manager’s eye have been George Lewis in the centre of midfield, whom Mr Clark likens to himself in terms of his aerial dominance and quick feet. He is also delighted to have secured the services of Adrian Tong on a season loan from the 1st XI, as he is too old for cup games.
The one big summer signing that the fans have all been excited to see is Oli Westbury. Oli has made a big money move from Dudley and has settled into the team at centre back, adding a bit of Midlands steel. He told me that Philosophy of Religion lessons aside, playing football with the 2nd XI is the best thing about Shrewsbury School so far.
It has been an up and down start to the season for the team as they have succumbed to the Liverpool Ramblers, the Sixth Form College and Idsall School. However, victories against Hulme Grammar School and Codsall Community High School and a draw against King’s School Chester suggest that this squad will gel into a formidable unit over the next few weeks as they look to beat Millfield away, having won at home in the corresponding fixture last year.
The 2nd XI squad comprises goalkeepers Samir Aslam-Baskeyfield and Rufus Lichfield; defenders Charlie White, Oli Westbury, Antony Peel, Will Hargreaves, and Charlie Marques; midfielders Toby Lansdell, Ben Smith, Jamie Elderton, George Lewis, James Plaut, Adrian Tong and Jamie Hulmes; strikers Henry Gittens, Joe Collings and Ian Yeung. There is a hunger and determination in the squad epitomised by striker Joe Collings, who told me that he would certainly be playing for the 1st XI by the end of the season once Mr Biggins had been to Specsavers! We wish them all the best as they entertain the Old Salopians this weekend, who will doubtless be eager to prove they are not as old and out of shape as they look!
The Sports & Teams Fixtures & Results page gives detailed fixture listings and results for all of our teams.