Since its launch in 2008, OMFC have gone from one fixture against the school each year, to entering the Arthurian League and, in the 2012-13 season, the Arthur Dunn Cup, with great success. In March 2015 they secured their fourth promotion in as many years – an incredible feat.
If you would like to be play in the OM Football team please email Ben Walters (SU 2005-2010) firstname.lastname@example.org
The Old Marlburian Football Club (OMFC) entered the season with high expectations, after the club’s recent drive to recruit younger players saw the emergence of promising talent. This became evident during our annual pre-season fixture against the Marlborough 1st XI, when Willet Haxby (BH 2007-12) scored an audacious rabona to chip the keeper from 25 yards out, only to be bettered by George Blakey (C2 2006-11), who scored a first-time volley from near the halfway line. The team was shaping up nicely.
Unfortunately, before the season had even started, OMFC stalwart Alex Azis (CO 2004-09) was ruled out for the season with injury, and Brad Miles (TU 2005-10) announced a hiatus from the game to concentrate on improving his golf.
Despite these early setbacks, we started positively, going the first five games in the league unbeaten, drawing two and winning three. The experienced trio of Alex Middleton (C1 2004-09), Rob Guppy (C3 2003-07) and Ed Kilbee (C2 2001-06) got the season off to a flyer, with all of them registering goals and assists with some clinical finishing and seemingly telepathic understanding.
A notable 4-2 win over Repton on the hallowed turf that is the Athletics Track at Marlborough (as part of the annual Festival of Sport) saw the ever-present George Blakey continue his early season success with a 30-yard belter. Did he mean it, though? Our promotion aspirations reached their peak with a 6-0 demolition of Berkhamstead, which saw rising star Henry Alexander (BH 2010-15) score a perfect hat-trick and the OMs register their first (and only) clean sheet of the season.
Our early season success was built on a commanding defence that combined youth and experience. This was epitomised in our 1-1 draw against promotion rivals Lancing, when Harry von Behr (B1 2001-06) continued his incredible penalty-saving record, making his 9th save out of 10 penalties faced.
Excellent contributions at the back from the ever-present Joe Hare (C3 1999-2004), Harry Bristow (C3 1999-2004) and Joel Hughes (C3 1999-2004), alongside the industrious Tiger Foot (SU 2009-14), secured us vital points.
Unfortunately, the OMs were blighted by the recurring annual winter slump reminiscent of Arsenal teams towards the back end of Arsene Wenger’s reign. Trips away to Brentwood in November haunt the OMFC like the thought of going to Stoke on a rainy Tuesday night did for those Arsenal sides. A 6-1 loss to Brentwood was followed by three consecutive losses with the team conceding 16 goals during that period, culminating in the worst defeat in the club’s history. The less said about that the better.
An inspired change in formation by the gaffer, reverting to the trusty 4-4-2, saw an upturn in performances and, crucially, the results. The OMs went on to secure back-to-back wins, most notably a thrilling 7-4 victory against Repton under the floodlights on a Friday night. This surge up the table was underpinned by the dynamism, leadership and tactical flexibility of Ben Walters (Su 2005-10), Alexander Walters (Su 2007-12), George Brown (BH 2002-07), and George Blakey in the midfield.
The recovery saw the OMs cruise back towards the top of the table, sitting nicely in preparation for the end-of-season run-in. Unfortunately, due to circumstances we are all familiar with, the FA announced an end to all amateur registered football leagues, voiding the 19/20 season altogether. Our promotion push will have to wait until next season.
Niall Alcock (C2 1999-2004), Tom De Boinville (C3 2003-07), Tom Phillips (PR 2001-06), Cam Wimble (C2 2006-11), Jo Ridley (C2 2001-05), James Wilson (BH 2007-12), Alan Hamilton (C2 1999-2004), Ed Siddeley (C2 2007-12), Alex McGrigor (PR 2009-14), Nick Horowitz (C3 2002-07), Rupert Gorst (TU 2008-13), Theo Strong (C2 2004-09), Will Harvey (PR 2006-11), Cam Gordon (PR 2012-14) and Charlie McKelvey (BH 2008-13) all made valuable contributions to what was another challenging but ultimately successful season.
As always, we are on the lookout for new players, particularly if you have recently left the school. If you are a keen and committed footballer, I urge you to put your services forward and get in touch email@example.com
Ben Walters (SU 2005-10)