After successful promotion last year to the Midlands 1a League, Northampton finished a respectable third position with 14 points from 10 games this season, and hope to go further in the nationals tournament.
The first team could be pitting their wits against Universities from Sheffield, Manchester and Bath, plus there is a possibility of a long trip to Glasgow or Dundee in Scotland.
There was, however, a late uncertainty whether they would be able to progress after the league rules were not clarified properly. There was the hope of Nottingham University slipping up in order for Northampton to progress further.
With one game in hand over Northampton, Nottingham had 12 points and had the task of beating Warwick, who had to win the game in order to win the league.
However, despite the result of that game, after a thorough inspection of the league rules, Northampton were able to progress. Captain Ben Thompson, was delighted with the outcome and praised his players on a good season in the first division.
He said, “It is a pleasure to captain a side into the nationals tournament and it’s a credit to the players all season for getting us there.
“I was a bit worried after losing to Cambridge but we showed so much character to go to Warwick and beat them in their own back yard, that result was definitely our most important of the season”.
The first team will have a few weeks to prepare for their national opponents, but they feel confident of facing whoever they are drawn against. Adam Godfrey, ever present this season in defence, said, “ideally we would like an away game, especially someone like Glasgow, Manchester or Bath, but we have the confidence to go far in the tournament and take each game as it comes”.
Half of the squad will especially want a good run in the tournament as they are in their third and final years at Northampton, leaving the other players mostly in their first and second years, to keep up the hard work shown by the older players for next season.
With Northampton gaining full University access at the end of 2005 and the University first team making the nationals for the third successive year, the University is certainly on the map and competing against bigger Universities, on and off the pitch.
The first team squad is: Mark Ritson, Gavin Kirby, Adam Godfrey, Dave Cunningham, Mikey Anker, Shaun Dignam, Jonathan Bewers, Adam Balme, Phil Martin, Jason Blackett, Ben Thompson (C), Liam Baptist, Arjen Kumar, Dan Brown, Ben Dyche, Glen Smith, Glen Walker, Kenny Olegbe.