Last year’s finalists will face each other in the eighth edition of the JMU Journalism World Cup, after the defending champions were pitted against the Alumni in the draw for the semi-finals today.
The other tie sees the third years attempt to pull off their first ever victory before it’s too late, as Level 3 meet newcomers, Level 1, who can take inspiration from the dazzling displays by last year’s freshers.
Level 2’s Liam Keen, who led his mightily impressive debutants to glory in the 2016 final, knows that the pressure is on to repeat that winning formula after seeing his side installed as firm favourites.
Liam’s men outclassed the Alumni by a 4-1 margin back in April, though the skipper said: “It’s a tough tie, but we’re a confident side, and if we can come through this, we should be in a good position for the final, whoever we face. If the first years are as good as us last year it’ll be an interesting tournament, but all the lads are really looking forward to it.”
Despite having apparently few grounds for optimism, Alumni captain, Chris Shaw, claimed: “This was exactly the draw we wanted. The performance in last year’s final wasn’t up to the level we’re capable of and we’re confident of making amends right from the off this time around. Belief is high among the Alumni, as always.”
YouTube: Looking back at the inaugural JMU Journalism World Cup (2010)
Level 3 captain, Josh Doherty, admitted he was “happy with the draw”, adding: “We were hoping to get the first years because they’ve never played with each other as a team before.
“We had some important players missing last year. They are back in the team so hopefully this time around we can get a win on the board and go into the final full of confidence.”
First years’ skipper, Ross Crane, said: “Having seen the result of the highly-anticipated draw, the first year team are incredibly excited to be taking part in the JMU Journalism World Cup.
“We are quite relieved to be avoiding the Alumni team in the semi-final but will by no means underestimating our third year opponents. We will be working very hard in the coming weeks to be match-ready for the tournament.”
JMU Journalism World Cup semi-finals 2017:
Level 3 v Level 1
Level 2 v Alumni
(Semis will be played in March/April – dates to be confirmed)