Nottingham Trent University host the 2017 BUCS League and Cup double winners, University of Durham, tomorrow in a hotly anticipated match-up at NTU’s Clifton Campus.
Last year’s #1 and #2 ranked sides meet on Wednesday in the first round of Men’s BUCS Premier North fixtures with both looking to put down an early marker for the season ahead.
The contest represents a repeat of the BUCS Championship final back in March where Durham overturned a three-goal deficit at the half to storm back and claim an eighth consecutive title.
The North-East side are on an incredible 92-match unbeaten run that NTU will be looking to end and have significantly bolstered their ranks for the upcoming season to put the challenge to the champions.
Defenseman, Dominick Calisto, has joined from Boston University after being a part of the MLL championship-winning Ohio Machine squad in the summer, leading the defence in front of new ‘keeper Drew Riopelle-Tyrell from Clark University.
The attack is also reinforced with the addition of Cameron Joyce from University of Southern New Hampshire where he posted 136 goals, being named an NCAA D2 All-American, while midfielder Ben Lasane joins fellow Mercer alum Chase Dubois in Nottingham.
In addition to the US scholars, NTU have also added plenty of home-grown talent in Timperley and England face-off man, Tom Bracegirdle, England Development squad players, Elliot Leonard (Norbury) and Jake Parker (Mellor) and Scotland international defender, Douglas Tewnion (Brooklands), the latter three having all played in the 2016 U19 World Championships.
The new recruits will join current NTU England internationals, Zac Guy and Will Hardy and U19, James Pomfret.
There will also be familiar opposition in the Durham ranks for the England internationals as World Championship representative, Jak Wawrzyniak, now playing back at Heaton Mersey after NCAA experience at Stony Brook and Providence College, heads up the Durham defence.
While Durham will also no doubt have a number of new US recruits when the team face-off tomorrow, Dave Coldwell, Durham Head Coach, stated that this year’s side will be made up of a large proportion of home-grown talent.
“There will be at least six or seven homegrown players in the squad tomorrow, and players like Harry Perry and club captain, Matt Kemp, who have been a part of the setup for a number of years now.
“Over the last couple of years, we have worked on developing the talent from within the university and we’re starting to see the players coming through.
“It will be a great contest, a repeat of the Championship final back in March and to play each other first game, the teams will be evenly matched and it could go either way”.
NTU v Durham – F/O – 3.30pm – NTU Clifton Campus