After languishing in Division 3 for far too long, the Barbarians 5s A Team squad finally got its act together and won the division in the 2008 Early Spring Season. The team put in solid performances every single week, earning at least three points all seven weeks and winning both matches in Weeks 1, 2, 3, and 7. We finished with 33 points, well ahead of second-placed Oguzkhan's 28 points.
One key to our success was the addition of some new players to the core group, including Arnar in goal, a trio of youthful Americans (George, Luc, and Marcus), and Spiros ("loaned" from the Bs). The defense remained as stingy as ever, giving up a division low 28 goals (compared to 29 last season), but this season we added some firepower up front, leading the division with 57 goals, a big jump over last season's 40 goals. Our per-game averages were 4.1 goals scored and 2.0 goals allowed.
Strong, consistent attendance was also a major factor in our success. We were able to bring at least six players to every game, and several weeks we had to turn players away because we simply had too many. Although this is a 5-a-side team, it usually takes more than twice that number to fill the team through a seven-week season. This season we had a total of twelve players who played at least once; see below for the full list and number of weeks attended. (The Barbarians Statistics Department didn't keep track of goals scored or anything actually interesting, so this is the best we could do):
- Arnar (3)
- Bujar (4)
- Dave (7)
- Dirk (2)
- Jemal (7)
- Keith (4)
- Luc (4)
- Marcus (4)
- Matty (2)
- Michael L. (2)
- Sean Collins (2)
- Spiros (4)
Next season we'll be in Division 2, which will likely mean playing on the Si De Park fields and possibly playing on another night of the week. The "late spring" season will start on Monday, May 12 and run until late June. More details available soon.
Finally, congratulations are in order for the Barbars B team, also in Division 3 this season. The Bs got off to a shaky start but finished with a bang, winning seven of their final eight matches and finishing third in the division with 24 points and came very close to getting promoted along with the As.
For more 5s photos, check out the 2007-2008 Season gallery page!