Sport | Varsity Football – Pilkington seeks revenge in rival clash

One of the most hotly contested and popular fixtures of Varsity, the Men’s 1st Football, has been one of the least predictable fixtures of recent years.

Having experienced both victory and defeat in the previous two Varsity fixtures, captain Jason Pilkington understands how finely balanced these ties can be.

Despite winning 4-1 in his first Varsity experience two years ago, Leeds’ form against its City rivals has been less assuring of late. Suffering a 3-1 defeat in last year’s Varsity, and a devastating 5-0 loss in the league in March, Leeds will be looking to get back on top this year.

The final fixture of the BUCS calendar last season saw a 2-2 draw, a result which Leeds will use to push on towards victory on October 2nd. Pilkington sees this fixture ending in similar vein, saying that fans can expect high drama in closely fought contest.

He said, “I think the football Varsity is going to be one of the closest yet.”

“The two university teams occupy the same league and have very similar playing styles so it is always a good watch for spectators and difficult to play, in with mistakes more often than not being the decider in the fixture.”

Replacing former coaching pair Ian Burchnall and Leeds United star Brian Deane, Steve Grimes is tasked with improving on a 3rd place finish in the BUCS Northern Division 1A this season, as Burchnall and Deane take charge of Norweigan side Sarpsborg 08 for their first full season.

Pilkington said, “The University of Leeds have been up for preseason over the last four weeks and we are looking fit and playing extremely well under new first team manager Steve Grimes. “

With such a closely fought fixture expected, fresh faces could prove to be the difference in one of the most important games of the year. With trials for the new season concluded on Friday, Leeds will be hoping they have found a secret weapon among the ranks to make the difference on the day.

As for the fixture itself, which will take place on the Top Pitch at Headingley Campus at 3pm, Pilkington is optimistic about the result, and urges students to offer their support.

“As for the game next week, I think it’s going to be a typically close affair with the University of Leeds 1st team winning 2 – 1 on the day.”

“I urge both set of fans to make their way down for kick off.”

For more information on all of Varsity’s events, look no further than our guide to Varsity at

For the Varsity schedule and ticket information, visit

Jamie Kirby

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