The Courier Fantasy Football League: The upshot on the 2022/23 staff championship

The Championship has come down to the wire...

Arthur Ferridge
20th May 2023
Image: Arthur Ferridge
The 2022/23 Premier League season has been one for the ages for a multitude of reasons, but for our sport team it has had a particularly special impact. Over the course of the year, The Courier staff have battled in a hotly contested Fantasy Football league, which has seen some of sport’s most dramatic storylines write themselves into the history books. As a leading pack of eight teams established themselves as the league's finest, two heavyweights faced off for the title: Blyth native Paige Ratter and certified depressed Evertonian James Kellett.

With just a couple of weeks remaining in the season, it is all coming down to the wire. European places on the line, a title up for grabs, and eternal bragging rights begging to be claimed. As we sign off for the year with this, our final issue of The Courier, your sport editors have come together to write up our views on the fantasy season. We hope you have a fantastic summer, thank you for reading The Courier Sport, and goodbye.

Paige Rutter

The debut of Howe FC came a couple months into the creation of this league, entering straight into second place. We will try to avoid talking about the 35 points I left on my bench during GW2, which I received enough grief for. My time in the league has not seen me fall from the top two spots which I will take pleasure in bragging about. Throughout this season, I have been loyal to many players including Kieran Trippier who has never left the team - the loyalty goes further including having João Cancelo still in the team for a couple of weeks after he left the Premier League (wouldn’t recommend). However, Haaland has to be the highlight of the team, also the double of Martinelli and Ødegaard starting from GW22 has often been successful.

Howe FC reached new heights in this league when I achieved the top spot which I have dominated for most of my time. Bench boost being used in GW29, resulted in my team gaining 123 points and 102 points were gained from wildcard played in GW25. Currently Howe FC remains in the top spot in the middle of GW36, with a total of 2261 points. Naming the team after Eddie Howe might have brought as much luck as Newcastle have had this season, let’s hope the team can see out the final couple of weeks without going down with as the biggest bottle job in FPL Courier history. Up the Howe FC mags.

Tom Barlow

In a replica of the Eurovision, we have an undeserved winner... As heard on the Rambling On radio show, the ball knowledge of Paige Ratter is lacking compared to that of myself, yet she still finds herself in first position in our fantasy Premier League.

Paige was infamous for leaving Joao Cancelo in her squad, weeks after he had vacated the Premier League for the Bundesliga, whilst also sticking by Miguel Almiron after his purple patch. Her luck with having out of form players in her side is what has held her fragile lead at the top of the league, to the downfall of others.

I would like to award myself with best team name, 'Lick Matip,' whilst Paige will place last for her lacklustre name, 'Howe FC.' All in all, the other thirteen competitors in the league are completely irrelevant, and I myself have suffered the same injustice to that of Finland in the Eurovision final.

Elena Photiadou

Considering I only joined halfway through the year I will take my number 8 spot, I tried to go up but I got defeated multiple times, I admit it my choices have let me down. Starting my run with triple captaining haaland on GW2 was a disaster as I only got 15 points from it, but to be fair he was my main source of points for the whole year so thank you haaland! My tip for everyone is to have both KDB and Haaland on their teams, no matter what, it will pay off! I gambled too much, constantly relying on unreliable players, don’t take any advice from me, it had its ups and downs, but honestly it was so fun to see me constantly forgetting to remove injured players or making meaningful transfers. Highlight of the year? Definitely my 123 points on GW29, and that’s where the dream also ended for me alongside my boring team name "ep" didn't deliver any EP's..

Arthur Ferridge

My fantasy season has been one defined by highs and lows. Before the World Cup halted proceedings for six weeks, I was flying high with 847 points to my name despite refusing to sign Erling Haaland before week six. After the World Cup concluded, however, I fell off massively, reeling from England’s crushing quarter-final defeat and rather unprofessionally allowing it to affect my managerial decisions. At least we did better than Wales, though.

My dip in form post World Cup was not helped by a string of wasted chips as I bottled both the Bench Boost and Triple Captain, which wrote me out of the title race quite conclusively. I am still on track for my best ever fantasy campaign. I can also say claim the bragging rights of having outdone my Editor-in-Chief, Head of Sport, and Elena, with big potential to defeat Tom Barlow as well, which would mean far more than winning the league.

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AUTHOR: Arthur Ferridge
Head of Sport, 2023/24. @rthur_ferridge on Twitter/X

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