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  • Writer's pictureRobert Austin

Hype Train Football Club: 2021/22 Sunday League Season Review

Updated: May 23, 2023

Walid Zaky (left) and Robert Austin (right) with the RDSL Division 4 runners-up shield. Photography by Sam Austin

Welcome aboard the home of Hype Train Football Club. Here, you can read an in-depth review of our first full Sunday League season as a football club, with the team competing in the Reading & District Sunday League's Division 4. All aboard.

Reading & District Sunday Football League (RDSFL):

After the success of the Reading Sunday Social League (RSSL), the team opted to join the Reading District Sunday Football League for the 2021/22 season, with this being the first time the team would compete in a full Sunday League season.

Placed in Division 4, the basement division of the league, we were in an 11-team league, meaning we would complete a 20 game league season, and were entered into 2 cup competitions - the first being the Berks & Bucks FA Sunday Trophy, a county cup competition featuring teams from outside the top divisions in the Sunday League pyramid. The second being the John Lusted Cup, an internal RDSL cup competition featuring teams from Division's 3 & 4.

Our routes in the Berks & Bucks FA Sunday Trophy & John Lusted Cup...

The majority of the club's cup outings took place before the new year, with the team taking part in the John Lusted Cup. The club were faced with multiple home ties, first beating Core FC 8-3 at Calcot Recreation Ground, before a 2-0 win over Division 3 outfit, FC Woodley, in the Last 16. Our journey would end in the quarter-finals in our last Sunday outing of 2021 on 05/12/2021, bowing out 5-0 away from home against Reading United.

In the county cup, the club had some very competitive games as we reached the Last 16 of the competition. In the first round, we beat Bracknell & District Sunday League side, B.A.S. FC at home, with Leon Mannion involved in all 3 games, before being the only side to beat Reading United this season in a 3-1 home win. The Last 32 saw the team take apart a physically strong Wraysbury FC 5-0 at Calcot Recreation Ground, with 5 different scorers helping the team through. We would eventually bow out after a good cup run against Give Back FC away from home, coming back from 2-0 down to go in level at half-time thanks to a Paul Hatfield brace, though a couple of goals would end our cup run.

Our journey in RDSL Division 4...

Our 17-game season in Division 4 began with the club's biggest win as a club, with a 12-1 away win over RG6 FC kickstarting our campaign on September 5th - this was also our first competitive game in the Sunday League pyramid.

You can read all of our results below, as well as the league table, but essentially the club did the double over every team besides Reading United and Give Back FC Reserves. We beat Core FC (6-1, 4-3), Brothers United (2-0, 5-0), FC Whitley Wood (8-0, 5-1), NFFT FC (5-0, 3-1), Barton Rovers (4-0, 6-0) and Calcot FC (8-0, 8-1) in both matches, whilst we never played MAC FC (two walkover wins), and only played RG6 at the very beginning of the season.

The title race came down to ourselves and Reading United, with our challengers winning every single game, as well as the John Lusted Cup, to keep the team in 2nd place, whilst the only other game we dropped points in was a 1-1 away draw against Give Back FC Reserves, a game in which we wasted tonnes of chances to win the game.

RDSFL League Secretary, David Marshall, presented the team with the runners-up shield on Sunday 24th April 2022 after the team's 5-1 home win over FC Whitley Wood.

We then ended the season beating Core FC 4-3 away from home, and took the opportunity the a one-off occasion to draw positions out of a hat due to nothing being on the line for either team - a fun way to end our debut season in the RDSFL.

Thoughts from Club Owner, Robert Austin:

"The idea to take the jump into the Sunday League pyramid all started to the success of the RSSL in the summer, the entire squad took to the idea of playing over both days, offering more football to go alongside our Saturday League season in the East Berkshire Football League. The idea was to play in the Premier Division on Saturday's and then work up the system on Sunday's, offering our squad more minutes.

What's crazy is that despite our 8-game RSSL journey in the summer of 2021, our season in the RDSL was our first full season since we formed as a club in 2019 - Covid pretty much annihilated half of the time we have been around as a club, so it's been great to actually see out a full campaign.

Finishing second wasn't ideal, we of course are disappointed that we didn't win the league, but Reading United were worthy winners and we pass on our congratulations to their team on a top season. As a club, we have learnt a lot of lessons, grown and developed and use the Sunday team as a vehicle to boost the squad's game time and morale - so we can't complain.

What I will mention is that compared to other division's, Division 4 can hold its head high. We attended regular League Committee meetings and there were a lot of issues in the Senior Division and Division 1, whilst Division 2 lost a few teams early on. Division's 3 and 4 were definitely the bright sparks of the Reading Sunday League this season - barely any issues, well run and filled with passionate, well organised individuals and teams. We haven't come across a single bad egg along our journey, so a congratulations goes out to the professionalism of all the team's we have come across this season, it's been a pleasure meeting all of you and see you later down the line!"

Hype Train FC - 2021/22 Friendly Schedule:

1) Sun 08/08/2021 - Pre-Season: New England 1-2 Hype Train FC

2) Sat 14/08/2021 - Pre-Season: Hurst FC Reserves 2-2 Hype Train FC

3) Sun 15/08/2021 - Pre-Season: Rose & Thistle FC 0-4 Hype Train FC

4) Sat 21/08/2021 - Pre-Season: Burghfield FC Reserves 1-0 Hype Train FC

5) Sun 12/09/2021 - Mid-Season: Hype Train FC 3-3 Caversham United

6) Fri 01/10/2021 - Mid-Season: Wokingham & Embrook FC Development 1-5 Hype Train FC

Hype Train FC - 2021/22 Season Schedule:

1) Sun 05/09/2021 - RDSL Division 4: RG6 FC 1-12 Hype Train FC

2) Sun 19/09/2021 - RDSL Division 4: Hype Train FC 6-1 Core FC

3) Sun 26/09/2021 - BBFA Sunday Trophy (R1): Hype Train FC 3-0 B.A.S. FC

4) Sun 03/10/2021 - John Lusted Cup (R1): Hype Train FC 8-3 Core FC

5) Sun 10/10/2021 - RDSL Division 4: NFFT FC 0-5 Hype Train FC

6) Sun 17/10/2021 - RDSL Division 4: Calcot FC 0-8 Hype Train FC

7) Sun 24/10/2021 - BBFA Sunday Trophy (R2): Hype Train FC 3-1 Reading United

Sun 31/10/2021 - RDSL Division 4: Home Win Walkover vs. RG6 FC

8) Sun 07/11/2021 - John Lusted Cup (R2): Hype Train FC 2-0 FC Woodley

9) Sun 21/11/2021 - RDSL Division 4: Hype Train FC 8-1 Calcot FC

10) Sun 28/11/2021 - BBFA Sunday Trophy (Last 32): Hype Train FC 5-0 Wraysbury FC

11) Sun 05/12/2021 - John Lusted Cup (Last 8): Reading United 5-0 Hype Train FC

Sun 12/12/2021 - RDSL Division 4: Away Win Walkover vs. MAC FC

12) Sun 09/01/2022 - BBFA Sunday Trophy (Last 16): Give Back FC 4-2 Hype Train FC

13) Sun 16/01/2022 - RDSL Division 4: Hype Train FC 3-1 NFFT FC

14) Sun 23/01/2022 - RDSL Division 4: Reading United 2-1 Hype Train FC

15) Sun 30/01/2022 - RDSL Division 4: Brothers United 0-2 Hype Train FC

16) Sun 06/02/2022 - RDSL Division 4: FC Whitley Wood 0-8 Hype Train FC

17) Sun 13/02/2022 - RDSL Division 4: Give Back FC Reserves 1-1 Hype Train FC

Sun 20/02/2022 - RDSL Division 4: Home Win Walkover vs. MAC FC

18) Sun 06/03/2022 - RDSL Division 4: Hype Train FC 5-0 Brothers United

19) Sun 13/03/2022 - RDSL Division 4: Hype Train FC 4-2 Give Back FC Reserves

20) Sun 20/03/2022 - RDSL Division 4: Hype Train FC 4-0 Barton Rovers Reserves

21) Sun 10/04/2022 - RDSL Division 4: Hype Train FC 1-3 Reading United

22) Sun 17/04/2022 - RDSL Division 4: Barton Rovers Reserves 0-6 Hype Train FC

23) Sun 24/04/2022 - RDSL Division 4: Hype Train FC 5-1 FC Whitley Wood

24) Sun 08/05/2022 - RDSL Division 4: Core FC 3-4 Hype Train FC

Hype Train FC - 2021/22 Sunday League Season Statistics:

Friendly Matched Played: 6

Competitive Matches Played: 24 (17 league, 7 cup)

Win/Draw/Loss Record: 19 W / 1 D / 4 L

Walkover Victories: 3 (1 away, 2 home)

RDSL Division 4 Record: 14 W, 1 D, 2 L, 3 Walkover Wins

Goals Scored: 106 (83 league, 23 cup)

Goals Conceded: 29 (16 league, 13 cup)

Clean Sheets: 10 (7 league, 3 cup)

Top Scorer: Leon Mannion (26)

Most Assists: Phil Newport (20)

Most Clean Sheets (GK): Jake Holloway (4), Robert Austin (4) Chris Marshall (1), Jack Roche (1)

Top Goal Scorers:

Leon Mannion (26)

Phil Newport (18)

Paul Hatfield (7)

Scott Terry (7)

Owen Jones (6)

Jamie Carter (5)

Callum Parr-Jones (5)

George Holloway (5)

Dany Setiawan (4)

Callum Gibbons (3)

Sam Bolwell (2)

Chris Marshall (2)

Colins Akemche (2)

Callum Fox-Spence (2)

Joe Sawyer (2)

Gino Izzo (1)

Sam Paddon (1)

Stuart Stannard (1)

Shane Cooper-Clark (1)

Walid Zaky (1)

Robert Austin (1)

Jake Holloway (1)

Own Goals: 3

Total Goals: 106

Most Assists:

Phil Newport (20)

Leon Mannion (18)

Paul Hatfield (8)

Stuart Stannard (6)

Callum Fox-Spence (6)

Jamie Carter (5)

Chris Marshall (4)

Gino Izzo (4)

Walid Zaky (4)

George Holloway (3)

Callum Parr-Jones (3)

Dany Setiawan (3)

Shane Cooper-Clark (3)

Graham High (2)

Callum Gibbons (2)

Danny Basden (2)

Scott Terry (2)

Robert Austin (1)

Owen Jones (1)

Colins Akemche (1)

No assists: 8

Total Assists: 98

Jake Holloway (pictured) managed 4 of the 10 clean sheets this season, and scored the club's 300th goal. Photo by Sam Austin.

Other Club Statistics - 2021/22 Sunday League Season:

Biggest Win: The club's opening game of the season against RG6 FC, a 12-1 victory at Palmer Park on 05/09/2021 is the club's biggest win in a competitive game.

Losses: The club only lost 4 matches in Sunday League this season, 3 of them coming against Reading United, and the other against Give Back FC in the Berks & Bucks FA Sunday Trophy in the club's first outing in 2022.

Reading United's only Loss: Despite losing 3 times to them, we were the only club to beat Reading United in competitive action during the season, beating them 3-1 at home in the second round of the BBFA Sunday Trophy on 24/10/2021.

Scoring Goalkeepers: We had 4 players who featured in goal this season find the back of the net, including regular Sunday keeper, Jake Holloway - who scored a penalty on the final day of the season against Core FC, which was the club's 300th overall goal! Sam Bolwell, Robert Austin, and Chris Marshall also found the net on Sunday's this season having played a single minute in goal.

How many players scored goals and assisted?: 22 players scored our 103 goals this season, whilst we had 3 own goals for a total of 106 goals. Meanwhile, 20 players contributed assists.

Away Day Goals: Of all those with goals, there were 6 players who only found the net away from home; Callum Fox-Spence (2), Sam Bolwell (2), Colins Akemche (2), Gino Izzo (1), Robert Austin (1), and Jake Holloway.

Unique Home Game: The club's 3-1 home win over NFFT FC on 16/01/2022 was the first time the club has ever played a home match, typically played down at Calcot Recreation Ground, at a different venue. The weather meant we used The Atrium Health Club (formerly the Ibis) as the club's temporary home for our league game.

Who are MAC FC?: The club had 3 games called off at the last minute due to opposing teams pulling out due to a lack of available players. 2 of those 3 games were both the home and away league games against MAC FC, the only team we didn't play last season.

Hat-Trick Heroes: The team scored 9 hat-tricks this season in Sunday League, with 6 players netting trebles; Leon Mannion (3), Phil Newport (2), Dany Setiawan (1), Scott Terry (1), Owen Jones (1), Paul Hatfield (1). Of those hat-tricks, 2 were scored in 2 games, with Mannion & Setiawan scoring 3 each against RG6 FC in a 12-1 win, and then Mannion & Jones scoring 3 each against Core FC in a 8-3 home win in the John Lusted Cup.

Fewest Goals Conceded: The team conceded the fewest goals in RDSL Division 4 this season, conceding 16 goals in 17 matches, and have the second-best record in the entire RDSL, only behind Senior Division outfit, FC Bapco, who conceded 12 goals in 20 goals.

Division 4's Top Scorers: Across all league and cup competitions, Leon Mannion scored the most goals of any player (26 goals, one more than Reading United's Kaine Page (25 goals). In the league, Mannion scored 19 goals in 11 games, and was second in the scoring charts behind Page (22 goals).

Division 4 Playmakers: Leon Mannion (13 assists) and Phil Newport (12 assists) were 2nd and 3rd respectively in RDSL Division 4 assists this season, whilst overall Newport (20) and Mannion (18) were 2nd and 3rd overall in assists across all competitions.

Seeing Silver: The club finished as runners-up of RDSL Division 4 this season, and finished as runners-up of the Reading Sunday Social League (RSSL) last season, meaning we have had back-to-back season's finishing in second in our respective Sunday League's.

Leon Mannion (pictured) provided 44 attacking returns in Sunday League this season (26 goals, 18 assists). Photo by Sam Austin.

Want to know more about The Hype Train?

The Hype Train is an entertainment website founded in 2015, specialising in general football and Fantasy sports reporting, starting with Fantasy Premier League (FPL), before expanding to MLS Fantasy coverage in 2018.

We pride ourselves in providing beautiful graphics, statistics, in-depth analytical reporting and free weekly insight for hopeful players attempting to climb rankings tables. We are also occasional media reviewers, with a keen interest to review games, live sport, and professional wrestling.

In 2019, Hype Train Football Club was formed, becoming the first Fantasy Football website to take to the field. HTFC is a socially active team across social and web channels, providing regular match highlights, match reports, comprehensive player statistics and unique player profiles. We won both Goal of the Season Awards in the Berkshire and County FA regions, with Callum Parr-Jones winning the Berks & Bucks FA award, whilst Martin King won the PlaySport UK award.

In 2021, we formed the Reading Sunday Social League (RSSL), a competitive Sunday League involving 8 teams in its debut season. During the 2021/22 season, we won our first-ever trophy, lifting the East Berkshire Football League's Presidents Cup.

The Hype Train were nominated and shortlisted for the 'Best Football Blog' in 2016 by the Football Bloggers Association at their annual Football Blogging Awards (The FBA's), and were again shortlisted as a finalist in 2019 in the 'Best Fantasy Football Blog' category.

You can follow us on Twitter, Like us on Facebook, follow Hype Train FC on Instagram, subscribe to our YouTube channel for exclusive content, visit our club's dedicate website, or visit our website here at

Believe The Hype!

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