WUCC 2014 Women’s Division Preview: Nice Bristols

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Lauren Bryant previews Nice Bristols as the second and final Women’s team going WUCC.

Nice Bristols playing YAKA at London’s Calling this season. Photo courtesy of Andrew Moss.




Squad

Ali Smith
Bridget Brown
Brigid Harty
Emily Arnold
Georgie Davin 
Grace Owen
Jen Hart (C)
Jen Link
Jess Bonham
Jessica Renz 
Kat Hand
Kate Markey
Kim Owen
Lesley Morison
Maria Cahill
Megan Cumberlidge
Miranda Cole
Prisce Lesne
Rachel Dean
Rachel Naden
Sarah Garner
Sophie Peters
Sophie Wharton
Steph Walker

About Nice Bristols

The women from the west of England have been making waves in recent years, developing talented junior players and consistently finishing high on the domestic scene. Two recent European Championships appearances (2012 and 2013) have also given them good exposure to international play, where they have proven they can compete. A strict geo-team, Bristol has worked from the moment they qualified for WUCC last year, training hard, working on fitness, fundraising and cementing their team vibe, with great success over the winter season including several media appearances to promote the team and secure vital funds.

Bristol’s core of players has remained the same, with leadership comprised of players with international experience. Jen Hart is supported as captain by GB women’s players Maria Cahill and Brigid Harty.

Like Iceni, Bristol were only able to attend two of the three women’s tours in the run-up to WUCC, as the team decided to head to the US for a greater challenge. Bristol competed at the Boston Invite in June, where they finished 8th, improving their seeding and warming themselves up for the world championships.

Bristol play smart, heads-up offensive that takes advantage of what the defence allows, with nice around breaks and a good long game. This is a team capable of causing upsets, with great talent and self-belief.

Players to Watch

#45 Priscille Lesne – Quick and smart cutter, who will manufacture blocks.
#25 Kate Markey – A playmaker able to get free everywhere on the field, greedy for the disc and greedy for the score.
#6 Maria Cahill – GB women returner, with impressive break throws and great handler movement.

#27 Ali Smith – Relentless cutter with smart positioning and great grabs
#11 Sarah Garner – Handler with huge throws, and hard-to-stop breaks

Prediction

Seeded 24th, Bristol are more than capable of upsetting many teams along the way. They could easily outshine their 9th-place finish at xEUCF last year by finishing high among European rivals, but lack significant experience beyond the continent. Nice Bristols should at the very least hold seed and knock out many teams seeded above them, challenging for a top 16 finish.


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