Ali also previewed the North (before it happened, obviously) and here’s what she thought would happen. Did she get it right…?
There are only six teams entered in the North, meaning that Northern Regionals will only be held over the course of one day. Fewer teams means that every game is crucial. Four (technically five since Black Eagles split their teams) of the top ten teams from Mixed Tour are in the North, with a convenient four Nationals places available. It’s not controversial to say that Black Eagles, Glasgow, Mighty Hucks, and SMOG will qualify, with Red Leicester and Black Sheep battling it out at the bottom. Here’s some more information on the teams anyway.
How does a team take first and second at Mixed Tour? Couch Danny Hoyle says the secret is to remember that Frisbee is a silly sport. Over the Open/Women’s Tour the team have been apparently been keeping in touch with words from a GUFF (Generic Ultimate Friendship Freshener) that was issued to all squad members at the start of the season. Black Eagles have a strong legacy and will doubtless be regarding Regionals as another warm-up tournament before Nationals, but Tour results against SMOG and Glasgow have been close, so an easy Regionals victory is by no means guaranteed.
Black Sheep had a good run at Mixed Tour this season, with their first team sneaking into the top 16 at MT2 and landing 17th overall. They don’t have a full strength team for Regionals, but Captain Ant Bailey assure me that they’re still planning to enjoy the weekend, put some points on boards against big names, and “have a lot of fun in the Manchester sun at the same time!”
Captained by GB U24 Frisbee power couple Katie Flight and Axel Ahmala, Glasgow achieved a strong seventh place at Mixed Tour and have apparently been managing to keep their Mixed chemistry alive via Linkedin. They’re aiming to qualify but are not at all intimidated by their strong opposition, as Flight puts it: “in terms of match ups, we don’t see the difference between chumps and chumps.”
Another team that doesn’t train together yet are still uncannily good are the Mighty Hucks. They’re basically a group of mates from Open and Women’s teams that come together a few times a year and conjure up incredible results. Unfortunately many of their key men will be playing Open, so their core of female players may have to carry them through. Captain Ben Bruin is keen for the team to qualify for Worlds, but admits it may be a tall order since Hucks have suffered losses to big names over Tour, so their aim is to build chemistry over the qualification process.
Red’s main priority this year has been establishing their women’s team, which they did with aplomb. Captain Neil Humpage says that their Mixed squad is nice balance comprising some relatively established Red players, along with some newer recruits who have joined up with the club this season, and they are looking forward to playing Black Sheep, having already faced off in both other divisions.
When asked about SMOG, Coach Callum Spiers chose to give his answer in the form of a Game of Thrones metaphor which was just too good to paraphrase: “We like to think of ourselves as Jon Snow and Scottish teams as the army of the dead. Yeah it’s gonna be hard, but we’ve got a lot of dragon glass hanging around. If we can see off the undead, a few Southern families should be a breeze even if they have made a few alliances.” Watch out everyone; the North remembers.
1. Black Eagles
4. Mighty Hucks
5. Black Sheep
6. Red Leicester