Josh Coxon Kelly continues our previews with Glasgow, competing in the mixed division at WUCC.
How did they get here?
Glasgow Ultimate weren’t visible in their current guise at the last WUCC, but this team has its genesis as far back as the previous cycle, 2010. Originally formed with the aim of being an umbrella for Glasgow based teams, Glasgow Ultimate has grown as a scene and in terms of results since its inception (for an excellent and detailed insight into their journey, see this series of articles on the subject). After crashing out of Mixed Nationals in the semis last year, and losing guaranteed qualification (as well as the first of any extra bids), the team found itself on the way to Cincinatti when UK landed its second additional mixed WUCC bid.
How has this season been?
One of their strongest so far, if not the best, notching wins against Reading, SMOG and Black Eagles across the season, with the latter coming in a thrilling early tournament match-up at Mixed Tour 3 which saw Glasgow come out on top (although Eagles returned the favour in the final). The strong performance of their second team, particularly at Mixed Tour 2, shows that there is a considerable amount of depth in the scene to draw from.
Windmill was a good showing with many close games, including a 10-8 loss to eventual finalists Salaspils. They finished above SMOG by a single place, placing 11th and very narrowly missing out on the quarters – all of which suggests we haven’t seen their best yet.
How do they play?
Not unlike their local rivals Black Eagles, Glasgow bring a combination of tight match defense and an aggressive, huck-happy offense – they’re unafraid to utilise their athleticism on both sides of the disc.
Often looking for isolation plays as a first move, they will also look to make use of aggressive handler plays leading to power position hucks.
Can you give me three players to watch?
Katie brings International experience from the GB under-24 campaign earlier this year, as well as plenty of GB undder-20 trips, and will bring an aggressive and athletic handling game to the team.
Phil has been a core offensive feature of Scottish Ultimate since the early days, and will be crucial to maintaining possession whilst also leading the team’s assists.
Rory provides additional firepower, and in Webb’s own words his throwing ‘has hit form’ ahead of Cincinatti. He’ll often be the one looking to hit the aggressive shots downfield.
How are they going to do?
Glasgow can peak as high as any UK team attending, but relative inexperience on this stage may cause issues later into the tournament. There are a fair few unknown quantities (to me, at least) in their pool, but they beat Sesquidistus at Windmill and a third place finish and progression into top 32 looks attainable. I predict they’ll comfortably beat their 38th seeding and finish somewhere close to 24th. That said, if a team looks the wrong way before then there’s every chance that they sneak higher.