2019 is a new start for Ultimate in the UK, with a totally new tournament structure (farewell Tours, we hardly knew ye) and a new approach with Tier 1 and Tier 2 tournaments littering the calendar. This weekend sees the first of those tournaments, a Tier 1 event in Cardiff named… *checks notes* a welsh thing (ok, it’s Y Ddraig Goch which translates to An Old, Old Wooden Ship in English). There are some interesting seedings and there are some new teams to look at! Let’s dive in.
The votes are in and the 2018 European Young Players of the Year are SMOG’s Rachel Turton and Clapham’s Conrad Wilson. The pair both represented Great Britain at the World Under-24 Championships in Perth earlier this year – Rachel in the Mixed division and Conrad in the Men’s division – and represented their clubs at the World Ultimate Club Championships in Cincinnati.
Charlie Blair continues her previews of the upcoming Eurostars additions…
Thanks to Luci and Isa, Spain is the only nation to have more than one new player represented on Eurostars this year. This is a hugely significant achievement when you consider that the Spanish national teams do not sit with the usual European powerhouses such as Russia, France, Great Britain or Germany. Neither of these players headed out to Cincinatti for WUCC this year. However, this has allowed them the time to prioritise their training and more importantly, their on field connection for Eurostars having made a conscious effort to play together as much as possible this year since the roster was revealed.
Charlie Blair introduces us to another Eurostar…
The second of my interviews with the new players joining the Eurostars tour this year was with Latvia’s Lasma Kublicka. And oh my days, what a pleasure it was! Anyone who has the fortune to chat with Lasma will have a spring in their step for the rest of the day because this lady’s enthusiasm is utterly infectious. Huddled in an echoey corridor as she takes half an hour to slip away from her office desk, we discuss her Ultimate journey and utter shock at being selected for the Eurostars roster.
Even though I’ve yet to have a chat with the rest of the squad, I’m already doubtful I will find a member of the team more excited to be part of this summer’s tour than Lasma. She explains that she only made the application on the day of the deadline, with only five hours left to put together her case for a place on the team. It was all thanks to Estonian frisbee player and friend of 15 years, Kristjan Loorits, who messaged her on Facebook with the link telling her simply “if you’re interested then send your application and see what happens.” While Lasma may have been completely shocked at her making the roster, it seems all those around her were not. After seeing the success of the Russian national team last year at WCBU and also Alisa Tizik making the Eurostars team, many of her teammates where asking why she wasn’t there too.
As EYPOTY submissions come rolling in we want you all to be able to watch them, we will inform you via our Instagram @showgameulti of each one but you will always be able to watch every single one via a handy YouTube playlist which you can access and watch here:
Josh Coxon Kelly reviews SYC’s games on day four of WUCC 2018
Women’s power pool O saw SYC carrying in their loss to Traffic, and facing Austria’s Mantis as well as the familiar faces of Nice Bristols. With both teams starting on a loss, they needed to win their first matchup of the day, and then go onto win the following match against each other to get into the top 24.
Mantis had looked strong, and already notched a win against Bristols but arguably presented their opponent the better chance to go up. Despite little cloud cover at 11:00am, the conditions were actually more forgiving than recent days, with temperatures a couple of degrees cooler and humidity noticeably reduced. What was less forgiving however was the gusting breeze, which created a pretty straight upwind/downwind game.
Josh Coxon Kelly Reviews Devon’s Games from day three of WUCC
Bad Skid and Devon faced up this as part of pool play. Going on past placings, Bad Skid would likely be given the upper hand in this match – the two are generally separated by a fair few seedings at EUCF. Black, Green and White are the colours that both clubs share, and more than that, both center around a strong core of junior development. St Peter’s school in Exeter is the home of Airbadgers, a team that you won’t see at WUCC yet is utterly dominant in their scene – UK junior championships. Keep an eye out for paw-print tattoos on the Devon sideline, as it is this mark that many of the Airbadger alumni carry. Devon’s Luke Ryan was a recent graduate of Airbadgers in 2008, when he competed as part of the GB Men’s Junior team at WUGC 2008 in Vancover against Germany for the bronze medal, and in that game (which Germany won), many of the victorious side would go on to form the Bad Skid roster Devon now faced. Florian Böhler (who won the ‘golden arm’ for most assists in Vancouver, including all senior divisions), and Holger Beuttenmüller who was responsible for the majority of Florian’s goals and continues to be a dominant force on the international stage. Based in Heilbronn, Bad Skid have such a high representative count in the German Men’s National team that they’re often described as such colloquially. Between the two sides, many more years of experience were at play than suggested by youthful exteriors.