WUCC 2018 previews – SMOG

Mixed, SMOG, WUCC Previews

Sean Colfer turns his attention to SMOG, and how they might fare in Cincinnati.

How did they get here?

SMOG are still a relatively new club, being founded in late 2012 by players from Durham, Newcastle and York universities. They have developed into a true regional powerhouse in that time, though, taking players from all over the north and transforming into one of the best clubs in the UK – probably second only to Reading in terms of being a three-division, multi-team organisation. They’ve progressed through the divisions, playing Open and Mixed in 2016 – finishing ninth in Open and fifth in Mixed – before progressing to Women’s in 2017 (they finished fourth).

WUCC 2018 Previews – Glasgow

Glasgow Ultimate, Mixed, WUCC Previews

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.

Andrew Warnock with a big catch against Flat Perth at Mixed Tour 3. Photo by Andy Moss.

 

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 Flight
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.

Katie Flight goes for a catch at UKU Nationals. Photo by Sam Mouat.

Philip Webb
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 Curran
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.

WUCC 2018 previews – Reading Ultimate

Mixed, Reading Ultimate, WUCC Previews

Our WUCC previews start with Sean Colfer taking a look at Reading Ultimate.

How did they get here?

Reading Ultimate was established in 2010, and over the last eight years the central figures in the club have developed something truly special. At Open and Women’s Tour 1 this year, Reading brought over 100 players across seven teams in both divisions. They not only attract good players from the local area but develop young players too, and have managed to construct a true geo-club atmosphere when the current trend in the UK is for single teams.

WUCC 2018 previews – Black Eagles

Black Eagles, Mixed, WUCC Previews

Sean Colfer continues his previews by taking a look at reigning national champions Black Eagles.

How did they get here?

Black Eagles have been the dominant Mixed team in the UK for the last four years. They finished 20th at Tour in 2012, before improving dramatically and finishing third in 2013 behind superstar pickup team Royal Goaltimate Society and Cambridge. They finished fourth at Nationals that season, behind Bear Cavalry, Cambridge and Dog Eat Disc, before finishing 37th at WUCC 2014 in Lecco. Since then, they’ve consistently been among the top two or three teams in the country. They won Tour in 2015, finished second at Nationals to Reading two years in a row in 2015 and 2016.

EYPOTY Submission & Video Deadline Extended

EYPOTY, Mixed, news, Open, Womens

The outdoor season is now upon us, and we know all of you are busy playing lots of ultimate with lots of teams all over Europe. So we just wanted to send a quick reminder about the European Youth Player of the Year award!

We will be extending the deadline to submit your initial application form until 14th June. You can find the form HERE.

The deadline for videos is also extended to 29th July, so you still have plenty of time to get started! We’re really looking forward to seeing what the young players of Europe can do.

All details about the award can be found here: http://showgame.co.uk/eypoty

UKU Mixed Tour 3 Preview

Mixed, Previews

Sean Colfer previews the final leg of the UK Club Mixed Tour in Cheltenham this weekend

This Mixed season has been defined by the Worlds teams. Reading, SMOG and Black Eagles have played multiple teams at Tour events this year, splitting their stars across the rosters. That is going to change in Cheltenham as it seems all three have consolidated their strength and will be taking on the field with Worlds squads fully intact. It makes the top of the field strangely intriguing this late on in the season.

Mighty Hucks have been the best Mixed team in the UK so far this year. They won in Durham and lost to Reading in the final in Cardiff. They stand atop the current Mixed Tour standings and have a chance to secure the overall title in Cheltenham – their 45-point lead over Black Eagles means that they’d need to finish fifth in the event of a Black Eagles win to tie with the reigning champions. That means that if they win two games on Saturday they win the Tour title (making them the third team in three years to do so). If Black Eagles do win the tournament and Hucks miss out on the semis and don’t win out on Sunday, though, the Scots take the title north for the third time in four years.

The rest of the top eight features some familiar names. Pool A sees Hucks placed with SMOG and Reading as well as Thundering Herd, who have fought their way back into the top eight after slipping down the standings last year. Pool B will see the two Scottish teams take on Flat Perth, the (mostly) Great Britain under-24 all-star team who finished fourth in Cardiff, and Cambridge 1, who have leapt eight places from their original Tour 1 seeding – one of the biggest of any team.

In terms of squads, most of these teams will be at something approaching full strength. Hucks will, as always, be a bit low on women but their zone D and ability to cover for each other will undoubtedly mean that scarcity won’t hinder them too much. Several teams will benefit from having Clapham players back after their trip to Bologna over the Mixed Tour 2 weekend – particularly Flat Perth.

Birmingham take on Herd. Photo by Andrew Moss

Outside of the top eight are some teams who’ll be preparing for a crossover should their Saturdays go well. Birmingham, Deep Space, JR and Rebel seem to be the favourites in their pools but Glasgow 2 will be looking to follow up a wonderful MT2 performance and show they aren’t a flash in the pan – they’ll be a tough game for Deep Space, who have slipped from sixth seed at MT1 to 13th here but who still feature a wealth of talent and could certainly work themselves up close to their original seeding if all goes well for them this weekend.

Glasgow 2 are one of three second teams in the 9-20 bracket, alongside Reading 2 and SMOG 2. It’s hugely impressive for all of these clubs to have such strength in depth, particularly SMOG as a pretty recent addition to the UK Ultimate scene. Purple Cobras are fresh off a win at MT2 South in Glastonbury and will be looking to make some noise back in the south west too.

 

Lower down the seedings there are some interesting stories, too. Sneeeky’s and Blue Arsed Flies have both leapt nine places since MT1, the joint-second biggest jump (with Purple Cobras, behind SMOG 2 with 10) this season. Both should win their pools and get a chance to jump even further with a crossover into the 17-20 bracket. Look out, though, for LED in BAF’s pool. It might be BAF’s home tournament but LED, a group of former and current Loughborough university students featuring some outstanding athletes, have enough to knock them off top spot in the pool and earn the cross for themselves. Pool K features a rematch between Brighton Breezy and Thundering Herd 2 which is likely to be very close – their tilt at MT2 was a sudden-death Brighton win – to determine who gets a shot at crossing up.

South Wales Storm and Brixton have both had good seasons, with the Londoners jumping up seven spots since Cardiff and the Welsh club bringing two teams again, showing that they’re continuing to build a real player base. Pin N Mix have also performed well this season, but could find it tough to dislodge Leamington Lemmings who have maintained their seed so far this year. OW! are likely to be a team with chemistry and cohesion but they have drawn a tough match in Geometrically Frustrated Magnets, a London-based side who have had some ups and downs in their first outdoor season but who possess enough individual talent to make life difficult for whoever finishes bottom of pool K – a likely shoot-out between Red and Merseyside.

Glasgow arrive on the mixed scene. Photo by Andrew Moss

So; predictions time. I think one of the Worlds teams will win this tournament, and I’m going to back SMOG. I think they’ll play Black Eagles in the final and it’ll be a bit of a stormer but SMOG will come out on top by two or three points. My predictions also mean that Mighty Hucks will win the title, and as we all know I never get anything wrong so a pre-emptive congrats to them. Below is a projected top 12.

There’s streaming available this weekend on Fanseat.com by the way, so take a look at that if you can’t make it and want to see some top-quality Mixed Ultimate. Check it out!

  1. SMOG
  2. Black Eagles
  3. Reading A
  4. Flat Perth
  5. Mighty Hucks
  6. Glasgow 1
  7. Thundering Herd 1
  8. Cambridge 1
  9. Deep Space
  10. Rebel
  11. Birmingham
  12. JR

 

 

 

UKU Mixed Tour 2 South Preview

Mixed, news, Previews

Jordan ‘JB’ Brown and Josh Coxon Kelly set the scene ahead of the Glastonbury leg of Mixed Tour 2

Purple Cobras are working on development this season as it’s their first outing in Mixed Tour. They’ve spent the past few years entering every other event in the country to gel into a pretty formidable unit. As a result, it’s not that much of a surprise looking at them climbing above their seeding at MT1 where they hopped ten seeds from 29th to 19th. In Cardiff, they won their pool outright against stiff competition from Herd 2, then continued that flow into Sunday, beating Cosmic Manatees before coming unstuck against LLLeeds. They regrouped in their final game to take down GreyBH, who will represent in the mixed masters division at WUCC. Relying less on big players and more on developing as a team, Cobras will be looking to win MT2-South, if they can get past the second seeds who are also looking to take home glassware from Glastonbury. Sam Persaud, Guilia Newbery, Rich Fenn and others will cause grief to anyone they go up against.