The European Ultimate Championship Finals begin today! Ahead of the tournament starting, Sean Colfer takes a look at the Mixed division, often the hardest to predict given the lack of high-level Mixed tournaments around Europe. Sean Colfer concludes the preview series with a take on the Mixed Tour champions JR.
The European Ultimate Championship Finals begin today! Ahead of the tournament starting, Sean Colfer takes a look at the Mixed division, often the hardest to predict given the lack of high-level Mixed tournaments around Europe. First up; the two-time national champions, Reading.
As part of our series previewing EUCF, certified Irishman Aidan Kelly looks into the condition of Ireland’s two representatives in Frankfurt; Rebel in the Mixed division, and PELT in the Open division.
There is a strange feeling of optimism in Irish Ultimate these days. Fresh from some fantastic international results at both WUGC and WJUC, as well as UKU Tour, our small nation feels like they really can take on the world when it comes to our fair sport. However, historically, no matter how successful a year we’ve had, there has always been one event that we couldn’t stamp our mark on, until 2016: Euros.
Sean Colfers previews the Mixed Division at 2016 Nationals
Mixed Nationals is the pinnacle of the season, serving as the qualifier for the European Championships. The difference between this tournament and the simultaneous Open and Women’s events is that the event comes months after the Mixed season finished – Mixed Tour 3 was won by Thundering Herd over three months ago in Cheltenham. That break means that all eight teams contesting Nationals are essentially starting a new season, trying to rebuild cohesion and re-establish connections.
That dynamic is especially true since there have been a number of squad changes across the teams. Some have either gained or lost players to Open and Women’s, whereas some have added Great Britain players absent for the Tour season. The field overall looks the strongest in Nationals history, potentially as part of the ramping up for WUCC qualification next year, with all eight teams finishing in the top ten during the 2016 Mixed Tour season.
Enough preamble; let’s take a look at the teams.
Sean Colfer begins our club season coverage with his preview of the first Mixed Tour of 2016
Mixed Tour 1 is often full of surprises, which is no surprise itself given that it marks the beginning of the season. It’s the first time teams from all over the country gather in one place, the first time any training put in over the winter months bears any fruit and the first time out for new-look squads or, as is often the case, new teams altogether.
As usual, the club off-season has come and gone far too quickly. BritDisc and Facebook groups have started to be covered with trials announcements. It can be hard to keep track of all of them, so if you’re a player who wants an easy to read run-down of high level Ultimate teams, and want to know how to show your interest, then read on.
Today the European Club Championships kick off in Wroclaw Poland. Josh Coxon Kelly, Claire Taylor and David Pryce preview the UK teams looking to bring home some international silverware.
Clapham are chasing their fourth consecutive title in Wroclaw, and further consolidation as the most dominant squad in Europe. The squad has more new players than in recent years, but this didn’t slow down their unbeaten route to the final and a 15th domestic title in Southampton at Nationals. Retaining will be tough work with targets so clearly marked out on their backs, but this team are nevertheless still in the strongest position for gold. Their pool looks the kinder of the two groups starting at ‘elite’ tier, however the Belgian Mooncatchers have capitalised on building momentum at WU23 and EUC to win 15-12 over Bad Skid in the EUCR – C final, and CUSB will be as fiery as ever and mean that pool play may not be a completely straightforward affair.