Another season is in the books and, for most sides, the off-season is now underway. Sean Colfer takes a look at what happened in Birmingham this weekend, and what it might mean for the European Championships and moving forward for UK Ultimate.
Here’s a great preview (previously released on our FB page due to technical issues) of Junior Indoor Nationals this weekend by Aidan Kelly about the first Irish team to play at the tournament
Ultimate has been rapidly growing on our emerald isle for a number of years now, and while university level still reigns supreme in terms of recruiting new talent to the game, a considerable amount of effort has started to be put into schools programmes across the country. These have, in the past, benefited colleges and universities by giving them a potential intake of players that already have two or three year’s worth of experience before playing at Intervarsity level. The most successful of these school programmes is Gonzaga, located in Ranelagh, Dublin.
Founded 10 years ago, Gonzaga Ultimate was the brainchild of Alan ‘Dman’ Doyle, a seasoned veteran in the Irish Ultimate community, who has since gone on to coach Ireland Junior teams and is currently in the middle of running the Irish Senior Women’s team that will be heading to London this summer. Alan, who at the time was I.T. Manager of the school, introduced the sport to students in their transition year, and it has remained a mainstay in the school’s sports curriculum ever since – although not without a huge amount of effort.
With the new regions in place the Northern region initially looks to be the toughest of the lot. Captains’ predictions were pretty wide spread, with teams from the old northern region more inclined to back other teams from that region and teams from the old Midlands equally backing the teams familiar to them. However it turns out, it will be fun to watch a whole weekend of high level ultimate and a series of strong teams fighting it out for the 6 nationals spots on offer in this region. Let’s take a look at some of the contenders…
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After a great year in 2013/14 (including 4th place at Indoor Nationals), Leeds have managed to retain lots of the talent that got them there (Claire Taylor, Katie Lear, Rachel Douglas, Rachel Finch and Captain Alice Beeching) and have developed lots of players, thanks in part to their connection with local women’s team LeedsLeedsLeeds. To top it off they have picked up Aussie U23 Cath O’Neill, so keep your eyes out for big bids.
Hannah Newton gives us her outlook on the Scottish region for BUCS Women’s Indoor Regionals.
This weekend, the best of Scotland’s (*UK) university ultimate ladies will venture to Aberdeen (*except the ones that live there who will just roll right out of bed and along the street to the ASV) to fight for nationals qualification and for victory. This year there will be BUCS points on offer at Nationals for the first time driving up the stakes for qualification (*Travelodges vs. church hall floors). An epic 5 teams will qualify for the mighty journey south to remind the rest of the UK that Scotland is awesome at Uni Ultimate (*indoors).
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Emily “Will she ever graduate?” McGrath (aka Young Money) will be offering some pearls of wisdom, unsolicited opinion and general meandering thoughts as I attempt to describe and rate the chances of the different teams.