Thank to Sarah Harrison for sending us this brief preview for University Women’s Outdoor Nationals taking place this weekend in Nottingham alongside the Open and Alumni divisions.
This weekend sees the return of the Women’s Outdoor Nationals, where ladies from all over the country will be battling it out for the coveted gold medal. An astonishing 27 teams will be heading down to Nottingham, the biggest women’s university tournament the UK has ever seen. In this preview, I will look at who I consider the major threats for the women’s national title, and predict (hopefully accurately) who will be top dog at Grove Farm.
It is notoriously hard to predict Women’s Ultimate, especially at University level. Even after four years of University Ultimate, I still find it incredibly canada goose Chilliwack Bomber difficult to predict which teams will perform well and make it to the final. Every year, teams go through several transition phases. Some teams have to cope with losing the majority of their experienced players, whereas others are forever building a strong squad. However, the influence of good coaching as well as picking up GB Juniors can have a huge effect on the Women’s game. Some teams may be strong on paper, but get them outside in 20mph winds and it’s a completely different story. Here are some things you should be looking out for canada goose Citadel Parka this weekend.
Never underestimate the power of a combo team. Although some may have never trained together before, the combination of a decent team and some strong additional players could prove lethal. Here are the teams that will be merging this weekend:
All teams have promise to do well. Having said that, some teams will have been able to train together, which could be the tipping point in their success. With the Oxford/Brookes and Sheffield/Hallam teams coming from the same cities, their potentially existing team bonding may be able overthrow some of the stronger teams. However, it is hard to ignore Dundee’s dominance over the past year. The women’s squad were incredibly strong indoors and will be looking to continue their reign outdoors with the additional strength of Glasgow. Look out for them, as well as Portsmouth/Southampton. Southampton reached the final last year and they will still be fighting for the top spot, while Portsmouth performed well at Div I Mixed Indoors and will add some strong players to that squad.
With the likes of Birmingham, Nottingham, and Warwick – not forgetting teams like Oxford, Loughborough and Cambridge -the Midlands is seen as a notoriously strong region. All of these girls are good friends and play each other on a regular basis. After incredibly strong finishes at Mixed and Women’s Indoor Nationals, the Midlands teams will be tough to beat. My prediction: Nottingham and Birmingham will be the most successful.
Never leave out this team. With players like Megan Hurst, Kim Isaac and Lucy Wiggins; Sussex have huge potential to defend their title. The work done by Felix and Megan in training will surely be seen on the field. In my opinion no defence is safe here, but can they make it three years on the trot against a rejuvenated Edinburgh?
Over the last 12 months, Edinburgh have been in the top 8 in every division, winning Mixed Outdoor Nationals a few weeks ago as well as finishing in the top 4 at Women’s Indoor Nationals. Edinburgh have slowly been building a super team, which looks to be incredibly strong outdoors. After playing against them and watching them a few weeks ago, I think that they have the depth and the skills to win the tournament. Only a well drilled, experienced team will be able to stop them.
Having said that, there are plenty of experienced players who will be representing their University this weekend. Beware of the lower seeded teams: they will have small experienced cores that will be looking to improve their seeding and develop their team for future years
My prediction? It’s going to be close at the top. There’s going to be tears and tantrums. There’s also going to be some brilliant Ultimate this weekend. I will be writing a review after the tournament, but for now, here is my top 4.
Good luck to everyone this weekend. See you there.
If you want an in depth analysis go check out Harry Mason’s preview http://bit.ly/ZtsG4I. Make sure to follow the action on twitter with the #ukuon hashtag. Whilst you’re there follow us at www.twitter.com/TheShowGame and like us on fb www.facebook.com/TheShowGame.