In her first piece for The ShowGame, Geegee Morrison takes a look at the two Women’s teams representing the UK at Euros – SYC and reigning champions Iceni.
Over a month on from UKU Nationals, the excitement is building for this year’s European Ultimate Championship Finals. Two Women’s teams will be representing UK Ultimate in Europe; SYC and Iceni. After a last-minute pool change, the two teams will face off once again this weekend in Frankfurt, alongside the rest of Pool X. After an incredibly exciting season, can Iceni bring home another European title, or will SYC prove difficult to defeat?
This London-based team have really made a name for themselves over the last few years. Having recruited several new members from their 2016 trials, they have a fresh squad laced with experienced and developing athletes. Led by the core group of captains Rosie Woodbridge, Anna Trebble and Kinga Roszkowska, SYC have melded as one unit to produce a tough, gritty team.
Women’s Tour really tested the team’s chemistry and adaptability, tests they overcame to finish consistently in the top five. A notable highlight was an incredibly tough match up against the split Iceni squad in typical Nottingham ‘Wind Farm’ conditions, with SYC squeaking out a win on universe point. The short turnaround to Nationals, just weeks after Tour 3, meant the team had high hopes to reach the final, but a heart-breaking loss to a talented Nice Bristols team meant SYC just missed out and took third place.
Bristol’s withdrawal means that SYC are training hard and packing their bags for Frankfurt. Their aim is simply to play hard and compete, and they’ll go into every game without expectations. EUCF 2015 saw SYC finish sixth overall, but with the ever-changing the nature of Women’s Ultimate, it’s difficult to tell where this team will finish. SYC have lost a few players including Claire Baker and Canada Women’s Masters silver medallist Isabelle Ascah-Coallier, but still possess a strong roster.
Prediction for Euros: top five.
Fellow Londoners Iceni have ruled in the Women’s Ultimate scene for years, taking National and European titles undefeated consecutively. Iceni players, such as Jackie Verralls, Jenna Thomson and Lauren Bryant, made up the majority of GB Women’s team at WUGC and Tom’s Tourney 2016, where they took first place in the final against Sweden.
Their Tour season was very interesting this year. At London Calling, the whole Iceni squad came out and completely dominated; they conceded only 17 points over six games, all reaching the 15-point hard cap. Tours 2 and 3 saw Iceni split into two squads, X and Y. While they still came out strong, they encountered their first defeats of the season against SYC and Nice Bristols. Of course, this only made them fight back harder at Nationals. All as one squad again, they topped their group, smashed the semi final and took the National title again.
A few members return to Euros after not making Nationals, players such as Francesca Scarampi, Karen Kwok and Liza Bowen, meaning they have a 26-strong roster. Their incredible chemistry and determination make them a solid team that is very difficult to break, and they will undeniably cause some serious damage at Euros again this year, having been undefeated last year in Wroclaw. In Pool X with Iceni, as well as SYC, are box vienna, FABulous and Troubles, all teams that can give the UK powerhouse a hard time. Probably not hard enough, though, to stop them.
Prediction for Euros: Champions.