Aidan Kelly scouts the second Irish team at WUCC, Limerick lads PELT. How will this new look squad do in Cincinnati?
How did they get here?
In what began as essentially an extension of University of Limerick’s college team, PELT have come a long way in their six year existence.
Even since their fledgling days, the team has had Worlds ambitions, as they directly competed in qualifiers against Rebel and Ranelagh for Ireland’s spot in WUCC 2014, coming up short.
Since then, they’ve developed into one of the most cohesive units in Europe, becoming the first Irish side to make it to EUCF, winning their first ever Irish National title and finishing third at Windmill.
It initially looked as if Worlds would still be a dream for the Limerick lads, as they fell to a rejuvenated Ranelagh side in the 2017 Irish Nationals final, which acted as the WUCC qualifier. However, fate decided to twist in their favour as Ireland were granted a second bid, granting another milestone for the PELT boys.
How has this season been?
Quiet, at least in comparison to the few just past. PELT skipped Windmill and only went to Tour 1, where they finished fifth, losing only one game all weekend to Ranelagh.
Other than that, from what we know the club has shifted focus slightly, with a lot of their efforts going into developing schools Ultimate in Limerick to ensure the club’s longevity. So, don’t be surprised if the club are playing WUCC for years to come.
How do they play?
With trust. A lot of it. PELT’s core has always consisted of players who have been through it all together, from College to Club to U23s to Ireland Seniors. They know one another so well that some of their connections seem almost telepathic.
A big question mark is then created by the fact the team has a number of pick-ups – former Rebel and AUDL player John Doherty being one example. Will it take them a game or two to gel together and can they afford it come WUCC? If they do, well then the thought of playing PELT should be a scary prospect for a lot of teams.
Can you give me three players to watch?
The real heartbeat of PELT’s offence. Give him the disc and something will happen. Seasoned by several Ireland campaigns (U23s in 20113 and ’15, WUGC 2016, WCBU 2017) where he has dominated the stats board, PELT aren’t PELT when he isn’t in the team.
Long time friend of PELT, Tad is a pure athlete who manages to sprinkle an a dose of unpredictability to an already incalculable PELT team. Armed with an array of unorthodox throws, you can bet on him making the highlight reel.
The Show Game’s favourite son. Fresh from his second (and final!?) spell in the AUDL, Doc has always dreamed of playing WUCC so he has a point to prove. It’s been unclear just how well he gels with the PELT team previously, but if they can ensure he’s on form, they have a real weapon in their arsenal.
What do they say?
People from Limerick are notoriosly reserved and so it was impossible to persuade anyone to part with any interesting or useful information. That or there was no time. Either could be true.
How are they going to do?
I really don’t know. The fresh faces in the squad make them seem extremely volatile in the lead-up. It’s hard to know what we’ll see until they actually go out and play.
They should be aiming for at least third in their pool, with the test against their Everest in the form of Chevron sure to be a juicy affair.