Welcome to the University Men’s Indoor National preview for Division 1, where our writers have collaborated with me for an insight into their regions. There will be a pool-by-pool preview, and with 20 teams to get through. Let’s get to it!
(Note, since the schedule has the chance for more than one redemption to regain a quarter-final spot, the predictions will be final pool standings and conclude with who I think will win the medals.)
The new year is a time to reflect on the past, and to look to the future. 2018 brings an end to holiday festivities, the beginning of a new university term, and dozens of teams training rigorously for the chance to triumph at Men’s Indoor Nationals. This year everyone is once again gathered in the cold, unforgiving climate of Scotland’s Ravenscraig Sports Centre.
Here at Nationals, every division holds prestige. Arguably, none more so than Division 2 Men’s – filled with teams who’ve journeyed with nothing to fight for except honour, and who are determined to send a message to those Division 1 teams that they’re coming for them.
This year, University Women’s Indoor Nationals will be held in far distant Glasgow. Though extensive coverage will be taking place on the weekend itself, here is a sneak peek of what might go down on the fields of Ravenscraig this weekend.
Teams competing: Hertfordshire, Imperial, KCL, Oxford, UCL
The East region teams have to make a very long trek to Glasgow, but they will be bringing their a-game against any team who thinks that the distance puts them at a disadvantage. Hertfordshire, Imperial, KCL, Oxford and UCL (who qualified in that order) are all formidable teams with their own strengths and may be aiming to bring home some silverware, especially since last year’s National Champs Chichester didn’t even field a team for Regionals this year.
With a dominant showing by their women at Mixed Indoor Nationals, I’ll put my bets on Hertfordshire finishing the highest of the East region teams, with the highest possibility of making the top three. Their women are tall, athletic, physical, and willing to put their body on the line for any disc. Keep an eye out for Ola Kulikowska (Uprising) and Cat Gale (GB U17 & U20 Coach) in particular.
The ShowGame’s university editor Harry Mason caught up with the three captains of the Great Britain under-24 Men’s team before they jetted over to Perth. Here’s what they had to say about the build-up, what their hopes are and how the rest of the world needs to take notice.
Alright, let’s start with introductions, who are you guys?
Gabe Schechter: I’m Gabe. I’m the overall captain for GB U24 Men, and I’ve been playing for four-ish years now up at St. Andrews.
Olly Dodd: I’m Olly, I’ve been playing for eight years now, this is my sixth GB cycle and I’m the D-line captain.
Axel Ahmala: I’m Axel, I’m O-line captain, I’ve been playing for four years. I’ve played on various Glasgow teams for those years and it’s my first GB cycle!
The ShowGame’s university editor Harry Mason caught up with both captains of the Great Britain under-24 Mixed team before they jetted over to Perth. Here’s what they had to say about how they team came together, their high hopes and that dance-off video.
Let’s start with introductions. Who are you folks?
Charlie Daffern: I’m Charlie, one of the captains of the GB U24 Mixed team for this cycle. I started playing four years ago at university in Cambridge, and most recently played with Deep Space for the 2017 club season. This is my first time playing GB Ultimate.
Alexis Long: I’m Alexis, the other half of the captains for the GB U24 Mixed team going to Perth. I originally started playing with Kent Ultimate whilst at school, and am currently playing with SMOG X. This is my second cycle of GB U23/24; I played with the Men’s team in 2015.
We’re not just about GB here at tSG HQ. Tadhg Bogan caught up with both Ireland Men’s captains before all three of them flew out to Australia to show the world what the Boys in Green can do. Here’s what they had to say.
Alright, so who are you guys? Tell us a bit about yourselves.
Ferdia Rogers: I’m Ferdia, the Dublin no-craic captain. I started playing Ultimate in school in 2012, and from there have gone on to play college for UCD, club for Ranelagh, and for Ireland a few times.
Dylan Ryan: I’m Dylan, the fun captain from Limerick. I started playing Ultimate in the summer of 2012 in school. Since then, I played college Ultimate with UL and currently play with PELT. I played against Ferdia a good bit and we’ve also played together on Ireland teams most of the way up through our years.
Ferdia: We first met in 2013 as part of the Ireland Junior team, and our relationship just flourished from there. Next thing you know, we’re leading an U24 team together.
Harry Mason caught up with all five captains of the Great Britain under-24 Women’s team before they jetted over to Perth. Join us as overall captain Claire Baker, D-line captains Amelia Kenneth and Bailey Melvin-Teng, and O-line captains Georgia Murphy and Alice Beeching kick off our international interviews.
What is your team philosophy? How would you describe what motivates and connects you as a team?
Georgia: We have adopted the New Zealand All Blacks’s mantra of leaving the shirt in a better place after wearing it. They play and live by this philosophy, always adding to their legacy. The idea is we treat ourselves and our opponents with respect, and that we are proud to play for Great Britain and strive to be better every day, both as individuals and as a team.