It’s interesting to note this trend for second period come backs! In a tournament situation, it’s almost certainly linked in some part to the warm up and preparation – we had less time generally to warm up and get our heads into the game than in a usual bout situation, something we’ve learned from and will certainly plan for next time. In my mind the Germany game stood out as the most significant in terms of performance difference per half and this was due to a distinct tactical change we made in our game at half time. In saying that, Knuckles always does give a good half time booster chat – in fact he’s possibly the most positive and encouraging person I have ever met!
The USA game was all about the enjoyment and learning from madly talented skaters. We had a goal to minimise the amount of points they scored which is hilarious to think of now. I was really focussed on the game, so no time to be star struck. It's all a bit of a blur with random faces you know appearing and you think 'oh God that's Bonnie Thunders sailing past me!' I had no idea I had knocked Suzy Hotrod over until I saw my Facebook page that night. It was amazing the amount of sheer control they had over us – it was like they were playing in slow motion Matrix style and we were just madly reacting to everything and keeping going like duracell bunnies. I have never expended so much energy in a bout before – I loved how our skaters kept getting back up and never gave up pushing, all with huge grins on faces. I did notice Sexy Slaydie’s rear end holding me back on more than one occasion though, and after the game blurted out ‘I love you’ to her, like a geek.
I’m happy with 11, It’s my fave number! In truth – I am very proud of the whole team for playing with such heart, and our management team for organising us so well. I think unless we’re looking at first, second, third or fourth place - which we will be for next time ;-) - it really doesn’t matter too much where you come. We got to play some of the best teams from places furthest away from Scotland and I’m pleased about that. We have all come back with so much new knowledge and of course there are some key area’s I would like us to focus on for any future TS endeavours, but I’ll be keeping that to myself for now!
Being Co-Captain meant my time between bouts was focussed on the next bout, helping to re-write line ups, team rosters and making sure the team were happy and the occasional power nap/toilet dash! I didn’t get as much chance to ‘internationally network’ as I would have liked to; but I did get a chance to catch up with some familiar faces from past bouts, which was lovely. We were given some great advice from the TORD coach, and I know a lot of our skaters did manage to get some good advice/chats and bonding in, so we’ll be making sure we utilise everything we can in building an improved team for future games/tourneys. One area is of course more integration and practice between skaters from the different leagues involved and being fast to adapt our strategy when required.
As it happens, there is already some secret squirrel planning underway looking at future bouts, so hopefully something will be arranged. I would jump at the chance to play any of the teams we didn’t manage to play against. Ireland looked really good and would be an interesting match up I think, and I really wanted a chance to play against Sweden…but then France did so well too…oh so many to choose from. Hopefully we can play them all one by one.
A good question! It would have been a difficult decision, but ultimately I skate for a Scottish league and my home is here now – so even though my immediate family are still mostly based in Wales I would have had to choose Scotland (sorry mum). I've so much respect for skaters that I've played with and against from Scottish leagues and geographically it makes more sense for me to be involved with planning, practices and bouts for Scottish Roller Derby. It was a real shame that Wales was not able to represent this time – I know there are some amazing skaters emerging in Wales already, and I would be so excited to see a Welsh team in future tournaments. I would definitely be their biggest supporter!
A European Cup would be awesome in the interim – the more time we can spend playing with the best skaters from countries outside of Scotland, the faster we will learn, improve and hopefully close the gap between us and the USA!