After their defeat of the EuroStars back in July, Team Scotland are moving on to newer challengers. This Saturday sees them face off against the mysterious HOT or WOT, a team of hand-picked skaters collected by Hot Wheels Roller Derby specially for this bout.
Hot Wheels' Shell Yeah! explains:
Hot Wheel Roller Derby were approached by Team Scotland offering us a bout opportunity in August. Although we couldn't field a full A Team due to sunny holidays and prior commitments, we realised this was an opportunity that we couldn't miss out on. After some quick discussions and whispering between ourselves, we decided to ask some of the favourite players from the teams we've played previously to make up our ultimate Dream Team! Cue some more quick emailing and Facebook messages flying backwards and forwards like paper aeroplanes and we'd got ourselves a team. The players we chose fit certain criteria; they had made a strong impression on track against us, understood the Hot Wheel way of playing and they amongst the best skaters in the UK. We're excited to be playing against Team Scotland but more than that we're looking forward to being on track with each other, playing together, watching each other's backs, and combining our forces as players from the best teams in the country to try and take down the mega force that is Team Scotland. Oh, and wearing the brightest, flashiest uniform we could muster ;)
Rainy City have also had a pretty good year to date, with only two upsets (against Paris and Dublin) marring a solid performance, ranking wise. You were also return participants in A Skate Odyssey in Belgium. What's been the highlight of 2014 for you so far, within Rainy City itself?
Missy Rascal: Gent was definitely a focus for us at the beginning of the year. Our first game against Paris didn’t go to plan, with Paris playing smart and outplaying us. We really had to turn on the mental focus to come back from that loss the next day. I’m really proud of us for turning it around and putting on two strong performances over the rest of the tournament. It was also my personal highlight of 2014 so far as I was awarded Jammer MVP for the tournament.
Fay Roberts: I actually have two highlights of the year for Rainy City itself! Firstly after a long time out of action, we finally moved back into our home, The Thunderdome in February this year and shortly after we had our new SkateCourt floor fitted. This was a MASSIVE deal for us and it was so exciting to see it get laid and finally skate on it. The second highlight was that after a really long process we became full WFTDA members and our Travel Team were finally ranked. This was one of our goals and it was nice to achieve it after a bit of an uphill battle!
Both of you made Team England's 2014 training roster (and Missy Rascal made the 2011 roster and Vice Captain). How does it feel to be on the national team (and for the second time, in Missy's case)?
MR: I believe that in any sport, it will always be an honour to be selected for your national squad. The training sessions really push me and I come away from each one with a new set of personal goals to work on before the next one. Each skater on the squad has put a lot of dedication and hard work to get to where they are in derby and that in itself is an inspiring environment to be in.
FR: Well... It feels amazing! I have worked really really hard this year and last, so it's really nice to see that all the hard work paid off. I feel privileged to be on the team and skate with all those amazing skaters and am really looking forward to Dallas!
Missy, you've seen the 2011 Team Scotland in action during that World Cup (although England never got to play against Scotland themselves). Around 40% of the 2011 Team Scotland is returning in the 2014 roster - how did you think the 2011 team played, and will this influence any preparation to play the new roster?
MR: I am a big fan of Team Scotland. They took such a great attitude to the 2011 World Cup, putting on a solid performance and the crowds loved them. They have a very positive approach to their training and coupled with the fact that they are in fairly close proximity to each other, they have been able to train a lot more together than most of the other teams. I’m sure this will set them up well for the 2014 World Cup.
Team England have already had 3 public bouts, against France, Canada and Sweden, of which the big surprise, perhaps, was the comprehensive win over Canada. I believe that Fay was on the roster v Sweden, and Missy took on France and Canada. What have you learned from the experience so far, and what will you be bringing to the track on the 16th against Team Scotland?
MR: The experience in Nantes was great. France have been able to spend a lot of time training together with some very talented skaters on their roster so it was a really strong team. Canada was a big game for England as the last time we met was the 2011 semi-final when they took the win. To take the win this time was a great start to the England 2014 journey. The experience taught me a lot about my own blocking strengths and weaknesses, which I have been able to work on since then.
FR: I have learnt a hell of a lot from playing with Team England so far. We have only had a few training sessions but they have been very valuable. Mainly because it is an opportunity for me to skate with and against the best skaters in the country. I'm really looking forward to the game on the 16th as I love skating with new and experienced skaters, getting to know how others function on track, and it's always a rewarding challenge to see how quickly you can adapt to one another and gel together.
The Roster for HOT or WOT seems to be something of a secret, although we know some of the teams involved. Can you give us any hints about what to expect from the lineup?
MR: Everyone on the lineup is excited to play this game so I am sure that it will be fun. There are a lot of experienced skaters playing who will all bring their own skill from their home team. It is always harder to skate with a mixed team rather than your home team, but I’m pretty sure with decent communication we’ll be able to bring out a strong line up for the Scottish team.
FR: Well actually it was produced after Hot Wheel were asked if they wanted to play the game. They decided to ask a few guest skaters to join the roster and it grew from there. So I think just under half the team are Hot Wheel skaters. Hence the name 'HOT or WOT'.
Have you had any time to bring together HOT or WOT to practice as a team? If not, how are you planning on gelling quickly together in the time you have?
MR: We have been able to arrange one practice where almost all of the team can train together. This will make things slightly easier than all meeting up on the day.
FR: We are all planning on heading over to Hotties practice one time before the game. I'm pretty close with the Hot Wheel girls and Jerry, their coach anyway so gelling with them won't be a problem. I also skate with Terri, Ella, Trisha and of course my Team mate Missy at our Team England sessions do I'm used to skating with them too.
And finally, what are your aims for the 16th, as a team?
MR: We haven’t discussed these in any great detail so I’m gonna say that if we keep up good communication we should be able to adapt to the fact we are a mixed team. Also, the goal is always to win, right? ;-)
FR: To BRING IT.
Team Scotland v HOT or WOT can be found at the Team Scotland Facebook Page, here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1442529002679101/?ref=5 Tickets are available via Brown Paper Tickets at: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/798980