Spending the last month and a half covering all of the 30 teams heading to the Blood & Thunder World Cup in less than a month has left all of us at the Blog with anticipation to see what'll happen in Dallas.
But, with 30 teams, playing up to 3 bouts at a time, everyone will have to make choices as to what to watch and what to miss (at least, until the archives). So, we've spent a bit of time discussing and reflecting, to present to you our personal picks as to the match ups and teams to especially watch, whether you're lucky enough to make it to Texas in person, or are just catching the streams.
For their enthusiasm and determination to make it to the World Cup despite their late start, Team Japan deserve a whole host of cheering fans in Dallas. Like the Ninjapan Rollers at MRDWC, I expect them to capture everyone's hearts. (Given Team West Indies' popularity in the UK, they may have a fight for that, however...)
Similarly, Team Spain deserve support just for the travel they've already incurred before even getting to the World Cup. Hopefully the combined forces of Tenerife and Barcelona combine to upset their group a little.
Teams Brazil and Argentina will be interesting to watch, showing off the striking and rapid development of South American derby - which had only just begun at the time of the first World Cup in 2011. I think they may well go very far (and the other South American and Central American teams will also be worth a watch).
Teams Australia, England, Canada and New Zealand may be duking it out for the Silver and Bronze medals - although the draw looks like favouring England or Canada for Silver, unless there's an upset earlier in the brackets. Australia could easily upset England or Canada for Bronze, however...
I'm really excited to see Team Wales make their World Cup debut, they feature so many strong skaters that I've seen representing their individual teams and I can't wait to see how they play together! Obviously I can't wait to see Team Scotland play, especially my team mates Jill Simpson, Carolyn Mackenzie and Jill Stephen and my old Glasgow team mates...I'm at risk of just listing the entire team I'm that excited! I saw a few of their games and they're a fierce team. Team Germany are also a favourite of mine, especially after seeing some of the members representing Berlin at Champs. I'm also excited about seeing Team England, Team Ireland, Team Belgium, Team Sweden...basically any team with somebody I know on the roster. It's oddly liberating to fangirl over your pal, mentor, that amazing skater who once looked at you on track and you fell over...
I will be watching for Team Brazil, they played in the Roller Derby World Cup in 2011 and some of the team members made their bouting debut during the tournament. They had a fantastic attitude in 2011 and I'm looking forward to seeing how they've grown as a team.
I adore watching teams who are geographically far apart play each other! That's one of the glorious things about gathering all these national teams together. Anything can and will happen!
I am rather excited about December!
My ‘ones to watch’ are Team Denmark and Team Norway. Although both are newcomers to the World Cup tournament in 2014, they have both been competing in tournaments in the lead up to Dallas to really learn how to to play as a team. Having played against some of Team Norway when Oslo Roller Derby came to Stirling last year, I’m particularly keen to see Torture and Eda take to the track and give them my support from my armchair!
I’m also really excited to see Team Canada play again. They fought tirelessly in the 2011 World Cup to come in second place to Team USA - and I’m positive they’ll put up an even stronger fight this year.
And of course, Team Scotland. There are a lot of new faces on the 2014 roster, but all have definitely earned their sport on the team. I’m particularly looking forward to watching Skinner Alive and Admiral Attackbar from Auld Reekie Roller Girls play. I’m always left exhausted just watching these two skaters, so I’m sure they’ll impress and inspire the many others watching them.