Coming soon to Edinburgh, Lothian Derby Dolls will play Aberdeen's second ever derby team, as Granite City Roller Girls launch their B-squad, the Fight Hawks. We caught up with Fight Hawks Bench Manager, Pert Hits, to find out a bit more. (Season Tickets for the bout on the 12th, and LDD's two subsequent games, can be obtained from Brown Paper Tickets.)
Granite City are only the fourth Scottish league to form a B-team (after ARRG, GRD and DRG). How does it feel to be able to launch a second travel team?
It feels natural. With the roster sort of set for the Northern Fights, it had left a fair few of our skaters with no games to play, which was a real real shame given the calibre of skaters we are seeing coming through our fresh meat course (a number of whom completed the 3 month course and passed all mins first time!). As the number increased over the course of the year, it just felt like the right time for it to happen.
Can you tell us a little about the makeup of the team, and the selection process? Are these all new skaters to GCRG fans?
We had a look at the sheer number of mins passed skaters we had that were not dedicated to the British Championships and who were game ready. Various things were looked at, perhaps the more important factors were attendance to training and scrim practice. The team selection will be quite fluid as time goes on with different players perhaps being selected for each game. Of the 14 skaters submitted for our first game, only 4 of them will be familiar faces to GCRG fans. The rest may have been spotted in various "cherry poppers" across Scotland to those with a keen eye.
GCRG B are named 'The Fight Hawks'. Obviously, this continues the 'Fight' theme with GCRG A 'Northern Fights', but which Night Hawks (the painting, perhaps?) were you inspired by, and what do you hope it says about you?
We are actually named after a local term for seagulls, which we have in Aberdeen in abundance. A quick youtube search and you can see why we went with this name; they're brash, brave and persistent. And we will steal your chips when you're not looking. But we do pay for Doritos, so please feel free to invite us for game.
Your first bout is away against Lothian Derby Dolls, down in Edinburgh. How are you preparing for the bout? What result are you hoping for?
With British Champs winding down for the Northern Fights, we are in a good position to have our training sessions tailored directly towards the Hawks' needs. As bench and line-up, myself and Krusty have been watching like... hawks... as the girls train and giving feedback to our training committee, who have been very good at taking it into account and getting the right drills we need. We have also been doing "Hawks vs the rest" at scrim practices just to ensure the team meld and we get a good hive mind. We are heading down to Edinbrugh looking to score more points. Perhaps the more important win, however, is knowing we gave 100% and played well as a team. Even defeats on the score board feel like wins if you know you did your best and worked well as a team.
What're the Hawks' plans for the future? With GCRG A committed to British Champs, will you guys be taking on more eclectic teams?
I am not entirely certain what the future holds for us. I would certainly be expecting a good jaunt around Scotland in 2016, playing various teams, and with the right amount of fundraising taking our team a little further afield would a dream!