While it's usually the A teams for a league which get most of the action, Auld Reekie B, the All-Star Reserves, are setting themselves up for a very exciting 2017.
As well as becoming only the joint-second B team to compete in British Champs (along with Newcastle B, the Whippin' Hinnies, and following London Rollergirls B last year), they're also taking Auld Reekie's second bout of the year this weekend, against Central City Rollergirls B, the Slay Belles.
We caught up with Pukeahontas, ASR Co-Captain, for a quick chat about the team's past and future.
The All-Star Reserves had a fairly busy year last year - even managing some international derby against Dresden. What was your highpoint of 2016?
2016 was a mixed bag for me personally, I was off skates for the first 6 months of the year with a knee injury. But then to come back and skate in three amazing games against Batter C, Newcastle Whippin Hinnies and Granite City Northern Fights was incredible. My high point would have to be the Newcastle game, I felt this game was where we really came together as a team on track, we found our rhythm in the second half and I was gutted when I realised it was the last jam. Then we got to watch our pals in the All Stars skate an amazing game, have great chat with the lovely Newcastle skaters in the pub, and a hilarious coach trip back to Edinburgh. For me that day was what being part of ARRG is all about - playing a hard game of derby, and having a great time with great people.
The first bout of the year is against Central City B… whose A team will be at EuroClash with ARRG A. Does this add a bit of symbolism to your bout… and how are you preparing for it?
I think it does add a bit of symbolism, and I actually just think it’s really cool that we have this great level of play in the UK that leagues are well matched like this.
We’ve been training hard, and drilling our tactics on repeat. We want to make sure that we are working as a unit on track, and that all the skaters on the roster trust each other. We don’t know too much about Central City B, we are preparing for a hard game.
The Reserves are also one of two Scottish teams in Tier 3 North of British Champs this year. What are your aims for the tournament?
We had a team meeting about our plans for the year recently, and when we were discussing our goals and how the team might be a completely different line up before we play our games in August; one skater said that, no matter what might change, our goal should be that we feel like team, that everyone is welcomed and trusted. I’d love to support and encourage that environment as captain over the course of the tournament, and I guess winning our tier would be pretty great too!
As always, the All-Star Reserves will be hosting the Slay Belles at Meadowbank Stadium, Edinburgh. Doors open at 2.2opm on Saturday 11th Feb.
Catering provided by Bonnie Burritos.
Tickets are £5 online, or £8 on the door, or £6 for concessions, or free for under 14s. (online sales at: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/2860993 )