Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Onward to Oxford: London Unspeakables

As part of our efforts to preview all 32 teams competing in the European Quidditch Cup (EQC), the Quidditch Post is chatting with representatives from each team. Today we spoke with Jacob Vogts, captain of the London Unspeakables.

Photo by Amanda Dague

Quidditch Post: London is perhaps the surprise EQC qualifier from the United Kingdom, with the preseason consensus among Quidditch UK correspondents being that the team was around the 13th best. To what do you attribute the team's surprise success?
Jacob: Part of our success definitely came from exchange students playing for the team last semester. They not only to brought skills to games but also to training. We also had some new players, such as Nat Thomas, that made an impact right away. Lastly, I think that the team as a whole wanted to be more competitive this year, which has helped us step up our level of play.

QP: Can you talk more about some of the team's key players?
Jacob: Our primary seeker is Fiona Howat. She is fantastic at her position and, so far this season, is into double digits on catchesmost of these in SWIM situations, so very reliable. Nat Thomas is an outstanding chaser for our squad. He does an excellent job of finding open space to receive a pass, and when he has the ball, he can reliably run or pass. Alex Lee is another chaser who has had a huge impact for us this year. She does a superb job of being close to hoops and open for a quick pass to score.

Ashara Peiris and Caspian Cunningham are our two core beaters. They are great at anchoring a defense and have the ability to assist on offense. We rely on the two of them heavily in SWIM situations.

QP: What do you hope the team takes away from EQC?
Jacob: I hope they walk away from EQC with an understanding of what they need to do in order to improve as a team. Playing against the best teams in Europe is a daunting prospect, but I think it will help drive them toward a new level of playing. I would also like them to come away knowing more people in the European quidditch community. It's a wonderful group of people, and there are so many chances for them to see each other, it would be silly not to make new friends.

QP: Do you have any goals for the team?
Jacob: I have been so focused on the British Quidditch Cup, I have not spent much time worrying about the EQC yet, but right now I would like to see us move out of the group stage into bracket play. We also tend to be within snitch range when we win, so it would be enjoyable to win a game or two out of snitch range.

QP: Can you think ahead enough to teams you might want to face?
Jacob: I can't do that because I do not know much about the qualifying teams outside of the UK.

QP: How would you describe the team's style of play?
Jacob: We tend to use screens and short passes to run the quaffle up toward hoops, and at the end pass it off to an open player for a quick shot on goal.

QP: Anything else you think our readers should know about London?
Jacob: The biggest thing left to mention is our team has changed significantly since qualifying for the EQC. We have lost almost all of the exchange students playing for us, had a few players switch their primary position, and even gained some new players. The result of all of this is we will be taking a very different squad to the EQC compared to the squad that qualified.

QP: Do you think that will make you better or worse off for this semester?
Jacob: I think that the players we have gained, when combined with the position changes of our experienced players, have made us a better squad. The loss of the exchange students was definitely detrimental to the team but I believe we have recovered.

QP: Thanks for your time; we appreciate it.

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