Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Onward to Oxford: Nantes Quidditch

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 Elodie Lana Jen, Anais Monnier, and Maeva Lucas, captains of Nantes Quidditch.

Quidditch Post: Nantes is one of the few teams in attendance to have played at every iteration of the EQC, but your team hasn't had much success thus far, finishing fifth out of six teams in the first EQC and 11th out of 12 teams last year. What have you been doing to ensure you have more success this year?
Elodie: Nothing special. The fact is that we were a small team last year, and it was very complicated to have all our players attend the EQC for financial reasons. This year, we were shocked that we recruited a lot of new players, and we continue to recruit at present. Today, we have 25 players (compared to 10 in 2012 and 14 last season). All we can say is that if our results were poor last year, it was unfortunately because of that.
QP: Can you talk a bit about some of the team's key players?
Anais: There are six key players in my opinion: three of them are new this season, but they are really good.

From the "old ones," we have Camille Vallois and Maeva Lucas as chasers, who are training really hard to get to the European/British level of play. They run fast and are not afraid to be tackled by whoever it is that is in front of them. You might know them from the last EQC in Brussels.

Then you have Sammy Chenuelle, who is a new addition to the team and runs really fast. He is a former handball player with plenty of tricks up his sleeve.

We have one new beater, Ronan Nicolas, who runs fast and is full of strategies concerning beaters. He is also really aggressive on the field.

Last but not least, we have two keepers, Fabien Bouchet and Yann Fouillat, who are embracing the functions of being a keeper both defensively and offensively. They are pretty quick and have great vision of the game, so they know what to do. They are natural players, if I may say so.

QP: How is the team preparing for EQC?
Anais: Well, I strongly advised the players who are going to be coming to EQC to train on their own first. We proposed a complete training program that they can do at home to gain strength and stamina, and this will be helpful for the EQC.

QP: What are the team's goals for EQC?
Anais: We do not have unrealistic goals, so let's say we would like to be a top 15 or possibly even a top 10 European team. And of course to meet new people and share the quove!

QP: Is there anything in particular you hope your players take away?
Anais: There is nothing really that I can think of. I know everybody is really excited about it. We are looking forward to meeting new players, new teams, and quidditch players from different countries such as Italy.

QP: Are there particular teams you'd like to play against?
Anais: We would like to reunite with some of the other French teams. We would also like to get more experience of official competitions in general. We would like to play against some German, Italian, and English teams. I feel that every country plays differently and has a different approach to the game, so we are keen to see those approaches.

QP: How would you say your team approaches the game?
Maëva: I'd say that we adapt our style of play depending on which team we are facing. We want everyone to enjoy the game, so we are not merciless against teams we can defeat. On the other hand,  if we face a team we know will give us a hard time, we are able to play at a higher level.

QP: Is there anything else you think our readers should know about your team?
Maëva: We were the first team created in France, and our entire leadership (both our captain and our coach) are women.

QP: Thanks for your time; we appreciate it.

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