Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Onward to Oxford: Nottingham Nightmares

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 Lucy Quidditch, captain of the Nottingham Nightmares.

Photo by: University of Nottingham Photography
Quidditch Post: Nottingham was one of the last teams to qualify. One of two teams who earned its spot at the British Quidditch Cup (BQC). What does it mean to the team to have the chance to compete at EQC?
Lucy: It's brilliant! We're all really excited to have a chance to play against European teams, and show what we can do on the pitch again! And it's a just reward for a great performance at BQC, even if we didn't have the best season leading up to it.

QP: What are your goals for EQC?
Lucy: Same as for every tournament, we're there to attempt to win it! But Top Eight in Europe would be a big statement for us.

QP: What will it take to get there?
Lucy: It would probably require us pulling out some shocks on bigger-name teams! But we held the defending European champions in snitch range for 18 minutes this weekend, so I'm confident we can use a mixture of strategy and solid defence to compete against the more well-known teams.

QP: Would you say the team has a particular style of play?
Lucy: We change up our style of play depending on who we're matching up with, but there's always a heavy focus on integration between quaffle play and our beaters, both on offence and defence.

QP: Would you say the team has any key players?
Lucy: Our keepers Steven Hardy and Andrew Price both get a lot of minutes and play well on both sides of the ball, especially given that they've both only started playing competitively this year. Lucy Edlund, Matt Blindt, and Hannah Street are all extremely solid at beating as well, and allow the rest of the beater corps to take some risks with their play.

QP: Can you talk a bit about what makes those players so strong?
Lucy: Steven has a basketball background so he has a great range of shots and passes to hand, whereas Andrew can use his height and strength to power through defences for easy goals against no bludgers. All our beaters are fast, throw hard and accurately, and have great quidditch IQ! We train together and socialise together so everyone has a great connection on pitch—I can't count the number of times I've gone to direct a beater to do something and seen them doing it already!

QP: What do you hope your players take away from the EQC experience?
Lucy: Hopefully new European quidditch friends and a nice trophy!

QP: Are there particular teams you hope to face?
Lucy: It would be great to play METU Unicornstheir kit is fantastic and from footage they seem talented! Hopefully we get to play teams from a few different countries so we learn as much as possible, too!

QP: You're obviously very experienced in UK quidditch. What do you think you bring to the team?
Lucy: I guess I'm quite good at the whole beating thing? I've played a fair amount and watched an awful lot of footage, so everything has got a lot more intuitive. Going into EQC will be a bit different though, because I won't have seen a lot of the other teams before, whereas normally I like to have a plan for every team we go up against.

QP: Do you think that unknown element will have an impact on the team?
Lucy: I think it should even out. As of yet there's no recent footage of us online, so as much as it's hard to scout other teams, we'll have the element of surprise on our side, too.

QP: Anything else you think our readers should know about the squad?
Lucy: Don't think so! Can't give away all our secrets.

QP: Fair enough; thanks for your time!
Lucy: Welcome!

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