Monday, March 9, 2015

Onward to Oxford: Southampton Quidditch Club

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 Simon Bidwell, captain of Southampton Quidditch Club.

Photo by Andrew Lachlan McCombie
Quidditch Post: Southampton overcame a really strong field to finish second at the Southern Cup and qualify for EQC III. What do you make of the team's chances against the best Europe has to offer?
Simon: I think we've got a fantastic chance against the best Europe has to offer. I have no doubt in the ability of my team to be crowned the best in Europe. We've put the hard work in at training, and now we're going to see that work pay off in Oxford in April.

Quidditch Post: And now you all are champions of Britain. What did that mean to the team?
Simon: It means the world to us, to come back from 90-30 down. That game shows the unbelievable amount of resolve and belief we have as a club and I couldn’t be prouder of my team. Now is when the going really gets tough. Teams will be gunning for us and we have to keep forcing ourselves to get better every week. The Radcliffe Chimeras pushed us all the way in the BQC final, played some fantastic quidditch, and were incredibly unlucky not to snatch the title. If we relax or think we’ve made it, the Chimeras or Paris Frog, or any one of the fantastic teams attending the EQC will punish us. Winning BQC was just the beginning for our club and it’s now up to us to keep improving week by week and not get complacent.

QP: Do you all have any particular goals?
Simon: To win.

QP: What will it take to accomplish that?
Simon: I always tell my team: “No matter who we play, as long as we play our best, we will win,” we didn’t hit our peak at the BQC and were very nearly punished for it. There are some fantastic teams coming to the EQC who we shouldn’t underestimate, but I also stand by my team and our potential and I know that if we play to the fullest of our abilities, we will win.

QP: Would you say the team has a particular style of play?
Simon: Play fast. Hit hard. Hit early.

QP: Southampton has quite a few stars; can you talk about some of the team's key players?
Simon: Obviously no one player makes a team, and I think one of Southampton's biggest strengths is our strength in depth. I could talk about Alex Carpenter and her blistering pace, Vincent Fouré and his ridiculous power, Lydia Calder and her quick feet, David Holland and his innate ability to always have a bludger, but one player in particular I want to pick out is old man quidditch, Robbie Dugald Young. Young is the only two-time Team UK player, is possibly the best point chaser in UK quidditch, and is undisputedly a vital Southampton anchor.

QP: I see what you did there...Are there particular teams that you hope to play?
Simon: Playing some new teams is going to be one of the most exciting aspects of the EQC. The Continental teams tend to play a much more pass-oriented game than the UK, so the clash of those two styles will be interesting. The Deurne Dodos are definitely a team we'd enjoy playing; they have an insane amount of talent for such a young squad, and it will also be fun to see what kind of play the Turkish teams bring.

QP: Anything else you think our readers should know about Southampton?
Simon: My team has trained unbelievably hard this season building up to both the EQC and the British Quidditch Cup. I have no doubt in our ability, I have no doubt in our dedication, and I have no doubt that we can win. Good luck trying to stop us; you're going to need it.

QP: Thanks for your time, Simon; we appreciate it.

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