Monday, July 13, 2015

MVP Interview Deni Tasman

By Luke Derrick

Our MVP Series aims to interview each MVP of the major tournaments, discussing the tournament and what they think earned them the title. Our first MVP is Deni Tasman, a beater/chaser for the Melbourne Manticores, who was named MVP at QUAFL 2014 (Oceania Championship).

Photo by Ajantha Abey
Quidditch Post: When did you start playing quidditch and how did you get into the sport?Deni Tasman: In 2012, Beck Dare from the Manticores came up to us, going on about quidditch something something. I can’t really remember. At first I was a bit suspect, but James Williams helped me commit to it.

QP: How did you feel the Manticores were going to go at QUAFL 2014?
DT: I feel like the Manticores went to QUAFL as a pretty relaxed team. We had an injury to my beating partner Natasha Keehan just before QUAFL. I thought it placed us as slight underdogs, which I enjoyed. We suffered more and more injuries during the tournament.

QP: What made you stay as a beater throughout the most of QUAFL 2014, considering you and James Williams decided to switch between chaser and beater together? (Note: James Williams was a beater for Team Australia in the 2014 Global Games.)
DT: I remember the exact moment well. It was the first game, against the Sydney University Unspeakables. I missed basically an open goal as chaser. Afterward, I said to Williams “I’m feeling a beater vibe.” It was a sign. The quidditch gods didn’t want me to chase. They inscribed a beater destiny for me. I was comfortable from then on. I’d like to also share that before the tournament began, I told my teammates “I’d be happy if I scored one goal.” Frankly, that didn’t happen. Maybe I’ll improve next year?

QP: How did you adapt your play throughout the tournament?
DT: Simple; run less. After the injuries kept coming for us, I think the only thing I tried to do was conserve energy, as we had a diminishing sub line. Let the play come to you instead of running pointlessly for every bludger. I’d wait to use my speed off the rebound to regain bludger control. I wouldn’t waste energy tackling other beaters for the ball. Overall, I think I made better decisions, and utilised short bursts of speed at the right time.

QP: How did you find beating in the final game against UNSW Snapes on a Plane? You seemed to dominate beater play; how did manage to do this against one of the most physical beating teams in the tournament?
DT: I believe the final was one of my poorer games. Emmanuel Berkowicz from UNSW was really effective at putting physical pressure on us all game. UNSW did that even when they had bludger control. Credit is absolutely due to the chaser defense in the final. We didn’t dominate bludger control much at all. It was a wet game where bludgers were difficult to throw accurately and the chasers did immense work for us. Legends. I kept it simple, herding the opposing chasers into exceptional tackling pressure, and then picking off the receiver near the goals.

QP: What do you personally think earnt you the MVP trophy?
DT: I spoke to Lauren De Lacovo of the Wrackspurts after the MVP presentation, saying “It was the f*** yeah thing, wasn’t it?” It was something memorable, cheeky, and slightly infamous. That may have influenced everyone’s mind when it was time to vote. I’d like to think the whole “f*** yeah” thing was an example of me having a good time on the pitch, which translated to me doing well. Or maybe it was the water in Sydney. I don’t know. I surprised even myself. I know I’d never played that well before.

QP: Could you expand on the “f*** yeah moment”?
DT: It was when we were playing against the Monash Muggles in the semi-final. Neil Kemister was running into an open goal and, with a long bludger throw, I hit him and denied him the score. I screamed “f*** yeah” in celebration towards him, as a gag, and he took the banter well. I got yellow carded for it, though.

QP: Thanks for being our first MVP to be interviewed for this segment, Deni. We definitely appreciate your time.

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