Thursday, December 3, 2015

Meet the Teams of QUAFL 2015

by James Hyder

As the end of the calendar year approaches, so does QUAFL, Oceania’s biggest tournament. The bid process saw Monash University successful this year, bringing the tournament to Victoria for the first time. This year also sees a record 19 teams in attendance, with six teams making their QUAFL debuts: QUT Lycans, USC Dementors, Melbourne Unicorns, South Melbourne Centaurs, Adelaide Augureys, and the La Trobe Trolls.

QUAFL is unique in that presents the first opportunity of the year for teams to play other interstate teams, which means this is the first chance to see New South Wales (NSW) teams go up against Victorian teams. This will provide an opportunity to gauge the progress made by the teams attending both QUAFL and the upcoming State of Origin games in the early 2016 season.

Pool A
UNSW Snapes on a Plane
Monash Muggles
University of Technology Opaleyes (UTS)
Wrackspurts Quidditch Club
Macquarie Marauders (MAC)
QUT Lycans
Adelaide Augureys

Pool B
University of Western Sydney Thestrals
Blackburn Basilisks
University of Sydney Unspeakables
South Melbourne Centaurs Quidditch Club
Wollongong Warriors
USC Dementors (USC)

Pool C
Newcastle Fireballs
Melbourne Manticores
Australian National Nargles (ANU)
Melbourne Unicorns
La Trobe University Trolls
Perth Phoenixes

This year’s pool system has not produced a pool of death like many teams may remember from QUAFL 2014, but instead has produced rather even pools across the board as well as some highly anticipated matchups. All eyes are going to be on the new teams from Queensland and South Australia to see if they can immediately compete at the nation’s highest level or even make a clean sweep of the whole event.
Now that the rosters for the tournament are out, the Quidditch Post brings you this breakdown of the ins, outs, and debuting players for each team. We hope to take a good look at team strengths and weaknesses in terms of personnel, as well as to identify key players who could take a mid-tier team to the top.

Pool A

UNSW Snapes on a Plane

UNSW Snapes on a Plane at August Triwizard 2015 | Photo Credit: Ajantha Abey
Captain: Rajtilak Kapoor
Coach: Minh Diep

Chiani Sharma
Holly Shuttleworth
Andrew Culf
Sukrut Mysore
Phillip Vankerkoerle
Ashwin Tembe
Michael Thomson
Arthemon Lis
Maxine Come
Ian Li
Benjamin Pinto
Rhiannon Gordon
Michelle Mannering
Andrea Cormack
Tanguy Garrel
Sylvia Chin

No. 2 in AQA rankings.
Win-loss record: 22-4.

New to team: Michelle Mannering (Basilisks).
Outgoing players: Chris Rock (playing for Michigan Quidditch Team), Nicholas Allen (playing for Newcastle Fireballs), Emmanuel Berkowicz (playing for Fireballs), John Luu, Leigh Morrell, James Clarke, Stephanie Xu.
QUAFL debuts: Sukrut Mysore, Arthemon Lis, Maxime Come, Andrea Cormack, Tanguy Garrel.

UNSW has lost numerous key members from its runner-up performance at QUAFL 2014, with the beater duo of Allen and Berkowicz moving to the Fireballs and Rock currently in an exchange program at the University of Michigan, where his team won the USQ Great Lakes Regional Championship. Leigh Morrell and John Luu are also notable absentees from UNSW’s quaffle game.

This year has seen UNSW retain its powerhouse status within New South Wales (NSW) quidditch. A promising season has seen the team drop only three combined games to the Fireballs and Western Sydney Quidditch Club (WSQC) at the NSW State Quidditch Season’s 2015 Tri-Wizard tournaments and a single loss to ANU and USC at the Mid-Winter tournament. The October Tri-Wizard tournament saw UNSW lose to WSQC 100*^-70 in overtime but also beat an undermanned Fireball team 90-50* and 70*-20. It is safe to assume that UNSW will bring good form to QUAFL against some of the other top-tier teams in Australia.

With a squad of 18 players this year and having retained the majority of its leadership and depth, UNSW will aim to make the finals for the fourth time in the club’s history. The key player in doing this will be Ashwin Tembe. After being a second- or third-string utility player in previous years, Tembe gets his chance on the starting lineup as the teams No. 1 beater after consistent and impressive performances for the Blue Team at Sydney All Stars Fantasy and throughout the Tri-Wizard tournaments.

Monash Muggles

Muggles Lauren.jpg
Monash Muggles at Charity Cup 2015 | Photo Credit: Lauren De Avocado
Captain: Nicola Gertler
Coach: Thomas Dortmans

Erin Pratt
Georgia Wallis
Alex Langdon
Zachary Giofkou
Caitlin Thomas
Fraser Tankel
William McInnes
Nathan Morton
Lucas Pahl
Luke Nickholds
Madeline Coleman-Bock
Zachary Coleman-Bock
Georgia Tredrea
Manuel Thomson
Matthew Partridge
Samuel Duddy
Raychel Barallon
Maxwell Pockley
Benjamin Rucker

No. 7 in AQA rankings.
Win-loss record: 11-6.

New to team: No new players.
Outgoing players: Bodie Nash (playing for Wrackspurts), Clementine Round (playing for Wrackspurts), Neil Kemister (playing for Wrackspurts), Kristeen Wong (playing for Wrackspurts), Dean Rodhouse (playing for Manticores), Dan Leane, Anthony Hogan.
QUAFL debuts: Zachary Giofkou, Caitlin Thomas, Fraser Tankel, Luke Pahl, Zachary Coleman-Bock, Maxwell Pockley, Benjamin Rucker.

Big team changes have seen the Muggles lose the majority of their starting lineup from last QUAFL, where they exited in the semifinals. To the team’s credit, the Muggles recruited extremely well at the beginning of the season and gave Giofkou, Tankel, and Leane maximum game exposure throughout the season. Even though Leane is a first-year player, he will be a big loss for their squad after making huge inroads this season, where he scored just as many goals as 2014 Team Australia member Nathan Morton.

With a lot of the older players being forced to reduce their quidditch commitments, the Mugglesseason was defined by whether key experienced members of their squad were in attendance at certain tournaments or if they were forced to rely on new blood. A third place finish at MUDBASH 2015, where they only lost to the Melbourne Manticores, and ANewPerth showed how strong they could be with a full squad. But a fourth place finish in Victoria Cup was a disappointment for the defending champions. Charity Cup saw the Muggles seeking weakness exposed where they lost to the Wrackspurts Quidditch Club 40*-30 and Manticores 100*-40. But, the Muggles got their revenge on Day Two with Morton turning around his Day One seeker form with catches to beat the Wrackspurts 110*-70 and a seven-member Manticores 110*-50 in the final.

Fraser Tankel is a player with big promise. Hailing from an Australian Football League background, his size and athleticism are perfect for quidditch. In his debut season, he has scored six goals throughout Victoria Cup and five at MUDBASH 2015, and he has shown the capacity to take his skill to the next level. If he indeed does so, it will reduce the scoring burden on Dortmans and Morton and create a nightmare lineup for opposition defences to contend with. With these conditions, we could also see the Muggles contend with the Manticores for the best team in Victoria.

Wrackspurts QC

Wrackspurts QC at Charity Cup 2015 | Photo Credit: Lauren De Avocado
Captain: Umberto Bucalossi
Coach: Liam McCoppin

Clementine Round
Bodie Nash
Daniel Jenkins
Edward Smith
Matthew Jenkins
Jacqui Kleiner
Kristeen Wong
Jarrod Growse
Lauren De Lacovo
Neil Kemister
Jeremy Neylon
Michaela Brown
Rupert Hiskens
Jake Nash
William Hellier
Courtney Clark
Daniel Smith
Duncan Stubbs
James Serpesedes

No. 9 in AQA rankings.
Win-loss record: 10-4.

New to team: Bodie Nash (Muggles), Clementine Round (Muggles), Neil Kemister (Muggles), Kristeen Wong (Muggles).
Outgoing players: Michael Braham (Centaurs), Grace Levens, Hussain Al-Qalaf, Natalie Benedykt, Henrietta Gelber, Fred Hiskens.
QUAFL debuts: Jeremy Neylon, Michaela Brown, Rupert Hiskins (NYU), Jake Nash, William Hellier, Courtney Clark, Daniel Smith, Duncan Stubbs, James Serpesedes, Edward Smith.

The Wrackspurts bring a largely unheralded squad this year, with over half of the players making their QUAFL debut. The addition of Nash, Round, Kemister, and Wong – until recently of the Muggles are strong additions who have been gelling with the team over the past year. Al-Qalaf is a big out for them, as it will put extra weight on Bucalossi at beater to run out the weekend.
An up-and-down season saw the Wrackspurts finish third at Victoria Cup and fifth at MUDBASH 2015, where they finished the tournament having to forfeit their last game. The question mark is going to be on how the new players on the squad can contribute with such little game experience.
Neil Kemister, arguably the best seeker in Victoria, holds the key to the Wrackspurts making a deep finals run. A limited build up after only a few Victoria Cup games this season certainly reduces his knowledge of other seekers and snitches within the region, but his snitch catch rate is elite. He could prove to be a valuable depth player at beater as the Wrackspurts turn to their second string in the middle of games.    

University of Technology (UTS) Opaleyes
UTS Opaleyes at October Triwizard 2015 | Photo Credit: Harry Stranger
Captain: Rayan Calimlim

Isaac Condran
Onan Jerome Pinto
Aden Weatherstone
Emily Borghi
Elle Crumpton
Brittney Watiwat
Matt Blissenden
Esther Scott
Christina Farrelly
Kieran Ponnusamy
Angelina Pasusuwan
Trisha Purvis
Marley Haydon-Anderson
Daniel Dupouy
Aaron Dexter
Christopher White
Gunny Gunewardene
Stephanie Barakat
David Grover
William Siomiak

No. 10 in AQA rankings
Win-loss record: 8-18

New to team: None.
Outgoing players: Akash Shah, Sabeth Kastanias, Will Emery, Tyler Key, Arthur Triantos, Bahia Chahwan, Craig Jansson, John Ilacqua, Poya Heidari-Shahi.
QUAFL debuts: Isaac Condran, Onan Jerome Pinto, Aden Weatherstone, Elle Crumpton, Matt Blissenden, Esther Scott, Kieran Ponnusamy, Marley Haydon-Anderson, Aaron Dexter, Gunny Gunewardene, Stephanie Barakat.

After finishing at the bottom of the AQA rankings and with a 1-4 performance at QUAFL 2014, UTS were keen to make great inroads as a team this year. Having lost nine players from their 2014 squad, including captain Kastanias and numerous key quaffle players, recruitment had to be on point. With 11 QUAFL debuts, UTS have covered their losses but also brought in players who have immensely improved both their quaffle and bludger games.
The October Tri-Wizard tournament showed promising signs for UTS, as they went 3-1 on the day. Their ranked games included an 80*-70 upset win over the Nargles, a snitch range loss to the Sydney Unspeakables 60*-10, and a win over the Macquarie Marauders 60-50*. Adding to the fact that they drew the Marauders in their group, UTS should come into QUAFL 2015 full of confidence that they can make it to the Day Two finals and be a dark horse team.
Marley Haydon-Anderson began playing at the start of 2015 and has grown to be instrumental in UTS’s gameplay. Despite having only one year’s worth of experience, his tactical understanding of the game and physicality has seen him become a keystone for UTS at both the keeper and chaser positions. Although it will be Haydon-Anderson’s QUAFL debut, UTS could take the next step if he becomes a dynamic ball carrier and consistent scoring threat.
Macquarie Marauders (MAC)
Macquarie Marauders at October Triwizard 2015 | Photo Credit: Harry Stranger
Captain: Kieran Richards
Geoffrey Talbott
Maria Wizbicki
Ana Barciela
Allison Hore
Amber Williams
Scott Palmer
Matilda Eder
Mitchell Felder
Helen Glover
Morgan Thorndyke
Harry Mahoney
Adam Halliday
Justin Lenihan
Joel Stuart
Rebecca Hibberd
Daniel Phipps
Jack Ball
No. 11 in AQA rankings.
Win-loss record: 7-15.
New to team: None.
Outgoing players: Laura Bailey, Andrew Emmerson, Bryce Marsden, Daniel Claxton, Daniel Commander, Kieran Tolley, Laura Atkins (WSQC), Leslie Fox.
QUAFL debuts: Geoffrey Talbott, Matilda Eder, Mitchell Felder, Justin Lenihan, Jack Ball.  

With QUAFL 2014 captain Bailey and veteran beater Tolley retiring, the younger brigade of Marauders have had to step up into their shoes. Kieran Richards now leads a squad with a mix of experienced players and new recruits. Phipps and Mahoney return to the Marauders lineup after extended hiatus; they were two of the heroes of the team’s QUAFL 2013 second place performance. Phipps’ physicality at keeper and Mahoney’s size and speed at chaser will be a welcome addition despite limited game experience in the lead up to the tournament.   
The 2015 season has been less than ideal for MAC. Large proportions of its new recruits have been male chasers, and these players are still coming to grips with the game and the Marauders playstyle. October’s Tri-Wizard tournament saw them easily beat the Warriors 120*-30 but had a disappointing 60*-50 loss to UTS.
It is clear that for the Marauders to rival the likes of UNSW and the Muggles in their pool, they need to create more goal opportunities. Geoffrey Talbott is in his rookie season and already holds the position of Vice President and fitness coach within the team. He is already the Maraudershighest goal scorer this season, and his improvement has been due to his consistency to train and play. He will find himself surrounded by experienced players like Mahoney, Phipps, and Palmer who could be higher priority targets for a defence. If he can capitalise on a weak defensive matchup, he will be a very strong cog in their chaser chain.
QUT Lycans
Photo Credit: QUT Quidditch
Captain: Sebastian Sherry

David Critchley
Thiline Widanagamage
Hayley Grice
Farhana Farhan Menon
Jared Easterbrook
Charlotte Fountain
Luke Laurikainen
Matthew Hoole
Zachariah Strauss
Catherine Nguyen
Thomas Crowther
Alistair Muir-Smith
Stefan Scheurer
Daniel Scharf
Kia Seeto
Samuel Chittenden
Aedon Maver
Kaitlyn Moore

Unranked in AQA rankings.

New to team: None.
Outgoing players: None.
QUAFL debuts: Whole squad.

Quidditch at QUT was founded back in 2011, but it has taken several years for the intramural side of it to take off towards travelling to interstate competitions. QUAFL 2015 will see the Lycans compete in their first ranked matches ever. From past experiences, new teams generally seem to struggle in their first QUAFL appearance, but a large part of that can be attributed to squad size. The Lycans bring an impressive 19 players, which takes the effects of fatigue mostly out of the equation.
Kaitlyn Moore is a beater to watch out for. Despite joining the team at the start of the season and learning to tackle just over a month ago, she has already made her way onto the starting lineup and is reliable on defence. Despite being small in stature, she uses her size and speed to her advantage against other beaters and won’t back down when challenged.  
Adelaide Augureys
Photo Credit: Adelaide Augureys Quidditch Team
Captain: Bradley Kerr
Non-playing coach: Kristy Lucas

Mackenzie James
Sara Wilkinson
Hailey Wilkinson
Melissa Ann Clark
Danielle McCormick
Rebecca Rowland
Jessica Rowland
Victor Tan
Shaileigh Foster
William Gow
Simon Lee
Sarah Lee
Joshua Thunig
Adam Higgs
Jennifer Gordon
Nicholas Telenko
Cera Boldock-Eliott
Lauren Jones
Jock Plastow
Annalise Turner
Unranked in AQA rankings.
New to team: None.
Outgoing players: None.
QUAFL debuts: Whole squad.

The Adelaide Augureys are the biggest unknowns of QUAFL 2015. Travelling is a full squad of 21 players who are all making their interstate tournament debuts. Having a full squad means they will not have the issue of running out of players over the two days, but it also requires them to balance gametime between them all, something they may not be accustomed to doing.
The other teams will be watching with interest as the Augureys open the tournament on field 2 against the Macquarie Marauders.
Pool B
Photo Credit: Bianca Connell
Captain: Hannah Monty
Coach: Bianca Connell

Evan Wright
Stephen Butler
Laura Atkins
Corey Ingold-Dawes
Danielv Ormshaw
Carolyn Themel
Mitchell Tudor
Shara Longbotham
Natalie Zaronias
Blake Huthnance
Christian Barquin
Chrystal Player
Miles Sneddon
Dominic Bell
Juan Demin

No. 3 in AQA Ranking.
Win-loss record: 20-6.
New to team: Laura Atkins (Marauders), Shara Longbotham (Unspeakables), Carolyn Themel (Unspeakables).
Outgoing players: Arfy Papadam, Isobel Rennie, Jacob Warnock, Liam O’Callaghan, Toby Ferguson.
QUAFL debuts: Mitchell Tudor, Natalie Zaronias, Miles Sneddon.

Despite losing Australian favourite Arfy Papadam, WSQC (formerly UWS) is bringing a squad of 17 players, one of its largest in recent history. The additions of Atkins, Longbotham, and Themel bring depth to an already strong female lineup. WSQC is only bringing three QUAFL debuts, showing just how experienced its squad is this year.  
WSQC is in impeccable form, with an undefeated run at the October Tri-Wizard tournament. Wins against UNSW 130*-70, Fireballs 80*-50 and the Unspeakables 110*-80, saw its season finish with a 20-6 record. Those snitch range games would be a concern, but the class of the WSQC seekers and beaters always comes through.
Miles Sneddon started playing for WSQC at the beginning of this season and brings extra size and physicality to its keeper/chaser lineup. He is one of WSQC’s better players throughout the season and consistently scores off strong runs through bludgerless defences. His inexperience is the only thing in his way at the moment, which leaves a large amount of upside compounded by his strong goal-scoring potential. Him becoming an even bigger offensive weapon for WSQC will be key for them topping Pool B.

Blackburn Basilisks
Photo Credit: Nic Hirst
Captain: Taya Rawson

Kassi Grace
James Thorpe
Connor Saunders
Amy Touzel
Cynthia Lai
Brenton Norman
Alistair McLean
Scott Cody
Genevieve Gibson
Yoshi Fujihara
Bianca Gibson
Adrian Marshall
Asuka Fujihara
Ed Farrell
James Osmond
Kenji Fujihara
Gregory Selemidis

No. 6 in AQA rankings.
Win-loss record: 7-5.                                                                                              

New to team: None.
Outgoing players: Michelle Mannering (UNSW), Vishal Chopra (Unicorns), Nesham Amarasena, Mark Dorman, Alli Parker, Lynnette Lai, James Cashman.
QUAFL debuts: Connor Saunders, Amy Touzel, Brenton Norman, Alistair McLean, Scott Cody, Yoshi Fujihara, Adrian Marshall, Asuka Fujihara, Ed Farrell, Kenji Fujihara, Gregory Selemidis.

The Basilisks have lost the Unicorns players who played for them at the last QUAFL but have replaced them with nine new QUAFL debutants who have a range of experience from a year to only a few weeks.
They continued on from their top four finish at last QUAFL with another dominant Victorian season. Respectable losses to the Manticores in the final of Victoria Cup and to ANewPerth in the semifinals of MUDBASH 2015 saw the team not take out a major tournament in 2015 but still showing they are a force to be reckoned with.
The Fujihara trio can take the Basilisks to the next level. Kenji has shown since his inception to quidditch that he has great pacing and agility to burn. Add in his brothers Asuka and Yoshi, who are similar players, and you get some next-level family chemistry on the field. The question is whether the Basilisks have been able to teach these guys the ins and outs of the game within a few weeks.

Sydney Unspeakables
Photo Credit: Ajantha Abey
Captain: Natalie Astalosh
Coach: Luke Derrick

Mirjana Stancic
Lachlan Chisholm
Mark Ledger
Brandon Heldt
Courtney Buckley
JV James Lim
Samantha Chittenden
Kristie Kuhn
Alina Pahor
Willem de Gouw
Rob Wells
Manoj Periasamy
Paul Harrison
Laurel Keller
Nicholas Albornoz
Lachlan Ward
Jason Herbert
Isabella Moore
Will Hendriks

No. 4 in AQA Ranking.
Win-loss record: 10-11.

New to team: Brandon Heldt (Warriors).
Outgoing players: Shara Longbotham (WSQC), Carolyn Themel (WSQC), Ajantha Abey (Bristol Brizzlepuffs).
QUAFL debuts: Mirjana Stancic, Mark Ledger, Courtney Buckley, JV James Lim, Samantha Chittenden, Willem de Gouw, Manoj Periasamy, Laurel Keller, Lachlan Ward, Jason Herbert, Will Hendriks.

With over half of their 2014 squad moving on, the Unspeakables keep producing new recruits out of nowhere. With Natalie Astalosh taking over the captain’s reigns this year and Luke Derrick as coach, the team has strong leadership. The Unspeakables have shown in their performances this season that they can still mix it with the best teams in NSW while developing new talent.
An average rebuilding season where the team went 10-11 was capped off with a good performance at the October Tri-Wizard tournament. The team beat the Nargles 100*-50 and UTS 60*-10 to top Group B, only to fall to eventual co-champions WSQC 110*-80.
Winning the Best New Player Award playing for Blue’s Clues at Sydney All Stars Fantasy, Samantha Chittenden has had a great debut season with the Unspeakables. As one of the tallest female quaffle players in New South Wales, she has a distinct advantage over the majority of defenders matched up against her; being a great receiver adds to her threat around the hoops. Chittenden brings flexibility to the Unspeakables lineup with the ability to also play at keeper. Defences will have to be wary of her and not underestimate her at QUAFL.
South Melbourne Centaurs Q.C.
Photo Credit: Nic Hirst
Captain: Michael Braham
Coach: Graham Done

Charlie Crutchfield
Mark Kelly
Nicholas Munro
Sally Hicks
Mandi Lyons
James Layh
Justine Herring
Faye Dabrowski
Olivia Staffieri
Anita Flack
Chloe Bridle              
No. 12 in AQA rankings.
Win-loss record: 1-5.

New to team: Michael Braham (Wrackspurts.)
Outgoing players: James Brooks (Phoenixes), Carissa Dyall (Phoenixes), Astrid Voorwinden.
QUAFL debuts: Whole squad.

The Centaurs make their QUAFL debut this year after being around the Victorian quidditch scene since Easton Shield in 2014. The majority of their players have been playing for the better part of a year, so they will have more team chemistry than teams with a lot of new player intake. Brooks returning to the Phoenixes is a big loss for the Centaurs, as it forces Crutchfield, Layh, or Braham back into the keeper position.
A fifth place finish in Victoria Cup was an improvement on their sixth in Easton Shield, but shows they were still looking to gel with new recruits. They bring in good recent form with a 3-5 record at MUDBASH 2015, taking in an underdog victory against the Wrackspurts along the way 80*-50. Charity Cup also saw a win over the Trolls 80*-30 and a respectable loss to the Manticores 140*-50.
After being awarded the 2014 Easton Shield MVP, Michael Braham has had another stellar season for the Centaurs. A top 10 goal scorer in Victoria Cup and MUDBASH 2015, Braham is now one of the biggest scoring threats in Victoria. The loss of James Brooks back to the Phoenixes may force Braham to play more of a keeper role, but his experience and leadership will shine more in that position. The Centaurs do not possess very many seeking options, and it could be his clutch catches that see them making Day Two finals.   
Wollongong Warriors
Photo Credit: Joshua Pinnuck
Captain: Jacob Fleming
Coach: Morgan Legg

Jarrod Simpson
Jean Claude Seedoyal
Annabelle Murdoch
Huw Tomlinson
Hannah Davidson
Nicole Langridge
Patrick Thompson
Joshua Naismith
Nicole Cabrera
Stephen Wales

No. 15 in AQA Ranking.
Win-loss record: 1-22.

New to team: Joshua Naismith (Newcastle).
Outgoing players: Joshua Pinnuck (Trolls), Ezekiel Azib, Brandon Heldt (Unspeakables).
QUAFL debuts: Annabelle Murdoch, Stephen Wales, Patrick Thompson.

Tomlinson, Davidson, and Cabrera all return for the Warriors after sitting out of QUAFL 2014. Naismith is a big addition for the team; the previous captain of the Fireballs brings much needed experience into a small Warriors lineup.
A tough season for the Warriors saw them outsized and out-skilled in the majority of their matchups, but the team’s resilience and never-say-die attitude is to be praised. They beat the Macarthur Weasleys at the October Tri-Wizard tournament 140-90*, but were outclassed by the Marauders 120*-30. They are a team not to be underestimated, though; in 2013 they beat the eventual champions the Perth Phoenixes in pool play and will look to do the same to the teams in Pool B this year.
As previously mentioned, FireballsQUAFL 2014 captain Joshua Naismith brings valuable experience with him. Although he joined the Warriors at the start of the year, he didn’t have an immediate impact as the Warriors still hold a poor 1-22 record this season. Travelling to Perth for the Emma Watson Fantasy Tournament would have been good personal practice for him in the lead up to QUAFL, where he needs to really step up his game for the Warriors.
USC Dementors
Photo Credit: Jackson Weaver
Captain: Simon Spann

Andrew Browne
William O'Connell
Ruth Creffield
Katie Townsend
Ishara Zahnleiter
Alise Thomas
Zachary Parker
Joshua Lindley
Michael Hammond
Tiernan Walker
Eliot Rhys-Jones
John Cameron
Dylan Waller
Nina Ashfield
Abbey Crook
Jane Larkin
Corey Larkin
Connor Holding
Willem Bruinsma
Unranked in AQA rankings.

New to team: None.
Outgoing players: None.
QUAFL debuts: Whole squad.

Unibattle 2015 saw the Dementors play a series of games against the Nargles and WSQC, and it was the first tournament in which they played against interstate teams. USC impressed by winning three out of five games against ANU over the two days, including a big 150*-80 win. WSQC had too much experience for the Dementors though, winning all five games despite the Dementors catching every single snitch. The final once again saw WSQC triumph 60-30*.
USC has a lot of hype surrounding it, but it will be its performance at QUAFL 2015 that will matter. Getting out of Pool B will be the first step, and with a 20-person squad, the team should not run out of gas over the weekend.
Josh Lindley has only been playing the sport since July; he has already made inroads within his intramural league, where he captains the USC Basilisks and led them to a second place finish this season. Hailing from a futsal background, quidditch came naturally due to his ability to pick up the tactical side of the game. Lindley will be one of the Dementors key players at keeper, where he will be looking to use his speed to fast break and hit teammates on passes around the hoops.
Pool C
Melbourne Manticores
Photo Credit: Ajantha Abey
Captain: Callum Mayling
Coach: Dean Rodhouse

Emma Morris
Meg Harding
Jonathan Warhurst
James Williams
David Blamey
Kara Spilstead
Cameron Mitchell
Cassia Menkhorst
Tristan Mayling
Natasha Keehan
Deni Tasman
Jacobo Arenas
Katherine Hunter
No. 1 in AQA Ranking.
Win-loss record: 11-0.

New to team: Dean Rodhouse (Muggles).
Outgoing players: Jimmy Stewart.
QUAFL debuts: Jacobo Arenas, Tristan Mayling.

The Manticores have retained every member – with the exception of Stewart from their QUAFL 2014-winning team and also recruited Rodhouse one of the best beaters in Australia at the beginning of the year. Arenas and Mayling make their QUAFL debuts and add extra depth to arguably the strongest chaser lineup in the country.
An undefeated Victoria Cup winning season was the start they were looking for where there were no real signs of anything stopping their winning ways.  A surprising runner-up performance at MUDBASH 2015 where they lost to ANewPerth in round-robin and in the grand final showed that the team was vulnerable, but it also took a stacked mercenary team to do it.  In the Charity Cup games, they lost in the final to the Muggles 110*-50; although it was with a sub-less team, it was still a notable loss.
Dean Rodhouse is the only new addition to the Manticores lineup from last season, and he has been a great addition. Having spent the season gelling with Tasman and Harding and playing the occasional minutes at chaser, Rodhouse is primed for a big showing at QUAFL. Beater fanatics will love the Pool C matchups which consist of beater lines like Cozens/Fox/Lee, Berkowicz/Allen and Young/Stubberfield. Rodhouse will relish the opportunity to play against these other top class beaters, stamp his name as one of the best, and lead the Manticores to back-to-back titles.
Newcastle Fireballs
Photo Credit: Bianca Connell
Captain: Liam Dawson
Coach: Thomas Russell

Desany Phanoraj
Jason Taylor
George Curan
James Hosford
Roy Velting
Joel Murphy
Nicholas Allan
Ryan Hanwright
Jordan Watts
Holly Cairncross
Nicholas Landkroon
Mitchell McMahon
Emmanuel Berkowicz
Dameon Osborn
Owen Sherwood

No. 4 in AQA rankings.
Win-loss record: 19-11.

New to team: Nicholas Allen (UNSW), Emmanuel Berkowicz (UNSW).
Outgoing players: James Mortensen (Nargles), Joshua Naismith (Warriors), Matt Ingram (Unicorns).
QUAFL debuts: George Curan, James Hosford, Nicholas Landkroon, Mitchell McMahon.

The Fireballs lost Naismith and Mortensen their captain and coach respectively from last seasonbut Dawson and Cairncross have stepped into co-captain roles; Russell is now coach. At the start of the year, they brought the best male beater duo in the NSW onto a team that desperately needed male beaters, something which reaped rewards as they finished as the third highest NSW ranked team.
The October Tri-Wizard tournament saw the Fireballs lose to both UNSW and WSQC, but they were missing the aforementioned beater duo. It is worth noting that in both games, the score was 50-50 when their opponents caught the snitch, highlighting that the Fireballs chaser line was still performing well. They will be looking to avenge their poor performance from last QUAFL, which saw them go 1-5 and miss out on Day Two finals.
Emmanuel Berkowicz was a Team Australia member in 2014 and caught the eye of many American players at West Fantasy in Los Angeles where he went 4-1 in SWIM snitch catches. He continued his great seeking record at MUDBASH 2015 for ANewPerth with a 100 percent catch rate. His catches this QUAFL are going to set the tempo for how far the Fireballs get in the tournament and if they could unexpectedly upset the Manticores in pool play.
Australian National Nargles
Photo Credit: Jamie Turbet
Captain: Daniel Fox
Coach: James Mortensen

Morgyn Benstead
Caleb Shepherd
Oscar Cozens
Gary Hague
Liam Dray
Zak Dowling
William Palmer
Logan Davis
Travis Ey
Hannah Jackson
Jamie Turbet
Merryn Christian
Robert Cook
Shu Ying Lee
Eleanor Small
Sophie Fitch
Ciaron Quinlivan
Benjamin Keough
Clara Barrs

No. 5 in AQA rankings.
Win-loss record: 11-10.

New to team: James Mortensen (Fireballs), Zak Dowling (Dementors), Caleb Shepherd (Dementors)
Outgoing players: None.
QUAFL debuts: Caleb Shepherd, Zak Dowling, William Palmer, Logan Davis, Travis Ey, Hannah Jackson, Jamie Turbet, Robert Cook, Eleanor Small, Sophie Fitch, Ciaron Quinlivan, Benjamin Keough

The Nargles have had the best season in the club's history, finishing with a positive 11-10 record and at No. 5 in the AQA rankings. Joining them at the start of the season was the recently elected Team Australia 2016 captain Mortensen, who immediately brought a wealth of knowledge and experience as coach to the team.
After playing for the Nargles at Midwinter, Dowling will also be lining up for them again. Despite having 12 QUAFL debutantesthu, all have been playing since the beginning of the year and have played arguably more quidditch than anyone after travelling to Unibattle, Midwinter, and MUDBASH 2015 this season.
Having beaten the Unspeakables 150*-40 and the Opaleyes 90-60* at the September Tri-Wizard tournament, the October Tri-Wizard tournament was not the end to the year that the Nargles wanted. They lost to the Opaleyes 80*-70 where they fell 30 points behind to the Opaleyes early; it came back to hurt them as they lost by 10 and also lost to the Unspeakables 100*-50. The team struggled to get over the Opaleyes loss, and it showed in their game against the Unspeakables. It is something they will need to address for QUAFL, as they have drawn Pool C alongside the Manticores, the best team in the country.
Depth players stepping up to become primary threats are what can move a team up to an elite level. Throughout the year, William Palmer has shown that he can be that player for the Nargles, and he’s only 18 years of age. A consistent player for the Nargles at the Tri-Wizard tournaments all year, he was able to flourish in mercenary and fantasy teams, where he was around the experienced Hyder on ANewPerth at MUDBASH 2015 and Culf/Morton on the Firebreathing Green Rubber Duckies at Sydney All-Stars. He is a flexible option for the Nargles at both keeper and chaser and could really sneak under the radar of team defences who are just focused on stopping Mortensen and Hague.
Melbourne Unicorns
Photo credit: Victorian Quidditch Association
Captain: Peter Lego
Coach: Jack Davis

Emma Humphrey
Katie Topp
Hannah Steel
Rhea Schulte
Emma Wright
Matt Ingram
Vishal Chopra
Nicholas Hirst
Joshua Apter

No. 13 in AQA rankings.
Win-loss record: 2-7.

New to team: Matt Ingram (Fireballs), Vishal Chopra (Basilisks).
Outgoing players: None.
QUAFL debuts: Whole squad.

The Unicorns are missing veteran and top goal-scorer Rob Moore, utility and season coach Ethan Rossborough, beaters Jacinta Miles and Emily Kirsh, and various other rookies who have debuted for them throughout the year. For a Victorian team who has presented much larger numbers throughout the season, their tournament roster is disappointingly sparse. However, that is not to discount their shared experience. Former Fireball Ingram has been playing since the early stages of Australian quidditch and brings a wealth of knowledge to the team. Furthermore, Chopra was a key member of the Basilisks offence at the last QUAFL during their run to the semifinals.
Ingram maintaining bludger control will be key for the Unicorns at QUAFL. With such a small squad, the Unicorns chasers are going to run out of gas and, more often than not, it will come down to their beaters to stop goals. Ingram is not a top-tier beater but a beater who should not be underestimated, but he finds himself in a strong beater pool and will have to play some of his best quidditch. An injury cloud surrounds him coming into the tournament which could limit his offensive ability.
La Trobe University Quidditch Club
Photo Credit: John Jiang
Captain: Sean Arbuthnot

Regina Atkinson
Joshua Pinnuck
Mark Douglas
Callum Wynen
Rachel Davis
Sarah Wynen
Sarah Olsson
Joshua Pinnuck
Alanah Whicker
Lianna Sliwczynski
James Stoker
Jordan Wymarra
Aashish Choudhary

No. 14 in AQA Ranking.
Win-loss record: 1-4.

New to team: Joshua Pinnuck (Warriors).
Outgoing players: None.
QUAFL debuts: Whole squad (excluding Jordan Wymarra).

The La Trobe Trolls are Victoria’s youngest team, but they have already made some waves this year. Despite having one of the smallest squads throughout the year and regularly presenting seven to eight players on game day, the Trolls have raked together 14 players for the tournament, and for once they do not have the smallest substitution line at QUAFL.
The Trolls’ presence at QUAFL will lie in their ability to put points on the board and hold teams in range, as they have a proven pair of talented seekers with Stoker and Arbuthnot. The Trolls biggest chance at victory will be teams underestimating their ability and being complacent. Jack O’Brien, a regular member of the team, will be a big out for Trolls, as he has been instrumental in their goal scoring opportunities during Victoria Cup. Without Davis’s speed, the Trolls will rely on Stoker and the experience of Pinnuck to score, beaters Davis, Olsson, and Arbuthnot to hold their defence together and the motivational prowess of Jordan Wymarra to keep the Trolls’ fury strong over the course of the weekend.
During the Victoria Cup season, the Trolls secured their only win for the year over the Centaurs 100*-90 and also just lost to the Unicorns 90*-50. They finished a disappointing ninth place at MUDBASH 2015 after losing all their games. However, they have improved in form to narrowly finish sixth place at Charity Cup, losing the wooden spoon match by only 10 points and being able to put goals on the board against all teams including favourites the Manticores and the Muggles, who were the eventual winners.
James Stoker looks to be a player of promise for the Trolls; his rebound runs were impressive at MUDBASH 2015, and throughout Victoria Cup, he managed to catch several teams off guard. Although inexperienced, he will be a player the Trolls look to as one of their main offensive threats with the absence of O’Brien from the roster. This will be a great opportunity for him to show his pace and skills against a tough pool for the Trolls.   
Perth Phoenixes
Photo Credit: Katelyn Stubberfield
Captain: James Hyder

Katelyn Stubberfield
Alexander Edwards
James Brooks
Veronica Lowe
Ashleigh D’Alonzo
Kieran Housley
Elizabeth Burton
Shane Young
William Grainger
Daniel Di Crescenzo
Luke Stampalia
Rebecca Froling
Carissa Dyall
Samantha Holt
Andrew Kasimir
Charmaine Goh
Michael Palmisano
Tobyn Fitch-Rabbitt
Stewart Burton

Unranked in AQA.

New to team: None.
Outgoing players: Eva Setiadi.
QUAFL debuts: Alexander Edwards, James Brooks, Veronica Lowe, Kieran Housley (Durhamstrang), Elizabeth Burton, William Grainger, Daniel Di Crescenzo, Rebecca Froling (RIT Dark Marks), Tobyn Fitch-Rabbitt, Stewart Burton.

The Phoenixes bring their biggest squad ever to QUAFL this year, a far cry from their usual 10-person rosters. QUAFL 2014 saw the Phoenixes forfeit their quarterfinal game due to numerous injuries, but with this year’s 19-person roster, they can be confident that a repeat of their forfeiture will not happen.
For the first time since 2012, members of the Phoenixes travelled interstate during the year to get match experience, where they competed at MUDBASH 2015 on the mercenary team, ANewPerth, which went 9-0 throughout the tournament. Despite this, the Phoenixes still bring in a lot of fresh faces who are untested interstate as well as two Malaysian players – Dyall and Brooks – and Victorians – Kasimir and Goh – who have not trained with the team, forcing their chemistry to be tested.
When you look at top-tier teams, the Phoenixes have multiple scoring threats and the typical defence just cannot cover all of them. In previous years, Hyder has been the team’s number one avenue to offence and has not been able to share the workload around. William Grainger is a chaser who can step up into a consistent scoring role that the Phoenixes desperately need. He showed promise at MUDBASH 2015 and was ANewPerth’s third-highest goal scorer behind Hyder and Mortensen, but he lacked finesse and composure when under pressure. He will work his way into the tournament by knowing which teams’ defences he can run through due to his size.
QUAFL 2015 will mark Australia’s capstone tournament. It will be interesting to see how each of these squads fare when they all face off in Melbourne.

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