Monday, May 23, 2016

Introducing Team Canada 2016

By Laura Lepine

On May 13, 2016, Quidditch Canada released the much-anticipated roster for Team Canada. The team features nine returning players from the 2014 Global Games, 12 new faces, and a brand new coaching staff, all of whom will be representing their country at the 2016 IQA World Cup.
Introducing Team Canada 2016:


Jonathan Golla, Waterloo Quidditch Program
Golla has made incredible strides in his rookie season, which is perhaps not surprising, considering his strides are twice as long as the average attacker’s. A fearsome driver, Golla also brings a sharp game sense to his line, drawing defenders to create much-needed space for goals.
Ittaana Krow, Valhalla Quidditch
As the captain of Valhalla Quidditch, Krow is one of Team Canada’s most versatile keepers. Krow is extremely agile, darting away from opponents until he secures a high-percentage shot. He is a powerful unifying force for the Canadian offence and will be a leading presence on field.
Andrew Kusters, Valhalla Quidditch
Rounding out the Canadian keepers is Andrew Kusters, a returning member of the 2014 squad. Kusters hails from a background as a soccer keeper, which is evident in his smooth coverage of all three hoops. His positioning is a great asset, as demonstrated by his easy reads of pop flies and long shots. Kusters, along with his fellow keepers, sets the bar for incredibly fast Canadian offensive lines.

This will be Kusters’ second time representing Canada on the international level. | Photo Credit: Janet Hoffar Photography

Matthew Bourassa, Carleton University Quidditch
Also serving as an assistant coach for Team Canada 2016, Bourassa is a veteran chaser from Carleton Quidditch. Bourassa is known for his devastating drives and incredible determination on defence. Combining strength with an eye for quick turnovers, Bourassa is a key component in the Canadian chaser corps.
Cameron Cutler, University of British Columbia (UBC)
One of four Western Canada players joining Team Canada this year is chaser Cameron Cutler of UBC. Having played primarily as a keeper, Cutler relies on his speed and agility to push his offence and has led his regular season team to two consecutive US Quidditch Cup appearances. This experience will certainly lead to unpredictable, agile drives from Cutler, who can apply his trademark fakes and jukes to a whole new level.
Devin Dutt, Valhalla Quidditch
Another returning player from 2014 is chaser Devin Dutt. His talents are extremely diverse, as he plays chaser, beater, and seeker at a high level, and this versatility shows in his chaser game, as he has a strong awareness of every piece in play on the field. Dutt further excels in a broad passing game, preferring a strong lateral pattern that is very difficult to defend against.
Michelle Ferguson, Alberta Clippers
Also rejoining her Team Canada teammates from 2014 is Michelle Ferguson of the Alberta Clippers. Ferguson is both fast and sneaky – a dangerous combination for opponents who may underestimate her based on her size. On the flip side, Ferguson spells equal trouble for opponents who choose to track her closely; she is an excellent dodger and creates lanes of space for her teammates to attack.
Robyn Fortune, McGill University Quidditch
Yukon Gold is more than just a brand of potatoes; the moniker also accurately describes the Midas touch of Robyn Fortune, Team Canada’s northernmost player. A member of the 2014 Team Canada squad, Fortune recorded the most goals of any Canadian against the dominant Team USA. She has incredibly steady hands and infiltrates her opponents’ defence before they have a chance to counter.

Canada hopes Robyn Fortune repeats her stellar scoring record at this upcoming World Cup. | Photo Credit: Ben Holland Photography
Steven Kimball, University of Ottawa Gee-Gees
Team Canada has a powerful centre in Steven Kimball, one of Eastern Canada’s strongest drivers. Kimball fully commits to his physical style of play, keeping his opponents constantly scrambling even when deep in their own end. He is a risk-taker and creates clutch opportunities for his teammates both on and off the ball.
Jonathan Parent, University of Ottawa Gee-Gees
Another chaser picked up from the Ottawa championship team is Jonathan Parent. Parent is also active in Major League Quidditch (MLQ) and will be coaching the Ottawa Black Bears this upcoming season. This will provide an additional opportunity to perfect his signature quaffle fakes and further demonstrate his strength for finding and exploiting the patterns of his opponents on defence.
Chris Radojewski, Alberta Clippers
Head Coach Chris Radojewski will certainly be comfortable leading this year’s squad. The veteran chaser has coached for three Canadian teams in the last four seasons, including building the Alberta Clippers into a nationally competitive team in a very short window. Radojewski brings his signature smooth playstyle to his teams, favouring a cooperative attack rather than reliance on individuals. His abilities as a playmaker will be extremely effective when paired with multiple lines of high-speed chasers.

Chris Radojewski is hoping to lead Team Canada to an international victory. | Photo Credit: Ben Holland Photography
Claire Steckle, University of Ottawa Gee-Gees
The final chaser for Team Canada is Claire Steckle of the University of Ottawa Gee-Gees. Steckle boasts a national title alongside her Gee-Gee teammates, earned no doubt in part due to her smart positioning and physical style of play. Steckle has one of the best arms of Canada’s female chasers and is a confident player in multiple roles on pitch.

Katie Brown, Waterloo Quidditch Program
Brown has played two seasons with the Waterloo Ridgebacks and is in her second season with the Ottawa Black Bears in MLQ. She plays a supportive role with her beater partners and is known for her strong communication skills around her hoops. Brown boasts an athletic background in both soccer and volleyball and uses her endurance to remain highly competitive even in the dying minutes of the match.
Martin “Shaggy” Chiasson, University of Ottawa Gee-Gees
Chiasson defines “passive-aggressive” beating. He is incredibly hard to read, alternating effortlessly between aggression and stealth beating. Even if teams can learn to predict Chiasson’s movements, they will still find themselves facing a barrage of speed and game smarts.
Erin McCrady, University of Ottawa Gee-Gees
One of the most well-known Canadians on the team is beater Erin McCrady. McCrady has vast experience, including multiple seasons with the Ottawa Gee-Gees and a season with the MLQ Black Bears. She has made the move to the Rochester Whiteout for the coming MLQ season, which can only improve her already high level of skill. McCrady is joined on Team Canada by her long-time beater partner Mathew McVeigh, and the seamless pair is sure to run a tightly controlled defence for Team Canada.

Erin McCrady with fellow Team Canada player Ema Shiroma-Chao at Quidditch Canada Eastern Regional Championship | Photo Credit: Joël Lemay via Le Journal de Montréal
Mathew McVeigh, University of Ottawa Gee-Gees
Following a brief retirement earlier in 2015, veteran beater McVeigh returned to the Gee-Gees this spring to claim another national title. Playing a balance between aggression and conservatism, McVeigh is one of the most tactically gifted of Team Canada’s defence. He is well-known for fast, brutal seeker-beating, and will be a powerful shield for the Canadian seekers.
Raphael Roy-Laurore, University of Ottawa Gee-Gees
Another Team Canada rookie is Raphael Roy-Laurore of the Ottawa Gee-Gees. Playing originally as a chaser with the Maple Rush (University of Ottawa’s B team) and then the Ottawa Black Bears, Roy-Laurore has stormed onto the scene as an exceptionally fast and destructive beater. Slippery and stealthy, Roy-Laurore exemplifies the classic Gee-Gee beating style in his goals-first attitude and is not afraid to temporarily sacrifice bludger control to help out the offence.
Ema Shiroma-Chao, Université de Montréal Quidditch
Finishing the list of largely veteran beaters is Ema Shiroma-Chao of l’Université de Montréal. Shiroma-Chao is highly talented in game strategy, and remains calm and collected under pressure. Underestimated for her small stature, she is strong at making quick game decisions that effectively shut down attacks on her hoops.

Alexander Naftel, Carleton University
Of all Canadian seekers, few are as dependable as Alex Naftel. Natfel moves easily between quick jabs and a more physical, aggressive style. He is powerful both when defending and when transitioning into the attack, working smoothly with his seeker-beaters to ensure a tough Canadian seeker game.
Gordy Noel, McGill University Quidditch
Noel is another of the less experienced players on Team Canada, though his experience with the game itself is broad. Noel has played as a dedicated snitch for four years, training the seekers of McGill University before turning to the position himself. Noel’s snitching experience has given him a unique seeker style, particularly on defence, and has left him wise to any tricks thrown his way.
Austin Wallace, University of British Columbia Quidditch
The final player for Team Canada 2016 is Austin Wallace of UBC. Mirroring his seeker teammates in size, Wallace is a master of unorthodox movement with an incredible reach. Relying on his excellent stamina, Wallace is known for clutch grabs and will serve as a potent trump card for Team Canada.

Austin Wallace with a clutch grab at Rocky Mountain Rumble | Photo Credit: Alicia Mills
Team Canada joins the world in Frankfurt, Germany on July 23-24, 2016 for the IQA Quidditch World Cup.

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