76. Whose BabyDate: 19/07/2008 - 20/07/2008
Location: Predboj, Czech Republic
Team name: Wally's Estonian Team
Finishing postion: 5/12
Predboj is a small town about 30 minutes outside of Prague. We were camped at the fields and all facilities including bar with very cheap (20CZK) beers and good food were at the fields. We travelled there by plane as a team and spent the Friday walking around Prague. It's a very beautiful city.
This was the first time I had run specific training sessions with the Estonians for a tournament, outside of their regular pickup game "training". We had four training sessions and I had specific aims for plays and strategies. The main thing was our straight up force, using the sideline for communication. We also had some endzone plays, a J, and a zone (the last two of which we didn't use). I was very happy with the state of the team after so few training sessions. Obviously there was a lot left undone, but there had been considerable progress and we knew our main plays fairly well.
The draw was two pools of six, with the top, middle, and bottom two teams joining up for semis and final for final placings. So we had to get in the top two to make it through to the final and that looked to be a challenge. I had no real idea of the level of play, but even though it was supposed to be a fun tournament I was under the impression it would be quite high. Names such as Endzonis and the Polish National team graced our pool and we were seeded last.
Our first game was against Endzonis, and it turned out they weren't so good after all. They were already drinking and were making a lot of mistakes. We had a terrible game though and lost it by a point. We had to win all our other games to make it to the finals. We won the next game easily but lost to the Slovakians in another tight game. We won our last game again quite easily.
Our last pool game was on the second day, but we had already secured third place. The horror themed party went down well, with a lot of dressing up, a lot of drinking, and a lot of good party fun. I had a good time mixing with other teams after mine had gone to bed.
We lost the first game of the day, but it didn't matter and we played against Saxy Divers (another team I thought would be good) in our 5 - 8 semi. It felt like a badly spirited game from us, but we outplayed them with our straight up defence and played solid offence to win by about 7 points. The 5/6 playoff was against the Austrian team Spin. They had a young lad who had been a frisbee baby and was a very good lefty handler, one fast receiver, and the rest older but experienced players. It was tight game. Kristjan and this Jakob kid were a great match up to watch, and they were the first team to be able to score long on us. The last golden point was horrible with good defence and terrible offence from both sides, but we took it. Fifth was a great result for us, but a better first game would probably have made us semifinalists.
I was very happy with how the team worked. We generally weren't that strong individual players (as the number of drops and throwaways shows) but we were one of the stronger teams. Our straight up defence was the best man on man defence of the tournament, and our endzone plays were played almost perfectly, resulting in a score every time. My only complaint is about the spirit, particularly from Endzonis. It was a fun tournament, but there seemed to be a bit of hostility from some of the teams (not much, but it was in the air), and Endzonis were pretty much just obnoxious drunks. We in turn played a less spirited tournament than usual.
The team name ended up so because of my laziness when I applied, thinking I was just going to be on a waiting list and wouldn't actually get on the team list.