9 March 2009

Australian Nationals preview - Open division

With one week til Regionals, its time to look at the top open teams lining up for Nationals 2009 in Perth. Once again they will be competing for the Mark Parilla Cup.

So far there have only been three tournaments on the calendar to judge how the teams are going: the BC Invitational in Canberra, Share the Love in Sydney and the Golden City Classic in Ballarat.

The top tier could include these teams (though not in this order):

The Gack is back. No Kiwi pick-up sightings this year, so we'll see if they can push back to the top. Surely there will be a Sydney pick up or 2? Camby will check the eligibility rules to see who he can bring.

Heads of State 
Still getting all our players on board (overseas and injury), but we like where we are at. A new offence, a deep, hard-running roster and a lot of noise.

Looked really good at the BC Invitational. Their uni talent has hit the bigtime (such as Chilly and Chris) and this makes them deeper than in the past, so we'll see if they can improve on the 3rd placing of 2008. They love their split stack.

Didn't put teams away in Canberra like some were expecting, after their dominance at Share the Love. The addition of Waz and Matty is nothing to be sneezed at though. Lacking tall defenders (a lot sits on the shoulders of Jonno and Waz as Matt prefers marking handlers). Fyshwick set the standard for defining roles for players and building confidence in players - they regularly put 7 on the line without a big name, and still get the job done.

Fakulti X & Y

When I think of Fakulti I think of a river. You can throw anything at them, and they will calmly erode your defence and work the disc in for a score. When they are on D, they quietly apply pressure and wait for your errors. The Fakulti system continues to be able to split the club into 2 equal teams, and have both compete at a high level. Have lost Waz and Matty to Fyshwick, but have young guns Calan and Mark on board while Tex has taken it to the next level in the wake of Worlds 2008.

The next tier down could look like:

7 of them made it out to the BC Invitational, but as usual we won't see the full picture until Nationals. I want to see the Eleys and Twiggy dominate on their home turf. If JD isn't marked up right, he will rip out some big hucks (Attention all - in 15+ years of disc golf, he has thrown more pinpoint backhands than any human in this country. Take away his backhand!). 

If you believe Joel, their A team is so stacked that they will deserve better than 1st, and get platinum, not gold, medals. Hmmm. Need to see them at Regionals and find out if they can finally topple Heads of State or Chilly.

Winless at the BC Invitational? One win at the BC Invitational. A young team that will need others to step up and help J-Mac and Mike. Jules - I am looking at you :)

There will be a number of B teams and others filling out the spots at Nationals.

All in all, the open club scene continues to get deeper.