Scotland Ultimate Interview

Interviewer/Editor: Harry Mason
Additional Help: Haydon Christou

We sat down with Matthew Tomlinson (Captain of Glasgow Ultimate - GU) and Matthew Fletcher (Captain of Edinburgh Ultimate - EDI) to discuss the formation of an exciting new Open team which just announced trials - Scotland Ultimate. If you’re interested, the deadline to apply is 26th June, and you can sign up here


So, what is Scotland Ultimate?

Matt F
The scene in Scotland is going strong as it always has with healthy club structures in Edinburgh and Glasgow. Both teams are at a point where pushing for the top of nationals isn't in the clubs goals, but as a nation we're comfortably ready to push into Europe.

And why do the two clubs need to join for this, if you don't mind me asking? EDI have already managed to show they can hold their own in A Tour, and Glasgow managed make a very good name for themselves in Europe last season.
Matt F
It's mutually beneficial.
Matt T
The mixed scene in Scotland this year is so strong, with Black Eagles dominating and Glasgow putting in consistent results in the top 8, it could have been easy to let the open scene take a back seat. By running as GU and EDI through the tour season we can develop as separate squads, help improve the local talent, but then be able it pull together for a real shot at Euros.

So the aim is for GU and EDI to stay as separate teams throughout tour, and then combine for UK Regionals/Nationals?
Matt T
The depth in quality of Scotland is just fantastic and there is more than enough talent for a truly elite mixed and open program. The Ultimate community in Scotland is also very tight, many friends play on either side of the GU/ EDI divide and this is a great opportunity to compete together. Not to mention the other parts of Scotland that are interested in getting involved, most notably the St Andrew's boys that are spending the tour season with GB.

Do you see this as a one year thing? And if so, will it always be separate teams at tour to a combined team at nationals?
Matt T
We haven't looked that far ahead yet.
Last year GU was the force in Scotland, but despite the name many of our players were based in other parts of Scotland, such as Edinburgh/ Dundee. By re-branding as Scotland Ultimate for regionals, nationals and beyond we feel the team name and style is more reflective of our diverse player base. Our hope is that players will want to band together around the team Scotland idea, rather than side with 1 particular city. It also gives us a great excuse to have specialised Scotland Ultimate kit designed, which is looking SICK!
I would like to add, however, that the intention of Scotland Ultimate is not to detract or undermine the success of what GU and EDI are doing domestically. These clubs are more than just tour teams, they teach beginners, volunteer at schools, run fun tournaments and promote Ultimate to everyone that they can. These clubs are nurturing grassroots frisbee and helping the sport to grow in their regions, so I don't want to do anything to take away from their success. The goal of Scotland Ultimate is to offer a platform for high level players to train hard and push each other to greatness.  

Are there any development plans with this team (e.g. take some training squad players, field a second team, train with some local unis), or do you just see it as an elite club for nationals?
Matt F
It's too early to say but anything is possible really. This team is about continuing the development of Scottish Ultimate first and foremost. How we achieve that and the different ways in which we could are still very much under discussion.
Matt T
GU and EDI are very good at developing players and providing something for everyone. trainings, skills sessions, second teams etc.
Early aspirations for Scotland Ultimate is to bring the top talent of Scotland together. Where the future will take us, we can't say right now, but the future of Ultimate in Scotland is looking very bright and we hope this club is the start of another great chapter in its continued development.

What are you guys aiming for with the team? Top 5 at nationals? Top 10 in Europe?
Matt F
Win, and keep winning.

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