Belfast, Interview, Queens, Ultimate Frisbee

Ben Mathews, Queens Ultimate. End of season reflections

By @SimonCocking

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How did the season go for you team?

We had a great start to our season with 6th place finish at indoor IVs and taking some big scalps for us in the likes of UCD and NUIG along the way. It was nice for myself seeing the team mixing it in the top 8 of a tournament. It really is where we belong with the talent we have on the team. We were feeling positive going into outdoor IV having had a good season of practice under our belts with our new coach Marco but unfortunately this didn’t reflect our final placing at IVS as we finished 10th. I don’t think this properly reflected our performance and had it not been for a little bit of bad luck we could have found ourselves in a much higher position.

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What were the team’s highlights, and your own ones too?

Beating UCD at indoor’s was a massive moment for us as we showed that we really were able to mix it with the best teams in the country and we came fairly close to repeating the feat at outdoor’s only to have UCD show their superior experience in playing at a high level to take hold of the game. For me a highlight was seeing players who had only been playing a couple of months becoming some of the best players on our team. The likes of Jack Gibson. Patrick McGeough  and Aodhan McKenna became really important parts of our lineup, these are all players that worked really hard over the course of the season and it was fantastic to see them matching up well with some of the best players in the country.

Anything you would have done differently, looking back?

Fitness, fitness and more fitness. This is one area that my game fell down immensely and I think  it was a problem with our team as a whole as we were able to give UCD a good game at the start of IVs but come the last game against DIT we were barely able to put out a line that could stand on the line never mind chase after our man. I probably also would have went to more tournament parties, I was too focused on not having to play hungover but I think I missed out on a massive part of playing college ultimate.

How did freshers fair go (way back when)? & Did you get many players who had played previously (at school)

Freshers was really positive this year, we were really lucky to get some players who were friends of U20 captain Jack Lynch and they proved valuable in the early part of the season with Ciaran Ferris only just missing out on making the U20 squad this year. Players like Gibbs and Amy Kyle slotted right into the team mentality and are great people to have in the club.

Was this the usual sort of level, or did you do anything different this year, which had more or less success in retaining / gaining new players?

Queen’s is still a relatively small club compared to other Irish University clubs and this is reflected in our intake of new players. I think this is because of a lack of available resources to the club such as indoor training slots and floodlit pitches during the winter. I think for future years the club needs to focus more on the social side of ultimate while still training at a high level which is pushing even the strongest players to their limits.

How many of your first team players will you be losing? Are you excited / positive about 2015/6?

There’s a few of our first team leaving us this year. The likes of Josh McCann, Aodhan McKenna and Pete Gaston will be sorely missed. While I’m sure they’ll be happy to get rid of myself and fitness coach Joe Brennan. There’s a really solid and rapidly improving team staying for next year and I’m sure under the Presidency of Ellie and with a  new captain in the form of Dan Finlay they will only build on the successes of this year.

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Will many of your team be playing in the summer somewhere? (Worlds / summer league etc)

Myself and Emily McCabe have been lucky enough to be selected for the U23 Mixed team going to world’s in London with Emily also being selected for the Senior Women’s teams going to EUC! I’m sure everyone else will training intensely with Belfast Ultimate as they travel to tour and prepare for All Irelands.

Will you follow the progress of the various Irish teams going to international tournaments this summer?

It’s become a great part of summer following the different Irish teams, especially when there’s some for of live feed showing their games. I’m really looking forward to seeing how the Senior Mixed team get on in Copenhagen. I know they’ve been training really hard and have a lot of ambition so it would be great to see them come home with a medal.

Anything you plan to do to improve your own game over the summer?

It was pointed out to me by a certain coach from Cork that ‘players carrying extra weight won’t hit the speeds they should do’ so I will be focusing a lot on getting in better shape. I need to work a lot more on my decision making as well, I’m going to be practicing taking the easy pass a lot more rather than always trying to make the perfect incisive pass every time. So hopefully by world’s I’ll be a lean mean non-turning handling machine

What else should we have asked you / would you like to add?

Think I’m good. It’s been a pleasure.

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One thought on “Ben Mathews, Queens Ultimate. End of season reflections

  1. Pingback: Marks out of 10, Irish colleges end of season review, with bonus content | Sarah Paddle Swim

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