Now that the tournament is very near to finishing, we decided to run a fantasy draft with our writers picking a Mixed team of the best players we’ve seen at this tournament. Given that we can mix up lines with gender balance, we decided that three men and three women was the best way to go. The only rule was that they could only choose one person per country. The full draft results are below for you read, criticise and disagree with. What follows is a few hundred words of people arguing why their team would win in this totally hypothetical tournament of hastily assembled super-teams:
I won the first pick in this draft through a randomised number generator, and not because I’m editing the whole thing. Nici Prien was my first pick since she’s been dominating the tournament from the get go and I thought she’d be a good building block. I decided I needed a strong handler next so I took Justin Norden, who’s been unstoppable when I’ve seen the Canadian Mixed team. Justin Foord was still available at my third pick and can do a bit of everything, as can my fourth pick Cassidy Rasmussen. Amie Channon has had a huge tournament for the UAE and can also play wherever needed, so I took Olga Podolskaia who’s been a phenomenal cutter for the Russia Women’s team to finish off. Norden’s going to catch the pull and my cutters, whoever they are, are going to run through everyone else’s team. Easily.
Siva because you will find him everywhere and anywhere on the field. Always your go to man whether on the reset or looking long. He’s omnipresence can single handedly win games. Can because he is incredibly adaptable on field. He reads the game the flow of the game like a pro and has the agility to handle the disc with speed, strength and pinpoint throws. Davide for his wealth of experience. He analyses the game well and recognises when to change tactic. He can also rip the disc across the entire field at will. Rodriguez is a tall and powerful player whose wing span on the force can often force a turn. She’s integral to any offence, with both a killer high release backhand that allows her to break with ease and perfectly weighted looping swings at her disposal. Anciaux is a powerhouse on D who make huge plays. Strong and powerful, she can dominate both vertically and horizontally. More importantly, she has the throws to match in order to ensure the conversion. Bex Forth is one of the most experienced female players around and a master at beach. She is 13-time Paganello champion and has represented at World Games. After two decades of playing she is still taking home silverware. The Roger Federer of Ultimate. Will she ever stop winning?!
There’s a lot of power in this team. Six top level athletes from different parts of Europe and North America that can dominate on either O or D. Soper, Masek Kelly and Sweeney are all big, aggressive handlers who love to attack the space and make game winning throws, as they have all proved this week. Sweeney in particular would love having Ash Yeo to throw deep to. Would be unstoppable. Want to double cover him? Fair enough, Swede Sarah Eklund is unstoppable in the endzone as highlighted by her 29 goals. Whether she’s with the Danes or the Germans, Levke is one of the best female D players in the world. Stick her on your opponents main threat and they’re goosed. This team would generate turns, be an outright pain to shut down and make highlight reel plays all day.
Oh boy oh boy. My team. I don’t understand how I got to pick a team as good as this. Sasha Pustovaia and Becky Malinowski have been crushing all week. To clarify, I’ve got the top statter for USA/two-time consecutive club national champion Malinowski, and the huge wingspan and hucks of Postovaia. They’ll be insane. Pimenta is one of the most athletic beasts ever to meet the sand (and one of the sweetest guys in the tournament). Bowen will generate blocks against any team we face – he’s one of the main reasons GB are in the Men’s final. Then, Antonio Francisco. I can’t pick a fantasy team on beach without a Philippines player, it’s like not putting milk on cereal. I want someone with the mental strength to help a team win from 8-2 down against the USA, and also take Canada to sudden death – Francisco was the man assisting most of those points. Finally, I want Anouchka Beaudry. She’s got hops, Ds, and on-field awareness. She sees out what, quite frankly, would be the most ridiculous team ever to play on sand.
SEAN: Nici Prien (Germany Mixed)
CHARLIE: Sivaraman Venkatesan (India Mixed)
AIDAN: Isaiah Masek-Kelly (Canada Mixed)
HARRY: Sasha Pustovaia (Russia Women)
HARRY: Sam Bowen (Great Britain Men)
AIDAN: Paige Soper (USA Women)
CHARLIE: Davide Morri (Italy Mixed)
SEAN: Justin Norden (Canada Mixed)
SEAN: Justin Foord (Great Britain Men)
CHARLIE: Emre Can (Turkey Mixed)
AIDAN: Ash Yeo (Great Britain Men)
HARRY: David Pimenta (Portugal Mixed)
HARRY: Anouchka Beaudry (Canada Women)
AIDAN: Padraig Sweeney (Ireland Men)
CHARLIE: Daniela Rodriguez (France Women)
SEAN: Cassidy Rasmussen (USA Men)
SEAN: Amie Channon (UAE Women)
CHARLIE: Katey Forth (Great Britain Women)
AIDAN: Levke Walczak (Denmark Women)
HARRY: Becky Malinowski (USA Women)
HARRY: Antonio Francisco (Philippines Mixed)
AIDAN: Sarah Eklund (Sweden Mixed)
CHARLIE: Sarah Anciaux (USA Women)
SEAN: Olga Podolskaia (Russia Women)