What happens when Ultimate players from Adelaide close their eyes? They imagine Dragons!
Meet the 2018 Adelaide Dragons
Michelle Phillips (marquee player)
Joel Pillar (marquee player)
And four more to be announced in the draft...
What they got
From experience, I can tell you that the hardest thing about coaching U24s is not being able to play with the amazing athletes you’re leading. Well, Mish Phillips might still have 23 problems but Michaela Dunmall ain’t one!
These two players form the centerpiece of a well-balanced roster of women who are equally comfortable behind the disc and in the endzone. Ailsa Enting-Hawke and Alex Pillar-Rogers are a pain to mark and to be marked by. Anna Roesler’s name might not be well-known but might ring a bell for anyone who has played Zig Theory as “the one who keeps scoring all those goals”.
And seriously, I just want to throw it in the air in front of Michaela Dunmall. It looks like so much fun. How is anyone going to resist hucking to her constantly? I have no idea.
Speaking of inability to resist the huck, the OG dump and huck combo of Joel Pillar and Brett Middleton are back together again and ready to cause havoc on a big 6v6 field with plenty of extra space to lead out into. Men with long names and long limbs Alexander Britten-Jones and Jonothan Warren-White will also be going bro to bro in the battle of the Dragon bromances.
Sean Davis is going to be a very handy (and much needed) disc distributor for this team, if he isn’t sidelined with whiplash from craning his neck to look up at his giant teammates all the time.
What they say
“The selectors were excited about the opportunity to showcase some of SAs top talent and saw it as very important to pick athletes with strong connections to SA that the local community could get behind. While there were a few players who we could not leave off the list, we made our selections with a couple of other things in mind. Firstly we considered how the style of play may change with only six on the field and, secondly, we considered what sort of athletes were most likely to be in abundance in the draft. In the theme of equality we were also very careful to select an equal number of athletes with hyphenated names. Hopefully there are a few to pick up in the draft…..” - Matt Heard, coach
“We also picked really tall people and those with a great sense of humour” - Bree Edgar, coach
What they need
There are two styles of Ultimate battling it out on the Dragons, epitomized by their marquee names. On one hand, Pillar’s stand-and-deliver style of Ultimate which involves waiting for a receiver (ideally deep or break) to get open for 9.5 seconds, dumping it, getting it back, washing, rinsing, and repeating. On the other, Mish Phillips who wants to move the disc and work it with her legs, always looking for an opportunity to quickly crack open the field and find a deep shot in movement, rather than from a static start.
The Dragons could go all in on one of those styles but to beat the best teams, they need to do both (#FindATeamThatCanDoBoth). And with that in mind, the latter style is going to need some boosting. Some crafty female disc distributors to backup Davis would be a boon and a couple of versatile male utility types with some extra speed on D is going to help a lot.
Draftees, just be prepared to watch a few dime balls sail over your head when you get open on your under cuts.
One last thing
I have a series of suggestions for Dragon-themed pump-up songs and they’re all I’M WAKING UP I FEEL IT IN MY BONES!
Support the Adelaide Dragons by becoming a member and stay tuned for more AUL roster announcements in the coming weeks!