A Skate Odyssey, Round 2 – FIGHT!

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Last May, Central City Rollergirls set off to a very sunny Gent, Belgium to compete at the second installment of A Skate Odyssey. With SKOD III being CCR’s third tournament abroad we are honored to be offered a spot at this year’s event and another intense campaign trail to win the coveted Jawbreaker trophy!

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(Photo from the SKOD facebook page)

Last year CCR finished a respectable 4th place after a nail biting semi-final with the hosts Gent Go-Go Roller Girls (166-158) which was highly regarded as the game of the tournament.

CCR are fresh from a very narrow defeat at the hands of fellow SKOD competitors Middlesbrough Milk rollers and are ready to take on Paris Roller Girls in their first heat of SKOD.

The last time Paris and Central City played each other was back in November 2013 where Central City took the win 226-201. It was a hotly contested game as both teams had made huge improvements in their rankings and both competed at a consistently high level through the year. Although Central City missed out on playing the Parisian champions of SKOD last year they are gearing up for another close game.

Never a team to shy away from a challenge CCR have been training hard in the run up to SKOD III competing in the premier division of the British Championships alongside Tiger Bay, Rainy City, Glasgow, Auld Reekie and Middlesbrough. It has proven a fruitful tournament so far with CCR seeing massive improvements in their score differentials. With one installment left to go, SKOD will prove to be the ultimate challenge with 3 games over one weekend and perfect preparation for their final games of the Brit champs against Rainy City and the mighty Auld Reekie Rollergirls.

Captain of the A Team Tinchy Slider gives us the low down on this CCR’s season so far and the aspirations of this year’s squad for SKOD III:

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(Photo by Silke Lambrecht)

TS: “We can’t wait to get to SKOD. It’s coming in the midst of very busy month for our A Team. May has seen us already face MMR in a British Champs tournament and we’ll end the month with a weekend of games in Glasgow. SKOD itself will be a peak for us as we get to meet some familiar and not so familiar opponents. We’ve been building in lots of preparation over recent months and have spent much of March and April focusing on our teamwork and strategy. We’ve also been working on our fitness and resilience which will help us to cope with the intensity of the month ahead. 

We’ve met a couple of the SKOD teams recently – MMR and Hellfire – and the games have been competitive. We’ve played Paris, Dublin and Gent in the past but it’s been a while and their squads are looking a little different so those are all tough teams to call. We haven’t skated against Newcastle, Nantes, Dirty River or Copenhagen but have been doing our research to gather as much info as we can.

Our first game will be against Paris on Friday at 15:45 Belgium time (14:45 UK time). We’re expecting it to be challenging – Paris have been going from strength to strength and have held their ranking despite a pretty big shuffle in their squad. But CCR have been going from strength to strength too and we’ve have pitched ourselves against some some pretty tough competition so far this season. We’ve taken away lessons from every game we’ve played and we want to put this into practice in Gent.

I’m feeling confident going into the tournament. We have a small but determined crew of skaters heading over and we’re all going into the tournament prepared to push ourselves to our limit. These skaters are committed and hard working, and I’m so proud to going out on track with them.”

Veronica Fever from hosts Gent Go-Go shares her thoughts on this year’s event:
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(Photo from SKOD facebook page)

VF: “We (Gent Go-Go) are very happy to be organising this for the third year in a row – when we started this, we really wanted it to become the spring WFTDA tournament in Europe. A real institution, something everyone knows, like ECDX in the USA  and although we are operating on a smaller scale, I think we really have established ourselves as a cool tournament that people want to come to and that is organised in a most professional way, with the best possible officials etc.

And for this year, we’re really happy to welcome a whole new bunch of teams to the tournament. But we’re also happy that last year’s winners Paris are coming back to defend their title and that CCR are also making the return trip of course (shall we do that semi-final game again? J)
I think many of the teams that are coming over are very similar in level, and so we are hoping for a verrrry exciting tournament with some real nail biters. 

Central City are also very proud to announce that well respected league officials Metal Ed and Head of Officiating Rollin’ Rat will both return to SKOD this year in stripes ready to enforce the rules and showcase their excellent skills on the European stage. Both Ed and Ratty are seasoned in tournaments abroad and are very excited to be participating in this year’s event.”

Metal Ed shares his thoughts on the run up to the weekend:
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(Photo by Oliver Vax)

ME: “I’m really looking forward to SKOD, it’s such a good, enjoyable tournament and it has become a popular and permanent fixture in the roller derby calendar. I’ve been lucky enough to be at all three so far and I’ve seen it grow and develop in to what it is now, and hopefully continue to be a bigger event in years to come.”

It’s certainly shaping up to be an excellent weekend for European Roller Derby!

Teams list: Gent Go-Go (Be), Central City Rollergirls(UK), Nottingham Hellfire Harlots (UK), Middlesbrough Milk Rollers (UK), Paris Rollergirls (Fr), Newcastle Rollergirls (UK), Nantes Derby Girls (Fr), Dirrty River Roller Girls (Fin), Dublin Rollergirls (Ir), Copenhagen (Den)

The tournament will be streamed from http://www.wftda.tv  FREE OF CHARGE but please do DONATE what you can towards Gents costs for providing this awesome tournament to the world online.

You can donate by clicking the ‘donate’ button on the SKOD website www.skod.be

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