Nice Bristols: Stateside - Brigid Harty

Four weeks ago we started our competitive season. After months of training, hard graft and tactical planning, we came together for the first time to play Not Fog Lane, a women’s pre-season one day tournament. It was a great chance to hone our skills and to test out our game. We had a shaky start, losing narrowly to SYC (our favourite London rivals) before settling down to win against Leeds and ROBOT, the latter being the UK’s women’s masters club representation at Worlds.

Then came Tour, the UK’s league held over three tournaments in the summer months. With the focus on Worlds we split our squad into two small teams, to build connections and to give players lots of game time. After 5 grueling games we placed 2nd and 3rd out of the UK teams, a huge achievement considering, and are we are now itching to play again, but as a full squad.

So, what’s next? Worlds’ teams generally play a good quality tournament against unknown opposition in advance of Worlds itself, rather than relying on the same old teams. Variety is the spice of life after all. In February we narrowly missed out on getting to play at Amsterdam’s fantastic tournament, Windmill Windup. Having banked on a place, we were too late to sign up for any of the other European options. We debated back and forth, realised the way to go, and planned for carbon offsetting. We’re going STATESIDE!

And so, here I am on a flight a week ahead of schedule. (Cheers for the chicken curry BA, and FAO the rest of the team, ask for wine and they’ll give you two…!!)

Boston Invite is our choice. It’s a tough weekend, lots of strong competition, back to back games, and heat to match Lecco. Nice Bristols have been on familiar turf so far this year but this is a completely new departure…

So this is where our season really starts.