University of Sunderland’s Ultimate Frisbee team, Sunderland Spinners, kick off their second season of the sport on Wednesday as they begin their BUCS campaign at home to Durham University 3rds.
The Spinners will be looking to build on the foundations set in last years inaugural season through the help of the returning James Davison and Kieran Thirlwell who will be looking to put their experience to good use alongside the crop of fresh faces that have joined the team, something that team captain Thirlwell is highly optimistic about.
‘The fact we have attracted so much interest to the sport, to the point where we have gone from only two returning members to a strong squad of 15, is a magnificent achievement and one I am very proud of,” said Thirlwell.
“This can only be an advantage because last year we went in some games with zero, one or two at subs at most, whereas other teams were able to roll players on and off against us, which is something we’ll be able to utilise this year.”
This mix is already starting to look the part after a successful pre-season in which Sunderland defeated York St John 15-11 in a fiery Clash of the Minsters varsity match, and they will be hoping to build on this momentum going into Wednesday’s opener.
“We probably have one of our biggest game day squads in our history and we’re playing Durham’s third team, who are only entering the league this season. Hopefully, that should mean that we’ll be able to compete with them.”
And with a good start and a sense of optimism around the team, who knows what they are capable of achieving this season. After Durham, the Spinners replay Clash of the Minsters rivals York St John 1st away before playing the 2nds at home the following week.
Then follows another varsity match in the form of Teesside University away followed by Hull and Newcastle 1sts at home with the final two fixtures of the season away at Newcastle 2nds and Northumbria 1sts. And the start of the season is what the captain believes will be the most crucial period in setting the tone for the season.
“Ideally I’d like to finish in the top four, which I think will be hard, but is also achievable. We have a relatively generous schedule before Christmas, so hopefully if we get off to a good start we should take wins and confidence into the games that are, on paper, challenging after Christmas.”
Sunderland’s opening home match against Durham will be played at Ashbrooke Cricket Club with first pull set for 2pm.