By Sandra Trujillo, Àlvaro Gallego
Editor’s Note: Authors Sandra Trujillo and Àlvaro Gallego both play for the Barcelona Eagles
Barcelona Eagles will face their fifth European Quidditch Cup (EQC) after winning the last Catalan Cup tournament. At the beginning of the season, the Eagles had to put enormous effort into recruiting new players, as some old-timers retired from playing or switched to other teams (Pau Moncusí, Pau Pérez, Daniel Morales, and Maria Lucea, among others). Backed by the more experienced players, a team with many new faces managed to win a hard-fought Catalan Cup final against Nightmare Grims (80*-40), clinching their fourth title. After training conscientiously to be ready for EQC, they will arrive with a short but courageous roster.
(From left to right) David Martinez, Pau Pérez, and Pau Moncusí, the two latter with their new team’s colours playing at the IV Catalan Cup | Photo Credit: Ana Corbeira
With a roster full of rookies, the Eagles do not have key players but instead a balanced level between all players. Despite some standing out over others in different aspects, which is natural, all of them attending EQC are essential. New recruits Marc Valls, Diego Galindo, and Luis Roca have proven to be rough diamonds and will give plenty to talk about due to their intense and incisive game. Among the most experienced players, it is necessary to point out the Marc “Big Markus” Garganté and Chema Hidalgo duo, who are well-known in Europe and can play in most positions. David Martinez and Will Ruiz will mainly play as beaters, Abraham Giménez as the staple keeper, with Àlvaro Gallego and Sandra Trujillo rounding out as chasers. They will be the foundations upon which Eagles’ games are built.
The team has been working hard to be ready to manage a variety of scenarios, ensuring a good passing game, developing new strategies, and preparing the more inexperienced players to keep a cool head. Learning how to carry out a proper contact game has been one of the priorities this season, but is possibly still one of the Eagles’ main weaknesses. To compensate the fewer number of non-males in their roster, the Eagles have been training their physical strength harder than previous seasons.
Marc Garganté keeping for Catalonia at the Oslo European Games 2017 | Photo Credit: Claire Purslow Quidditch Photography
Being fully aware of their difficult group (which includes Antwerp, the championship title defenders), the Eagles will do their best to at least make it difficult for the other teams. While they will most likely end up in the lower bracket, the main goal of the team is to have a good performance, trying to achieve 17th place. As explained above, despite having a large number of new players, they all have been trained to be key players to the team. The main difficulty the Eagles will find during this EQC will be their low number of non-male players, whose lack of subs mean they will have to deal with physical weariness, especially during the snitch on pitch.