Melbourne’s AFLW star, Cat Phillips, has had little time to dwell on the conclusion of the recent AFL Women’s season. Within weeks, the dual sport athlete was back with her Ultimate Frisbee teammates at Ellipsis Ultimate and on a mission to secure back-to-back national titles.
(Cat Phillips in action for Ellipsis Ultimate. PHOTO: Bruce Huynh Photography)
“Ellipsis is the women’s club team that I play for in Melbourne. We formed at the end of 2015, and won our first national title in 2016. This year we followed it up with a back-to-back Championship, which is something that hasn’t been done in the women’s division for as long as I’ve been playing.
It’s really exciting for me, as one of the main goals we had in starting the club was to gain more exposure for the women’s side of Ultimate, and we’ve definitely been able to do that. We’ve really been pushing to lift the professionalism of the sport, to show that it is an elite and competitive game, and over the last two years I think we’ve been able to develop a style of play that is athletic, competitive and great to watch.” Phillips said.
As well as collecting national club titles, Phillips was also selected in the Australian Mixed Ultimate team, the Aussie Crocs. The Crocs compete at the World Games every four years and this July will head to Wroclaw, Poland for the 2017 Games.
(Aussie Crocs at their training camp in Melbourne. PHOTO: Bruce Huynh Photography)
In preparation for the World Games, the Crocs will host Japan’s Mixed Ultimate team in two International Test Matches on May 19 and 21; in Sydney and Melbourne respectively. These games will be the first ever Ultimate Frisbee Test Matches to be played anywhere in the world.
“The test matches are invaluable for our preparation. They give us the opportunity to test out our structures and game plan against a world class team, which is something we often lack in the lead up to World Championships.
The World Games is a really cut throat tournament, with a round robin and then only the top two teams progressing through to the final, so there’s really no time to work out kinks once we get there. These games will give us the chance to do that, as well as providing a fantastic opportunity to play in front of a big home crowd.” Phillips explained.
The test matches present a unique opportunity for Australian fans to see two of the best Ultimate teams in the world go head-to-head. Phillips has this advice for those who are new to the game:
“Ultimate is a fast paced, highlight filled game. Women and men play on the field together, which gives the sport a really unique dynamic. There are huge throws, diving catches, pack grabs, and a whole lot of running. It’s incredibly skilful, while also requiring elite athleticism. Australia and Japan are two powerhouses of the sport, so the test matches will be a really high level showcase of what Ultimate has to offer.”
Australia v Japan
Friday May 19, 7:00pm
Australia v Japan
Sunday May 21, 11:30am
Punt Road Oval
Purchase tickets here: http://testmatch.ultimatefrisbee.org.au/en_au/tickets
Australia is currently ranked second in the world behind the USA and Japan are ranked third.
At the last three World Games, the Aussie Crocs have won Silver, Bronze and Silver.