John McNaughton has seen some tough competition here at home, but now playing for another team in another country, he could be about to face his ultimate challenge.
John is the captain for the Brisbane Mammoths Ultimate Frisbee team, but he has incorporated himself and several of his players into the Sydney Colony team for the World Ultimate Club Championships in Ohio, United States.
Talking to the Brisbane Times from the US, the 31-year-old Saint Lucia resident said he was optimistic Colony could come away world champs despite stiff competition.
“This team has an undefeated record, including some very high quality opponents and under some difficult team conditions, and I think our roster and preparation are great,” he said. “There are some truly great opponents in this tournament, so I cant wait to take them on.”
He says the last time he was at the World Ultimate Club Championships in 2016, he was pitted against one of his best mates, who was playing for Team USA.
Since he started playing with his brother in 2000, John said he quickly became enamoured with the sport because of what it offered him and his mates.
“An extremely friendly and welcoming community which extends worldwide, the novelty and intrigue of throwing a flying disc, which is far more interesting than a ball, and the sportsmanship and respect woven into the fabric of this self-refereed amateur sport, right up to the most competitive international levels.”
When hes not facing off against national teams in some far-flung corner of the globe, John is back in Brisbane coaching the next generation, for which he has high hopes.
“The recent Youth Nationals final showed some great talent rising up, which is exciting to see,” he said. “Were still building our schools and youth program, which will really push our sport forward.”
As for what advice he could give the next star Ultimate Frisbee player, John McNaughton said to practice, practice, practice.
“Throw every day and constantly push your ability, because disc skills are so often the limiting factor,” he said. “Take every chance you get, and humbly listen and learn.”
The World Ultimate Club Championships run from 14 to 21 July.
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