In Montreal, spring arrives at the same time as the Beast …what could be better during the last weekend of April than 3 days of derby; with a dozen teams playing, some good beer, wonderful exhibitors and wee naps in the Mile End’s tender grass? This year will be as great as usual EXCEPT, the location is different. The St-Louis arena will still be melting its ice. So, come join us on the Plateau(4356 rue cartier – Aréna Mont Royal), starting April 28th. We promise to blow you away, starting with an opening game on friday withTEAM CANADA vs MONT ROYALS! In the meantime, we offer you an interview with the coaches of our three local teams. Should the wait still be unbearable, you can always come skate at the Taz, on Mondays from 7-9pm and maybe you’ll cross paths with some of your favourite players!
What’s your best memory of the Beast of the East?
Rock E Road (Racaille Coach) : We won the Beast last year! I like the green changing room and the team stuff we do, spending the whole weekend together…. In fact, I don’t really remember the game that much, but it was lots of fun.
Falafel la Gazelle (Contrabanditas Coach): Two years ago, I was playing with the Filles du roi and we made it to the quarterfinals after a really tight game. It was tough but a lot of fun. No one expected it I think, but that’s what’s cool about The Beast, it’s always surprising!
Ghostface KillHer (Filles du roi Coach) : The best thing is that it’s when you really get to know your teammates. You play a lot of games together and it’s a real test. Plus, MTLRD and the men’s and junior leagues are also there, it’s a time to be together and support each other. Last year was my first year playing for the Filles du roi, whereas before, I was a Contrabandita. It was strange playing for a new team but we came in second and were very happy to be bringing home that trophy, because let’s admit it, they’re very good looking trophies.
Which teams do you really have to watch out for?
Why so Sirius (La Racaille coache): All of them!
Rock E : As a Racaille, we focus on our own game, the competition doesn’t matter, what matters is to be proud of how we played.
Falaf: The two CCDD (Ottawa)teams have many experienced players who also play for their A team, and they played against our Sexpos last April. They’re very high calibre players. But, you never know! I think the Montreal teams will be very strong this year!
GFKH : We don’t know who is coming., but all the teams are worth watching because they bring different strengths. They show the diversity of derby in eastern Canada. The different styles of play, now that’s really interesting.
How do you prepare for the Beast?
Rock E : We are focus on our game and eat poutine.
Sirius: We drink coffee and Coke with whiskey in it to relax our muscles. Then, when it’s time to play, we put our skates on, and our protective equipment because we have to, and push people around on the track. Sometimes we talk to each other. In all siriusness, every morning at 6am, we have a team skype conference call where we do off skate workouts, like pushups. At night, we close the bars talking strategy. We train very diligently for the third half time. Some of our best trained skaters are actually training internationally.
Falaf: The Beast is when we get to spend a lot of time together and that’s great for team spirit. It gets us ready for the season! This is my first year as coach, which will be very different from the past three years where I was a player. It’ll be weird but I’m not too stressed out, I believe in my team. They’re going to do great and I know we’ll have a lot of fun.
GFKH : FDR is a relatively new, young team. We lost a lot of experienced players. It’ll be an incredible opportunity; our new players are like sponges, they learn really quickly and they’re enthusiastic. We’re getting to know each other and are planning strategies all the time, because we need to load up those little sponges!
What’s particularly fun during a tournament like the Beast?
Rock E : We get to play teams we wouldn’t normally get the chance to play against. Sometimes we get to play very early in the morning, we can practice new plays and strategies against new teams. We never know when we’ll get eliminated, so how many games we’ll get to play. It gives our new players a chance to gain some experience and to incorporate them into the Racaille way
“It’s fun because it’s constant, it’s all derby all the time so that’s fun because derby is life!”- Why so Sirius?
Falaf: It’s interesting because it’s the only time local teams can play against teams from other cities and they all have different styles. Some play with more contacts, some play with different strategies, etc… It’s an intense weekend, for players and coaches alike
GFKH : It’s a time to see how different derby can be from league to league, the different philosophies and it’s great to see that
Words of wisdom from the coaches:
Sirius: You have to want to be your personal best and be honest with yourself
Falaf: You have to eat well, sleep well, stay hydrated because the days are long! Go out, get some fresh air. The spectators need to stay hydrated too…with beer!
GFKH : If you are playing, sleep well. Eat well. don’t stay in the arena all weekend long, don’t party Saturday night and enjoy. If you are a spectator: Do the opposite! Except you won’t ever enjoy yourself as much as we do on the track!
See you there!
Translation Bitchi Manitou.