After another season spent languishing in the upper-mid table of the League, many fans of the Kirkwall Kites are wondering what has gone wrong this time? Certainly, the Kites’ rapid ascension of the professional Quidditch Leagues wasn’t going to last forever, inevitably they would hit a few roadblocks. However fan frustration is reaching a fever pitch as the Kites are nearing their third season in a row without showing any signs of improvement. Their manager, Clifton Perry, is facing increasing pressure from the Kites Board of Directors, who have watched with contempt as the Kites face yet another year without any silverware. After a 6th place finish last season, despite having a strong line-up, the Kites started strong this time around, but managerial mishaps, financial failures, and an unceremonious dumping from this years Club World Cup in their first match, has left the Kites with a dented morale, and once again, the team appears to be losing it’s grip on the Steel Division. For fans of a team that blasted its way through the lower leagues, this has been a tough pill for them to swallow, made worse by watching their friends and rivals, the Manchester Mandrills, go from strength to strength. With that said, if the Mandrills do fail to retain a place in Division 4 for next season, many Kites fans have speculated the prospect of the two teams battling it out in the Steel Division, something that the crowds on both sides have wished would materialise for many seasons now.
In regards to the Kites decline in form, it would appear that fans and faculty alike have finally had enough. Clifton Perry commented last week that he had indeed been issued an ultimatum; ‘produce results, or we’ll produce your P45.’ Whilst it may be too late in the day for the Kites to try and run for a promotion spot this season, the pressured manager has finally begun to shake things up within the team. After lengthy negotiations with another struggling team - Aberdeen Barbie, who look set for relegation from the Steel Division - the Kites Roster looks drastically different as they begin looking towards next season. Gone are the previously untouchable pairing of Chasers, Grace Allan and Julie Kay, the latter of which looked set last season to one day assume the role of Captain. Also gone is long-time Beater, Eva Bowden, who left for Aberdeen today as part of a multi-player deal which saw the Kites acquire the services of the young Italian Beater, Rolando Larini. A steal for the Aberdeen Barbie when he was purchased from the trade list mid-season, he comes to the Kites having nearly a season of first-team Quidditch in the Steel Division under his belt. By all appearances, Larini looks as though he is being groomed to take over the first-team spot of one of the Kites loanee Beaters. Whilst still lacking the higher stats of his two colleagues, Larini has Youth on his side, at only 21 he has already began to show signs of potential towards becoming a great Beater for the team. However, despite being a solid pick for the Kites, any change to the Beater line-up would be an unpopular move with the fans of the Kirkwall team. Fan favourite, Sibley Healy, extended her loan period with the Kites for another season, and the Kirkwall crowds are eager for her to stay longer.
Whilst often being viewed as the less-favoured of the Kites defensive line-up, Effie Malone continues to improve and impress, making a real effort this season to catch up to her more experienced counterpart. She may remain less popular with the fans, but Malone remains quite indifferent, preferring to let her actions on the pitch do all of the talking for her. Despite a healthy season from the two, the Kites will still look for improvement from both Beaters as long as they remain in the side.
One area the Kites are sure to focus on for next season is their attacking prowess. Always a more conservative side, Kirkwall aren’t the type to look for raw attacking power from their Chasers. But this mentality has let the Kites down badly, with many teams this season producing goal after goal, whilst the Kites struggle to mount a counter-offensive. Midway through the season, this lack of ruthlessness has begun to show, and other teams are beginning to capitalise on the Kites genteel approach to the game. If the Kites can somehow shore-up their finances, then fans can eagerly anticipate a bold move during the post-season Transfer rush, but until then, they’re out of luck.
One area where the Kites haven’t been shy in splashing the cash is in their Youth Development Program. Whilst financial woes have crippled much of their Academy, the Kites have been sweeping up Youth Players in much the same way that the Harrogate Villains have spent their last few seasons sweeping up trophies. From calling up the successful Scott McLaren to the main team, and purchasing Ellery Hunt from the aforementioned Villains, as well as welcoming Bernard Wallace to the side, the Kites are making it known to the fans that their investment truly is in the future of the club. Rumours are spreading that the Kites are in negotiations to bring the talented Roberta Devine into their Youth Program from the Plymouth Catchers, as well as a possible move to bring back Prunella Cameron from Aberdeen, and the recent announcement that the Kites would be investing more money into their Youth Program than in any previous season, shows a lot of faith from the manager in his young players. Only time will tell if this gamble pays off, but if it does, fans of the Kites could well have some successful years ahead.Heyy Guys,
I'm finally making my first attempt at a little RP Magazine! This was somewhat inspired by 'The Mandrill Magazines' and other threads of that nature, so credit to all you great writers on the forum! Hope you liked my attempt!