Saturday, 14 June 2014

World Cup - England v Italy

With the World Cup now up and running I thought I'd take a look at England's first opponents Italy, in a dragonfly sense of course.

Many species appear in both countries so have dual nationalities; like the Emperor, Southern and Migrant hawkers, Four-spot and Broad-bodied Chaser, Black-tailed Skimmer and Common Darter. All of these though would of course choose to play for England if given the choice.
The stars of the Italian team then are:

Italian Goldenringed Dragonfly
With a name like that, first name on the team sheet

Lesser Emperor
Emperor of Rome no doubt

Broad Scarlet
Team Captain (Captain Scarlet?)

Red-veined Darter
A must for position of midfield general covering large distances
on migration, has the stamina to last 90 minutes, extra time and penalties.

Violet Dropwing
With the Italian eye for beauty this one has to make the starting line-up 

Southern Skimmer
The Italian team affectionately known as the Azzuri (the blues)
so this one a must for the team
(all photos (except RvDarter) sneaked with apologies from, the best dragonfly photos on the web)

A very colourful bunch, but good enough to beat England?
Well here's my England Odonata World Cup Team (if there was such a thing) to play against Italy tonight :

In goal we have the Common Darter; perches on the crossbar, lightning quick off his line to snuff out danger, adept at plucking out of the air and as agile as they come between the sticks.

In front of the goalie is a defensive line led commandingly by the team Captain the Emperor.
The Emperor has an imposing presence, using his size and strength to fend off attacks and use trademark crunching tackles on anything trying to fly past him. Has been known to (literally) eat opponents.
His central defensive partner is the Southern Hawker, another big defender, a busy dragonfly and excellent close marker, likes to repeatedly hover in front of opponents to slow them down and allow his defence to regroup.

At Right Back is the Black-tailed Skimmer, holds his position well, but has the agility to hassle opponents doggedly and the burst of speed to get forward when opportunity knocks.

Left Back is the Four-spotted Chaser, a tigerish defender, patrols up and down the left hand side of the pitch. Not afraid to get forward but returns to his defensive position at speed after an attacking foray. Links up well with the Broad-bodied chaser on the left wing, who's direct and speedy wing-play can burst through the tightest of defences. His only failing is the tendency to get caught offside as he perches on the corner flag.

In the centre of midfield is a trio of very different dragonflies. The defensive midfielder is the Brown Hawker, patrolling the area in front of the defence from side to side, large and aggressive he'll pick off anything which strays into his territory.
Just in front of him is the Downy Emerald, a tireless flier covering every inch of the pitch and can pop up anywhere, leading speedy counter-attacks along with his partner the Migrant Hawker, a box to box player who links up with both defence and attack. Difficult for opponents to track him as he can turn quickly and makes endless zig-zagging runs.

Out on the right wing is the Banded Demoiselle, the David Beckham of the dragonfly world. Looks good as he poses about with a shimmering metallic sheen and deep blue wing patches, but his pace is deceptive, nonchalantly fluttering about one moment, but a sudden change of pace and he's away past you in the blink of an eye.

Up front on his own is the imposing Common Hawker who thrives in the lone striker role, patrols the edge of the opposition box, has the ability to shy away from his marker, but seizes the opportunity to attack aggressively when the chance comes, and has an unbelievable strike record.

On the subs bench is the Black Darter, a diminutive utility player and super-sub. Should really be in the starting line-up but due to late emergence can only come on in the second half.

What a team! Come on Engerland!!!!!!!!


  1. I'd have to disagree with the Southern Hawker Alan.....spends too much time looking at the opponents. It would be the Golden-ringed in it's place. Classic "big 'un" at the back.
    I'd be a bit concered with the Broad-bodied Chaser and the antics on the corner flag. I might include one of the Damsels in midfield in its place. Lightweight, i know, but you need some variation in there.
    Otherwise, not a bad line up.

    1. You might have a point John, Southern Hawker is the 'Rooney' of the pack, an undoubted talent but don't know where best to play him.

  2. Damsels are puffs man! Big boys back line and darters midfield and up front, might of stood a chance!!! ;) lol