Friday, 17 February 2012

FAUK Bowl Buildup: Interview with Paul Sherratt

An interview with Loughborough Aces head coach Paul Sherratt ahead of the FAUK Bowl this Saturday.

How has your team prepared for the game (any different to a normal game week, extra intensity in practices?)
We haven't prepared any differently. There's a lot more excitement around the team, I think if you talked to anyone in the Lions or Aces programmes we would want to play games of this magnitude every week. There's a real buzz about the game and that makes it more exciting for everyone involved. I'm very much in favour of a two-tier or premiership approach, I know the issue is complex and emotive but this Saturday should be a great spectacle and we would like to play more games like this during the regular season.

Do you think the called off games will effect the intensity of the game? Will rustiness be an issue?
For us rustiness will be a big issue. We can't afford to take a quarter to get going again.  We've not played in 2012, our exams didn't finish until the 10th February and then we had the snow which cost us a week of practice and a game. We won't be using any of that as an excuse but hopefully it won't take us too long to get back into game mode.

How do you feel about your teams chances and the opposition chances?
In terms of who will win, I honestly don't know. There are some great players on both sides and whoever makes the most big plays will win the game. Lots of key match-ups all over the field so it should be a great one to watch!

My job is to make sure that we play our best game and we'll see what happens.  We have a good rivalry with Birmingham both amongst the players and the coaches and there is a lot of respect between the two programmes so we're looking forward to a great game and I hope ultimately that both teams make it into the play-offs to represent the MAC.
How important this game is in context of the season?
It's huge. Nemesis are having a great rookie season but I'm not convinced that they will go 8-0. However, the loser of this Saturday's game does not control their own destiny. We have two tough games after this against teams that are really on a roll.  Both teams need to win this game which makes it all the more exciting. Neither of our programmes sets out to win the Plate at the start of the year so it's pretty close to a play-off game for both teams. Which should make it a really good game to watch.

How do you personally approach the game?
I approach every game the same way, I watch film of our opponents and produce our offensive gameplan. Martin Hilton, our DC handles everything to do with defensive gameplan and Andy Shaw does the same for Special Teams, I really have minimal input. Having those guys around makes a huge difference. Having said that, I really don't sleep a lot during the season, probably 5-6 hours a night because trying to fit family, job and football into a day doesn't work if you sleep for 8 hours.

I watch a lot of film and just try to be as organised and prepared as I can be. Our offense is tough to prepare for in a week and I think the triple option is the hardest play in football to defend consistently. I start with how we will run our triple and then anticipate how the defense will adjust. I try to get everything planned during the week so there really is very little thinking to be done when you're under pressure during the game. Right now (Thursday), all our practices are done so I will be watching film of practice, watching more gamefilm and scripting our opening plays.

Hope to see lots of people there and thanks to Football America UK for sponsoring the game!


  1. I can sympathise with Coach here.

    Fitting in family, life and work around football is real tough.

    IM on about 5-6 hours a night myself and cannot wait for the season to be over (in 8 weeks obviously)

    1. That's another reason why putting the final back is a horrible choice


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