Friday, 23 November 2012

Coaches Interviews

In our build up of our game of the week, we were able to grab a quick interview with both of the Head Coaches from Southampton and BNU. First up is Gareth Thomas, Head Coach of the Southampton Stags.

DC: What can you tell us about your opponent?
GT: “Well, everyone knows that you have to change everything about your defensive philosophy to deal with the double wing. After last year’s extravaganza we've been doing a lot of work to ensure the same doesn't happen. Last year both defenses failed to perform, I imagine that BNU have been working hard to rectify this as well so we shall see on Sunday who's got it right.”

DC: What will be the deciding factor in the game in your opinion?
GT: “As mentioned previously, defense will be the key to this game. We're confident we can score points but you can only do this when your offense is on the field. This means that efficient clock management will be important as well.”

DC: Any players on your team to watch out for? Stats, video?
GT: “The key to our team this year is that we don't focus around any key players. We have good depth in all positions and try to adapt to what works well on the day. Based on the stats so far this season we've had several players over 100 yards on the ground each game. We've also got a core of well coached receivers and a couple of qb's that are capable of getting the ball to them. Defensively we have players that can adapt to multiple positions, each game the tackling is spread out fairly evenly reinforcing our philosophy of 'Team D'.”

DC: Any players on the other team to watch out for?
GT: “When it comes to playing other teams, we tend not to focus on 'key' players. We play against the scheme and have confidence in whoever we come up against that we can deal with them. This might sound big-headed but you have to believe in yourselves and not be afraid of what you're going against. Last year the running backs for BNU were very good, I'm not sure how many of them graduated but any that are left I'm sure we will need to keep an eye on.”

DC: Do you consider this a rivalry game?
GT: “If we considered this a rivalry game then every game we play would also be considered that. Our big games are always going to be the local ones with Solent and Portsmouth. Yes this game has a bit more to it after last year and I'm sure it will be a tough game but as I said before, we take each game as it comes.”

DC: How has the team improved from last year’s game?
GT: “We could make all kinds of excuses relating to last year but when you look back at the history of the Stags in recent years there is always a trend. Every game of the season we get better. Having got a couple of games under our belts this year I think we're in a better position with our rookie players and our returners are starting to find their rhythm. This will also be true for BNU but I know how hard we work our team and how tough the coaches can be on ironing out little mistakes so we shall see how the season progresses”

Coach Plastow's responses

DC: What can you tell us about your opponent?
“We've scouted Southampton as throughly as we can.  We've adapted our 3-5 defence to attempt to shut down some of their main plays and playmakers. Obviously Dana Neale provides a decent threat with his passing attack.  last year we underestimate it and were passed on for 5TDs.  We've worked hard this preseason on the pass defence in preperation for the Stags.  It has gone well with opposition QBs going 7/39 for 77 yards and a single TD. 

DC: What will be the deciding factor in the game in your opinion?
“The pass game for Southampton will obviously be a massive deciding factor along with the Wing.  If we can fix the problems we suffered last week against OBU it could be quite dangerous.  If we suffer the same again it will be a long day at the office.  I don't think its something Southampton can cause, its more mental errors from our guys.  Our rookies are learning quickly.  I doubt anyone would expect us to be 2-1 starting 11 rookies but I put it down to the great positional coaching they are recieveing especially on the defence.  They are improving everytime I see them.
DC: Do you consider this a rivalry game?
“I wouldn't consider this a rivalry game to be honest with you.  Our 2 main rivals are OBU and Reading.  Southampton obviously have Solent and Portsmouth.  I see this more as the top 2 offences in the conference slogging it out.”

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