Thursday, 18 April 2013

Finals Interview: Drew newiss

Our final final interview is from Birmingham Lions president Drew Newiss

Drew Newiss (left) in action versus the Derby Braves

DC: Do you feel that there is an added pressure on the team after losing in the final the last two years?

There is always pressure on any team that reaches a final. This year is no exception. Our goal is always to win the national final and we place an emphasis on that. With high ambition, pressure naturally arrises, however, this drive comes from within the team as we always compete to be the best we can. We are not concerned with what those outside the program think of us and have gone about our job as we always do.

The last few years have been agonising to come so close to winning; however, each season has come with different challenges that I am proud we have overcome. Ultimately pressure is expected, but will not be a crippling factor for us.

DC: What goes on in the build up to the final in a short week? Anything out of the ordinary?

We try to maintain our usual practice schedule regards of the game. Therefore we had our classroom session on tuesday and on the field training on thursday. However, we obviously understand the importance of the match ahead so have arranged a team meeting on friday so to confirm our game plan, assignments and socialise as a team before the final.

DC: Having played them last year in the same situation, what do you expect from Hertfordshire?

Hertfordshire are a well organised, professional team. We have ideas about what they are going to run schematically, but they are a team that have the potential to mix things up and adjust to what we throw at them. Many players have finally brought themselves to watching last years game film in preparation for this match so we have been able to establish what did not work so well in the previous final. We obviously expect a tough game between two competitive teams but believe that this year we can turn the result around.

DC: As president, could you give us some insight into the running of the club and what makes it so successful?

Organisation and communication is the key. This is something that Wayne has emphasised from day one and something that I took to heart when I was voted president. With an exceptionally strong committee and passionately involved head coach, a certain degree of pressure of running the club has been taken off me as they carry out their own particular roles.

With the frequency of playoff games this year, we all know our duties and have settled into a usual pattern of planning. I would like to thank them all for their hard work this season and my team mates for putting up with me. It has been an honour to lead such a professional organisation which has become my family. I am confident that the team will be in good hands with close friend Stefan Rowden at the helm next season.

DC: How much does your game plan change without Tristan Varney? Is it a case of next man up?

It is a massive loss to lose a player of Tristan's calibre and heart breaking that another injury would happen to such a fantastic team mate and leader. However, we have always advocated depth in the team; with the quality of coaching provided to us we are confident of all player's ability to contribute on the pitch. This is no different at the QB position. Jonny Glover, on the back of an excellent 6 TD performance, has lead us to the National Final before and Alex "Flacco" Wake has made huge strides in his performance this year.

Therefore, I feel confident in the ability of this position. As a wide receiver myself, I welcome catching passes from any of them. I also know that Tristan will be on hand throughout the game to provide an extra pair of eyes and advise as the match progresses.

DC: What does #takethepowerback mean to you as a player?

It is hard to describe what it means to people outside the team but perfectly fits the feelings within. This is our 5th national final in a row which proves the capability of the team. However, having lost the last 2 championships we felt we had lost some of the boldness that came with being a Lion.

#takethepowerback can be seen as both a personal challenge and a commitment to the team ethos to perform to your highest ability and not leave anything on the pitch, while supporting your brothers to do the same. It is about more than just this one game but reclaiming the Lion mentality which is within us all!

DC: Will you be keeping the ball high and tight at all times this game, or will it be fumble o clock again?

Really! My failures are well documented and i am reminded about them often, both within the team and even from those that were not even present. I respond by citing that I have scored a TD in each of the last 2 finals but this is always dismissed. The hope is that with the fumble at Stirling, my postseason errors are behind. I've had enough grief regarding these incidents that all I want now is to go out with a win in my final game. High and tight all the way to the line this year!

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