Thursday, 4 April 2013

GB Student Lions Interviews: Offensive Coordinator Tony Athersmith

DC: First off, congratulations on being one of the coaches for the Great Britain Students Men’s Program. How has the whole process of being involved in the student program been, from applying, to trial, to now?

Its fun!! we have a great staff, there is a genuine true commitment to ensure we push each other and ensure we give the players the best chance for success on and off the field. We are right now obviously focused on Sweden, however this is journey and program will continue to grow and grow, we are excited.

Coach Athersmith talking to Wide Receiver James Cherry c/o Bec Edwards
DC: With the relatively short period of time between trials and going to Sweden, with limited training which has been affected by the weather, how have preparations gone going into Saturday’s game?

we have just adjusted as required concerning the weather. we have worked as a team to ensure we have maximised both all our time together, and have also worked via emails, skype etc. we have covered a lot in the limited time by working effectively

DC: Has it been difficult juggling different playbooks being in BUAFL season, and how has the install gone on the Great Britain Program?

We have kept it quite simple, we have built the offensive system around a few concepts, and really worked on understanding and execution. we are on track and ready to go now.

DC: How has the Great Britain Program measured up to your expectations when you took the position on the staff?

having worked with most of the staff members I knew what I was walking into, its been great, we have pushed each other, worked together for a common goal and excited for Sweden now.

5: There are lots of high quality athletes on the squad has anyone really stood out in your opinion?

The great opportunity for any coach at the national level is that you get to work with some many quality athletes all in one place and all competing for a roster position, then a starting position. Its a great environment to be apart of. We are somewhat spoilt for choice in naming any players who have stood out, I guess we shall find out vs Sweden this coming Saturday.

DC: As, well as quality athletes Coach Hill has put together a top notch staff. What has it been like working with these coaches?

Its a fun atmosphere in the meetings and on the field, however I have known almost everyone for a number of years and I continue to expect this staff to push each other on and off the field to ensure we also continuing to get better.

DC: What are your expectations of the game this weekend vs Sweden?

For us to work as a team, to represent our country, NGB and UK football in general in the best possible way. For the experience to be a positive one for all involved (managers, coaches, players, travelling supporters/family) and for us to continue to get better.

DC: Finally, with the World Student Championships being played in Sweden in 2014, what are you thoughts and what would you say to any university player wanting to be on that squad next year?

Well its not a given that we are in the WSC for next year, we have a lot of hard work to do in the meantime working with all our stakeholders for us to be entered into this, I will say this, how could any person (manager, coach or player) not wish to represent their country, play on a team full of talent, and have a common goals to get better and work to win a world title. 

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