Name: David Saul
University: The University of Sheffield
GB Position and Number: Safety #9
|Saul (yellow tights) in action c/o/ Bec Edwards|
It has been an unusual process for me; I had reconstructive surgery on my shoulder the week before tryouts so I had no idea whether the coaches would consider me for the squad being only a few months post surgery. I got the email inviting me to camp but I wasn't sure if I had done enough to prove both that I was fit enough and that I was sharp enough to be selected for the travelling squad.
Thankfully the coaches thought so and I've been working hard to make sure i'm 100% and ready to contribute to a GB win when Saturday comes.
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?
You can never have too many practices but preparation has been fine; Coach Hill and the rest of the staff have explained what they expect from us and have worked hard to make sure we are ready for the game.
DC: Has it been difficult juggling different playbooks being in BUAFL season, and how has the install gone on the Great Britain Program?
I got the email from Coach Hill inviting me to camp but at a position (DB) I hadn't played in a couple of years so I've had my work cut out to make sure I both made the squad and that I'm ready to play at a high level.
Juggling playbooks shouldn't be too much of an issue as we're all university students after all! I can't speak for the O but on the D we've got it down and I expect us to play fast and violently and I hope Sweden are prepared to do the same.
DC: How has the Great Britain Program measured up to you own university program?
Obviously the GB program exceeds our university program, as it should. Everything from the setup through to the ability of the players and coaches. I just hope when you look at our club you can see us trying to do the same things.
DC: There are lots of high quality athletes on the squad has anyone really stood out in your opinion?
There's the obvious guys you've heard of, the Adam Hope's, Tristan Varney's etc who've been involved in national program setups for a number of years but I'm really impressed with some of the NTU boys, for a new team they've got a lot of quality athletes and will be a power for years to come.
Aside from that I'd have to say Ike, the NT from DMU. The guy is a friggin' mountain, i've not seen a man so big and yet so mobile since Lorn Mayers. Good luck blocking him!
DC: As, well as quality athletes Coach Hill has put together a top notch staff. Do you feel the coaching has helped you progress as a player?
Certainly; at University and Senior programs you find a whole variety of ability levels from someone who as been playing 3 months to someone who has 10+ years of playing experience resulting in a variety of coaching and sometimes the more experienced players get less coaching/help coach to get the newer players up to speed.
At GB everybody has the foundations already, this allows the coaches to push us beyond our limits, to constantly challenge us both on and off the field and put us in the best position to make plays.
DC: What are your expectations of the game this weekend vs Sweden?
Personally I want us to go out, execute and dominate the game. I expect both myself and GB Students to make a statement that says 'I deserve to be at the World Championships next year'. I want to leave no doubt that GB Students deserve to compete at the highest level and I deserve to represent them at that level.
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?
Work hard, get in the gym. You can tell which guys lift and which guys don't. Passing the eye test is a big thing. Beyond that, speak to the coaches, ask them what they're looking for and take that back to your programs. Challenge your coaches to make you a better player, even if you're the best player on your team you can improve.
Even if you're the best player in this country you can improve so there is no reason not to work everyday. If this is something you want go and get it because you're the only person who can determine whether or not you are part of the program.
When you receive either your invitation or rejection only you will know if you did everything you possibly could to represent your country at the World Championships. When you want to succeed as much as you want to breathe, then you will be successful.