Tuesday, 2 April 2013

GB Student Lions Interviews: Tight End Rob Cartwright

Players Questions
Name: Rob Cartwright
University: NTU
GB Position and Number: TE #46

Rob "Gronk" Cartwright taking instruction from Coach Paul Sherrat c/o Bec Edwards
DC: First off, congratulations on being named to the travelling squad for the Great Britain Students Men’s Program vs Sweden Students. How has the whole process of being involved in the student program been, from applying to trial to now?

The whole process has been really smooth, all of the coaches and staff involved with the whole program have been brilliant. The trial stage was really good fun, obviously with there being so many people it was hard to judge how well you were doing but in a way it made the whole selection process a lot better as you had to go all out all of the time.

The training sessions with the whole development squad has been awesome and all credit goes to the guys running the days and doing all the behind the scenes work.

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?

I would say that the weather cancelling the session and pushing it back has only helped. Obviously it is a new playbook for everyone involved with the team and it is easiest to learn when actually running it so having the session on the 30th makes sure everything is fresh in the minds of the travelling squad.

The progress made in only 2 sessions has been crazy, the coaches can focus on such fine elements of every technique due to every player having a high level of understanding of the game and skill level.

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

For me personally there hasn't been much too different from my University playbook, the techniques are very similar. Install has gone really well, I think all of the players have a very good understanding of all the playbook and adjustments.

DC: How has the Great Britain Program measured up to you own university program?

As I said the playbooks are very similar but the main difference for me is the coaching. At university the coaches have to cater for all skill levels so its very hard to coach the finer points, but being part of the Great Britain program means that everyone is playing at a level where small adjustments make a huge difference.

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

I think that is difficult to say. Everyone, in my opinion, is brilliant at their position otherwise they wouldn't be part of the program. The trial process allowed the coaches to pick the very best of every position, we will just have to see who puts on a show this Saturday.

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?

Yes, myself and everyone from my uni who was invited even just to the trial process has said they feel like an improved player due to what I said earlier about fine adjustments.

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

To win. Simple as that.

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?

I can’t wait for 2014 to be honest, My off season will be starting as soon as the BUAFL final has been played in preparation for next years World Championships, should a Great Britain team be entered. To anyone wanting to be on the squad next year I would say go for it.

I put on my very first set of pads in September 2011 and my first game was Xplosion 2011, a year and a half later I am on the way to Sweden as the only TE selected for the squad, if I can do it anyone can with the right amount of hard work and motivation!

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