It's been a while since coach Rosenbaum joined us at Wroclaw. What are his first thoughts on the city and Panthers organization? This, and way more in the interview with Arkadiusz Barski at the newest Słowo Sportowe magazine.
A pleasure, easy to get around and lots of great architecture, the river, and green spaces. Cities with universities have a great mix of people, and it is very clean. There is buildings being built and old ones being restored. The city has awesome vibe, which as we go into the spring and summer will bring an awesome atmosphere to the pre-game tail gate and home games!
For the city? I tend to visit the places recommended by friends and colleagues, and then local people. That way you learn of things to do, and great places to see. Currently exploring the city and area around the Stadion Olimpijski.
Free time, I will be getting back in the gym, and reading more. Otherwise I enjoy spending it watching, studying American Football, there is always something to learn.
I had heard and read about the Wroclaw Panthers over the years. The main reason, the Professional Sporting Environment that our CEO Mr Latos and my Head Coach Samel have grown at the Panthers, and the huge commitment from our owner and the partnerships from our sponsors. This is an organization that wants to operate and grow American Football to an elite standard for the city of Wroclaw. That mindset brings a culture and respect which I wanted to buy into, because I believe in those values too and the actions being taken.
Various teams and levels both European and stateside. However its finding the cultural fit and vision that you want to buy into with your time.
I knew it was professional, but the links to local businesses and the city is awesome, Wroclaw is proud of the Panthers and the Panthers proud to represent Wroclaw. This means a lot to me. As a teenager in England, my city lost its team, the MK Pioneers who I was a junior at, and after that I became a mercenary player as an adult, never finding a team I felt at home with. That’s why the importance of playing for your community from childhood to adulthood plays a huge part, and its awesome for mini and juniors to practice in the Stadium and be coached by Panthers players and coaches, that will be remembered well into adulthood.
It was a Coaching Consultancy role, so I was working for the UK government at the time, and came over for a month to help the old Krakow Tigers team. There were a number of challenges, but what was working was the major sponsor Rolf Helers, he ran a local business and was passionate about providing a competitive programme to the players and community. I helped the staff and advised on the programme direction. Ultimately it made business sense to start afresh and with a new brand that would bring in the right mentality. Rolf relaunched the programme under the Dragons brand, and this season they hired the former Opole Towers coach Tim Bishop and OL Coach Tom Mackey. I wish them well in the new season.
Yes, I played in numerous leagues. Each one brought challenges but also solutions. As an import, I had to fit the role needed. Germany it was Nickle/RB, Finland it was MLB and FB, Australia it was slot WR and safety, USA it was a jackbacker! So my weight bounced up and down each season. You remember the guys on the field and in practice. Each team had great guys who have gone on to do good stuff in the sport, Darragh the Irish DB with me at Lubeck, is now the Irish national team DB coach and DC at the UCD. Philip Stursberg LB/ex-NFLE is a well known coach in the German ranks, I think we will see him in the ELF before long. Finland has the eternally youthful Nesi Carplen, QB and leader of numerous Finnish programmes but most notably Kotka Eagles. There are more, it’s the guys around you, that you remember!
When I was 15. When I started playing flag football, I got it introduced into my school and ran a flag programme for two years playing in the British schools tournament. After that as an import you either coached youth or the position group you played. When I retired I took several years off, but got pulled into the sport again just as a coach this time. It was that time away and returning that I realized I had a passion for coaching and helping others to achieve and exceed the joy and opportunities in Europe and US, that I had.
I applied to every d1 college. But it was through a British coach, Rich Worsell now at D1 MAC programme Akron, whom I joined at University of La Verne in California, a small D3. From there I simply applied and got roles at UMASS and McKendree, working off field and on field.
Just here in Poland, but that’s cause the sport is relatively new in Poland compared to other European countries. That is now changing and Poland has great potential to be a powerhouse in Europe, and the Panthers are at the forefront of that.
To the team I will be bringing what I have learnt in the US and the experience I have in Europe, applying the methods for tackling and block destruction. For me its about working with each player to identify their opportunities to improve.
To listen. Movies and TV make you think coaching it is just talking and speeches but its actually listening and watching, observing the improvements, listening to the players, and helping them develop.
It’s a rare opportunity for an incredibly diverse set of people to come together and commit to building a common goal and taking pride in that joint identity. For me, fun isn’t the dancing and ra-ra noise you hear on TV. For me it’s football fun, the relentless drive you see in players, the guys knowing their responsibility to each other and how that galvanizes the team to become better, push each other, that creates the “energy and vibe” everyone gets to see on game day. To be a part of that in practice, in the lockeroom and on the sideline at games, that’s rare and special.
Like the Panthers organization, go out and win.