Here we are in the Thursday edition. This is going to be a shorter column than the regular Monday one, where you’ll find my responses to some of your questions and comments, plus anything else I can think of, or anything worthwhile saying that I couldn’t fit in on Monday. Also, during the regular season you’ll find my computer ratings as well.
But that’s enough of an introduction, now it’s time for some news.
The injuries appear to be piling up for the Angels. Both starting WR Kevin Noel (ankle) and starting CB Lawrence Flessie (knee) are lost for the season before it has even begun. Also causing a deal of trouble is the shoulder injury to starting QB Francis Njufom. Njufom has been out for 4 months and there’s still no fixed date for his return, leaving back-ups Bart Killens and Rashidi Banza taking reps at training.
The Black Angels open on February 27 against Leuven, with the big match-up with the Tribes (themselves without LT Jeroen Vanhauwere for the season with a knee injury) one week later, leaving the coaches with a few difficult decisions to make. Do they go with a starter who may not be at 100% and who’s out of practice, or with one of the back-ups? Sounds like a difficult begin for new offensive coördinator, Cyril Bouron.
Speaking of coaches, it’s time for a quick shoutout to coach Allan Verbraeken, many of you will know him from his time at the Leuven Lions and the Flemish All-Star team, and who is currently active with the Cologne Falcons. He’s written a couple of very informative articles about the zone read play, something you see a lot of in college football but has yet to be employed in Belgium. As an x’s and o’s man myself, this one comes highly recommended – well explained and with useful videos too. You can find his articles here :
I’ve had a couple of comments about the National team. I was fortunate to be part of the team in 2008 (actually that was my #2 reason for wanting to become Belgian – bonus points for anyone who can guess what #1 was) and had a great time. I went there figuring that the Flemish would stick together, the Walloons would stick together and the boys from Brussels would be somewhere in between, but was surprised to be wrong – everybody did their best with everyone else, in whatever language was required. I think it would be fair to say that we actually became a team.
This is a BFL topic really, any initiative would have to come from them, and I may hope that they are looking into it and not just letting the whole idea die away. I guess the problem is organisation. Who organises it all? Who coaches? Where and when does it happen? Do players get selected to play or do they run a try-out? All difficult questions of course, but that’s why we have a BFL board.
Now on to your messages
Marco Karmidi, Antwerp/Holland :
“Nice job Dale, way to spread the buzz. Poor Aussie should be glad to have dry feet so no more bitching about the sun ;)”
Anyone following the news knows that my countrymen have had a rough time of it lately. First a flood disaster area as large as western Europe and today a hurricane battering the same area. So Marco, as much as I hate to say it, you’re right, and I’ll keep my selfish comments to myself in the future.. However it was a glorious sunny day today, so someone was listening to me!
Dieter Eerens, Puurs :
“Like what you’re writing! One remark, We (Titans) will crack the Tribes the first matchup, and then we’ll see if the Tribes know how to make the right adjustments! Haha, it is indeed one of the games we all look forward to.”
Those are fighting words! But no, it’s certainly a possibility, I expect a lot out of the Titans this year and the Tribes have a new head coach, full of motivation and enthusiasm but lacking experience.. Could this be the year?
That’s all for the Thursday mailbag. The next column will be up Monday evening, and I haven’t got a clue what I’ll write about then! Bye for now and thanks for all your support and kind words so far, it’s been fun!