Welcome back to the Barbarian Blog. Stuff is still going on behind the scenes, especially with regards to our opponents. Progress is definitely being made, and it’s very exciting, but I don’t want to say much before things are confirmed. You know me, I don’t want to deal in rumors and possibilities, I just tell you when something is definitely happening.
Meet the Barbarians coaching staff
A little change here this time. Rather than introduce one of the coaches (we will get back to that next time), I’ll now list all of the coaches, seeing as we’ve waited long enough for others to put their hands up and join in on the fun.
Head coach : Roald Piqueur (Gent)
Offensive coördinator : Pauwel Depreitere (Gent)
Defensive coördinator : Stefaan DeGrendele (Izegem)
Special teams coördinator : Dale Housden (no team)
Offensive position coach : John Jolie (Antwerp)
Offensive position coach : Floris Van Hoof (Leuven)
Defensive position coach : Christophe Olenaed (Leuven)
Defensive position coach : Aarnout Ecker (Brussels Bulls)
You probably don’t know every one of these guys, which is why I want to introduce them to you over the next few months. The other thing that you’ll notice is that they’re all involved in the FAFL. We tried to get people from the LFFAB involved but they showed no interest.
Football in the Olympics?
The International Olympic Committee has actually added Football to its list of provisionally recognised sports – meaning that it could actually be possible to have Football in the Olympics (but not yet, the earliest date would be 2024). Who knows if it will happen, but it’s nice that our little game is getting recognised at a higher level.
I haven’t got any specific news to report about a Belgian junior team, and as far as I know, it’s not even being worked on yet. But it should be, after all the kids are the future. Getting them together and improving them should absolutely be one of our goals heading forward. I think that the biggest issue (much like it was with the Barbarians) was actually getting the thing started. Once it’s up and running, it’s easier to attract good people to help out (not just on the field but off it as well).
Maybe we’ve missed the boat this season, after all the junior season is over, but at least this can give us some time to get things operational for the future.
As you probably know, not only am I one of the coaches on the team but I’m the Head Scout too. That means going to watch as many games as I can (and game film, seriously don’t forget about this, people). So now that I’ve got the LFFAB schedule (only 6 teams down there, by the way), I’ve been able to figure out my weekly schedule.
I’ll go and see 32 games in the regular season (there are 51 in total). I’ll start right here, in Izegem, on February 9 for Leuven vs Ostend, and my regular season will end on June 1 at The Swamp in Gent where the Gators play the Diamonds. In the mean time, you’ll find me in Liege, Beringen, Waterloo, Charleroi and almost every other football field in the country. And like I always say, if you see me out there on the sideline, come up for a chat, because football is not meant to be watched alone!
I’ll see every team in the BFL at least 3 times, and one team I’ll actually see 6 times (so entertain me, Ostend Pirates!), and the average is around 4.
So I guess it’s time to talk about player selection. From my point of view it’s simple. I’ve talked to the coaches and I know what they are looking for at each position. I’m going to make lists for each position and rank the players based on how well they played and how well they fit into the systems that we’ll be running. Then all the coaches will get together and make a team selection.
We aren’t just going to ask everyone to show up, a definite team selection will be made, it’s just a question of if we do it like we did last year (pick a team of say 45 and then look for replacements for players who can’t make it), or if we pick say 65 players knowing that some won’t be able to make it to the trainings and games, and then see if we need to cut people to get down to the correct number of players.
There will probably be players who can only make it to one of the two games that we’ll play (Pirates players, for example, have their own game to play at the Treasure Cup), so it’s likely that the final Barbarian squad will have around 55 or so players – say 35 who play both games, 10 who play only the first game and 10 who play only the second game. It’s still a bit fluid at this stage, the numbers are not exact, we’ll know more as we get closer to deadline day.
Alright, I’m done. As always, show some love for the blog and for the Barbarians by leaving a like and/or a comment, it’s much appreciated. What I would definitely like to hear from you guys about is some comments about what I should write about during the regular season, because I’m not really sure how I should go about that. Also let us know what you think about the idea of a junior team. You know, all things considered, I probably shouldn’t have deleted the old FFL Blog facebook page after all – it had its problems but at least discussions could be had. Perhaps there’s a way to do something similar… Until next time