After the emotion of the win Saturday and having time to reflect on the season and what happened and what will happen, I thought I would send a note to the league.
First, Congratulations to the Giants² for an excellent first season and Thank You for a Great Game Day. The Stadium presentation was very well done and the promotion of the Challenge Bowl created enough interest for around 500 fans to come and watch a very good football game. For that the Stallions are grateful. We can use this in future promotions for our team and can only help.
The Giants II and the coaching staff should be proud of their season. I realize that no one likes to loose, but this team did not give up the entire game and played very hard until the end. They scored the late touchdown with no time left and the score out of reach. This shows how much heart they have. There was a lot of things in the game that happened that were more fortunate for the Stallions than the Giants II and if any of these plays went the other way, it certainly may have had a different outcome. A very fair and hard game played by both teams.
Next season in Division 2 should be very interesting. This year there were three very good teams, with a fourth very good team beset with many injuries, another competitive team who just missed the play-offs in their last game and the sixth team who played every game with heart, regardless of the outcome. I am sure when we do the winter meetings the Stallions will be ranked first. This could be said for the Giants² as well as the Amstetten Thunder. They will both improve next year I am sure and will be very difficult to beat. If the Hammers stay healthy, believe me, they will contend as well. The Red Lions played us very hard and were on the verge of eliminating the Giants² in the last game of the season. I know they will be ready for next year. As for the Rams, they have played for the same amount of time as we have and although we have not played them, I have heard and read that they play with heart every game and now have a coach to help them. They will improve, I am sure. With the new teams coming next to Division 2, it will again be an interesting season next year and it will be open to anyone to win it all. I know that we will have targets on our backs, being defending champions, and we will need to be ready. Defending a Championship is much harder than winning it the first time.
The Stallions and especially myself, really need to Thank all of the Gladiators for their help this season. The coaching and training help from Chris Hladich, Mike Dougherty and Dwayne Hoffman all from Canada, was a great, great help in improving our level of play. Bernie Kamber, Andy Mayer and Paul Edelsbrunner for allowing us to come to camp with them was the first step for us in having a very successful season. I read a lot of negative things in the press about the Gladiators organization and cannot understand why. This is a very good group of people who are determined to improve football in Austria and they should be commended for that. I am certainly looking forward to see how far we can go in SELAF when we have some players from the Stallions and the Gladiators together. It should be a very good football team.
I certainly look forward to working with The Glad’s in the future and watch the improvement of both teams.
From a coaching perspective, the Stallions players need to be congratulated. We had some interesting things happen this year that could have gone either way for us but they believed in me and my decisions and it earned them a title. While I made some mistakes this year( actually many) they never gave up and continued to work on many new things that I was throwing at them every week. At times they were confused ( as was I ) but it turned out pretty well. We had many new players this year, 7 rookies on the field in the final, and all performed at the level of the rest of the team. We had injuries like every other team and our rookies pulled through for us and helped us to the Championship.
Interviews mit Steve Zundl und Christoph Kipperer
Siegerehrung Challenge Bowl
We cannot thank our sponsors enough. Without them, we have no team. We ask that all of our fans and players continue to support the sponsors as much as possible to show our appreciation. With the success from this year, hopefully we will be able to continue with our current sponsors and perhaps even get a few more, which of course we are certainly looking for.
And lastly, Thanks to Football Austria for their continued coverage of all Division 2 football teams. If it weren’t for you guys, we would have no coverage in any media form which would not be very healthy for the league. No media = No Sponsors….No Sponsors = No Teams…No Teams = No league. The coverage on the AFBOE site for Division 2 is somewhat lacking. They still do not have the semi-final scores in from this year! Oh well, I suppose they have other interests, the AFL is far more important to football in Austria as is Division 1. That is why all teams in Division 2 really owe a lot to Football-Austria. Even though there is some controversy created and a lot of trash talk at times (I find the trash talk very entertaining sometimes!) it is a valuable tool for all teams in our Division.
Thank You Walter and Thanks to your whole Team.
Coach- Styrian Stallions