Mighty Oak Monday (Pre-Season 2)

What is the coaching staff looking for, on the field, in the upcoming friendly on the 23rd?

With most of our college players not available until sometime in May, the friendly on April 23rd will provide us with an excellent opportunity to evaluate our local players in a real match vs a quality side. Northwood had a historic season this past fall and has been in good form so far this spring. They will provide a competitive stage for our local players to prove themselves. Furthermore, we will use the match as the initial building phase of implementing our team tactical schemes.

The roster will be released after the April 17th event, What type of excitement does a complete roster release bring to a coach?

Our staff is excited about the individual talent our roster boasts, but still reserved as we all know that the individual quality of the players has to mesh collectively as a unit. So I guess you could say, there really isn't any satisfaction or reward until the ball starts rolling and we see how the groups performs with one another. 

With so many players coming from different playing backgrounds, what are coaches looking for as the team begins training?

It's all about player's winning spots in the team. The team has been built with 3 players in each position so the best man can win the job. The training environment will be competitive, while also aiming to group players together that perform well with one another. This is the essence of balancing individual quality & team needs, which is a fascinating dynamic.

After the Saline friendly, the team plays host for the first 3 matches of the season. When going over the schedule, do any challenges or advantages stick out in your head?

There are definitely challenges in our schedule, as each match will provide a different variable that we have to deal with. With that said, our first 3 matches at home will ignite a desire to perform well in front of our home supporters. The other notable challenge is that we start earlier than most NPSL clubs with the May 7th fixture, so our pre-season plans will be expedited to prepare for that match.

As you have 2 years of NPSL head coaching experience under your belt, what are some early season techniques you use to build chemistry with such a diverse roster?

For me, the chemistry on the team has already begun to build through different channels. We have groups of players coming in who know one another through various connections in the game and are excited to be reconnected. Our staff has been diligently building relationships with the incoming players to make sure that each man on the roster feels comfortable. And lastly, when the players arrive we will spend a lot of time together; on the pitch, at team building events and in the Ann Arbor community, which is the best way to establish & strengthen any relationship.