As Friday's match acted as the final tune-up heading into NPSL play, do you take the result as a need for adjustments or is this club still in a team building stage?
We're definitely still in a building stage and Friday was a good step for us. Going into the match we were not too concerned with the result as the priority was to continuing improving as a group. I thought that the second 1/2 of Friday's match was the best that we've looked so far. With that said, we still have a lot of work to do this week in preparation for our NPSL home opener.
Yuri has two goals in two games. Can you speak to his current form, and maybe some coaching methods that are applied to keep a player hot for consecutive matches?
It's been fun to watch Yuri preform with us so far. He has shown that he can not only play at our level...he can contribute at our level. I'm happy for him as his confidence should be high. As a manager when players are in good form I try to stay out of their way. My job is to put Yuri, and others, in the right spots to continue making plays & group them with player's who compliment their style & personality. So that will be the plan moving forward with Yuri & the other men who are impact players for us.
Saturday's match will be the first NPSL experience for the club, though you yourself have been a staple of this league for a couple years. Any specific thoughts on the NPSL opener as you reflect on previous years?
The NPSL experience is going to be exciting for AFC & the Ann Arbor community. It's a 12 game regular season that flies by with the blink of an eye. For me it's most important to take the schedule one match at a time. We very much want to respect every opponent on our schedule & make sure that we are well prepared for each match. That process obviously starts this week, and we are looking forward to kicking off NPSL action at Hollway.
Result aside, it must feel good to have your first game at Hollway under your belt. Was the atmosphere what you were expectingFriday night and do you view our home venue as a useful advantage as we are set to host 6 NPSL matches?
Playing home at Hollway was fantastic. Coaching in my backyard was exhilarating & the support from the community was welcoming. After looking back on the match we have been able to identify aspects of our play that we can highlight at home as we learn how to better take advantage of our home pitch. Our goal is to make sure that we preform well at Hollway & make it a difficult place for opposing teams to play.
A lot of the college players will begin training with the club this week. What are some tactics you utilize to build team chemistry quickly?
Obviously we will train every day this week, which will be a critical integration step as we look to build new players into the team. Along with our work on the pitch we have a few events in place to accelerate relationship building. We have a night planned at Revel & Roll & a pre-match meal at Jolly Pumpkin. Both local sponsors of ours and we are thankful for their help in the team building process!