#U19 Britbowl Head Coach Interview – Matthew Davies, East Kilbride Pirates

Who are you and what’s your coaching background?

I’m Matthew Davies, Head Coach of the East Kilbride Pirates Under 19s.

I played for eight seasons, including one in BUAFL for the Glasgow Tigers (’05-’06) and then seven seasons of senior with the East Kilbride Pirates (’06-’12).

I began my coaching career in 2011 as offensive line coach for the Edinburgh Napier Knights, before progressing to Offensive Coordinator through to the end of the ’13/’14 season. Sticking to my roots, I took up the O line coaching role at the EK Pirates through 2013 to 2015, while also dabbling with some coaching of the GB Lions running backs (’12-’15).

Alongside coaching I was club President for the Pirates between 2008 and 2010, and have been treasurer since 2011, however since 2015 I’ve focused my coaching solely upon the Pirates’ Juniors where I think I’ve really found the area of football I love to focus upon.

How did you get into coaching American Football?

Played for years and always said I had no interest in coaching but stepped in to help out a local Uni team and got the bug.

Who’s your coaching hero?

A few… Tom Osborne, Nick Saban, Bill Walsh… All fairly obvious but particularly Saban as focusing on the process and refusing to waver from this is at the core of my beliefs. That’s absolutely what we’ve done these past two years and it’s hugely satisfying to see that a culture of accountability, honestly and effort have paid dividends.

What’s your coaching dream?

Coaching in the states and making this my career isn’t something that I think about, perhaps because I am settled with a family and because I see the impact that the work we do in this country, at this level can have for those we are lucky enough to coach.

One day, however, I’d like to be the Head Coach of a GB Lions team, but I’ve a lot to learn before that happens and our sport has a long way to progress before we can be competitive on the European stage again and I want to look back and feel as though I’ve made a positive contribution to that progress, in whatever small way I can.

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The biggest dream is meeting these players 10/20 years from now and hearing that they’ve developed into well-rounded, successful men

What’s the single most important quality for a British American Football coach, in your opinion?

Humility. This year has been a great couple of years for our Junior team and for me personally, winning BAFCA Coach of the Year, but I’ve been a coordinator in 0-1-7 and 3-5 seasons in the past and I know how quickly things can turn for better or for worse. There is too much arrogance and bravado in our sport.

I hope I’ll never be too good to learn from anyone, and feel that’s been reflected in the number of coaches I’ve reached out to over the past six years and the time I’ve spent studying and learning from them. The success we’ve achieved so far has the fingerprints of each one of those coaches on it and I’m extremely grateful for their support

And now the quick fire round! Answer as quickly as possible, we trust you to be honest 😉
Please select one option or the other:

Red ☐ Blue ☒
Cats ☐ Dogs ☒
Offence ☒ Defence ☐
Bacon ☒ Cheese ☐
Blitz ☒ Coverage ☐
Star Wars ☒ Star Trek ☐
Punt ☐ Go for it ☒
Rachel ☒ Monica ☐
Run ☒ Pass ☐
Hot Dog ☐ Burger ☒
Brawn ☐ Brains ☒
Peyton ☐ Eli ☒
Dodge ‘em ☐ Truck ‘em ☒
Classless winner ☐ Classy loser ☒
1 point ☐ 2 points ☒
Squat ☐ Bench ☒
Fast ☐ Strong ☒
Pirates ☒ Blitz ☐
Phoenix ☒ Blitz ☐
Caesars ☒ Lions ☐
Titans ☒ Olympians ☐

Thanks again, and best of luck on Saturday!

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Nick

Nick 'Willy Tee' Wilson-Town hails from the South West where he's spent the last decade bouncing around various teams at the university and senior level. He came to fame on the now departed unofficial forum thanks to his regularly irreverent Uniball predictions and general 'BUAFL wafflage'. Follow him on twitter @WillyTee1