11 votes, rating 5.9
A conversation with coach Spelledaren at the end of draft 9 and season 8.
- Spelledaren, thank you for coming here to talk about Erengrad Vikings, about what has happened and what lies ahead.
Both the reporter and Spelledaren are seated in a small room, looking at ease.
- Thank you, it's usually a pleasure.
- Hah, the reporter scoffs before continuing, I'm sure it'll be almost all pleasure today. After the mid season controversy you took 13 points to Erengrad in the final 7 games. That is the best run of games the team has ever had?
- It is, though we came close to that once or twice. I even got an apology from a few of the most vocal critics once it became apparent what a powerhouse we managed to build. Joe Doe, what a star. I think he probably won a couple of games on his own.
- True, true, and the team's fans have already warmed to him, his shirts being the most sold item near the end of the season. But even with his great success, there is another one who has possibly made an even greater impact during the season. Dominic Toretto, hired in another big trade, has set an impressive record for a blitzer in this team. Seven touchdowns, nine casualties and even a completion. How happy are you about this?
- Dominic has been everything I wanted him to be. Whenever he carries the ball things end up well. It seems like whenever things did go wrong, it was often because we abandoned the idea of him carrying. We did it a couple of times if the opponent had strong dedicated hitters with the skills to take him down, and we tried other approaches. But none worked as well as when he is pushing ahead with the ball in his hands. Of course, Stipe has also been in charge of the ball quite a lot.
- Stipe Lipican! Yes, a DLE legend by now! He has had one of the finest seasons yet, and is surely the brightest shining star of all Vikings players to this day!
- Yes, I think so. He has gone from strength to strength, and becoming the first Viking legend just feels completely right.
- And he has been with the team for a long time now... but there are still critical voices, one of the things fans are critical about is the fact that almost none of the players have been with the team for more than one season. In fact, right now only Corey Fuller has played more than that, except Lipican.
- Yeah, there was a...
- And now you're firing Arie Kouandjio? He actually has played two seasons, and is well liked by the fans? AND played a really solid season?
- Yeah, you have to understand that...
- It's almost as if you are trying to shatter any long standing relationships within the Vikings. Is that your plan?
A moment of silence. Spelledaren looks not angry or flustered, but thoughtful. The reporter waits and Spelledaren begins to answer.
- That wasn't the intention when I started remaking the team. I could see that our push for a well skilled team relying on us dodgeing from danger wasn't going to be good enough. When I analysed the best teams in the conference it became clear that any such attempt would ultimately fail because of their skill levels themselves. Sure, it gave us quite the upper hand in division games through season 7, and for a bit of season 8 too, but our division rivals were also moving toward players more suited to bring down our wall of dodgers. So I wanted to build on the main stars of the team, Lipican and Toretto and try to play to their strengths. They needed a solid support to dominate the field, and so I went and got it. But the price for that was heavy, as we've discussed before. And bringing in Colin Cole as our new ogre, I don't think the fans will disagree with that. Arie has been feeling the hits, and Colin is a star that will work well besides Doe, Toretto and the others.
- And so far the fans are indeed supporting you. But there is quite a bit of frustration about not proceeding in the play offs.
- Tell me about it. No, wait, don't. Can we talk about the draft instead?
- Sure... you drafted only two players. One is a catcher that reminds us of the late Tajima, who was killed by Maextu. The other an interesting lineman. What were your thoughts?
- At first I wasn't going to engage much. We had only three picks, with the best being number 64. We had used all those best picks in our push at mid season you know. I also had three empty spots to fill, so it seemed like an easy thing. Then some truly excellent players starting slipping. When we came down to second round, around pick 46, and there was still three players of excellent quality I made a move to trade into the draft higher up. I managed to get number 52 from Knut, giving him another future pick, and we got Bron Jacobs. Such promise, and he should have been drafted at least twenty spots earlier in my mind. The lineman brings back frenzy to the team, we've missed it since David was maimed. And then the final picks were used to trade for Cole. So three new players in the off season.
- How will you do in the coming season?
- Facing SHCS and KFCE. Looking at the team we have now, we honestly expect to take the division again. We have never had as many stars as right now. Will we make to a bye? We never have before...SHCS was by far the best division in the league last season. The East has increased in strength during off season. I think a bye will be hard to get, but sight set on another play off run.
- Good news then! Don't miss any of the action, get your tickets to the Vikings games, starting with strength of schedule games vs Super bowl runner up Greenskins, and the long standing rivals of the Kemperbad Knights. See you there!