We’ve caught up with the long-time head coach of SWARCO RAIDERS, Shuan Fatah for an interview during the preparations for CEFL Bowl XII. Coach Fatah has won numerous trophies throughout his careers as a player and a coach, including 4 in NFL Europe, and many others in the German and Austrian championships, as well as Eurobowl.
Q: What are the key ingredients that make this team so successful?
SF: We have some really good leadership on this team. They keep everything in perspective and they don´t get too high or too low. After losing 22 players from our back to back championship years, we kind of embarked into the unknown this season, but very quickly found out, that we have a really good nucleus of young and old players and that we could actually reload and did not have to rebuild the team.
Q: Did you have a chance to see the opponent and what do you think of them?
SF: We had a chance to see a couple of games and we are impressed with their overall athletic ability. If you watch them closely you can tell that they are serious about this game, and that they are spending time in the weight room. They have a very explosive offense and a stout defense, and we will have to play our best game to keep their playmaker in check.
Q: What is your team’s biggest asset in this game?
SF: I think our experience in big games can make a huge difference in this game. Our schedule is probably the most demanding schedule in all of Europe. We are playing in the AFL in Austria, in the SK CEFL and also square up against a US college in the “Battle 4 Tirol” every year. We have and will continue to play the who-is-who of Europe week in and week out. We are proud to say that “only a few walk where we walk”.
Q: Are there any individual matchups that we should watch for?
SF: I think it will be interesting to see, how our defense will handle QB Dalton Oliver and his WR corps with Stepovic, Nedeljkovic and Djuric. Also of interest will be how much damage RB Laurent Tshimanga will cause to us. On the other side, I´m really looking forward to see our “Raiders Massiv”, our offensive line perform against a very athletic Wild Boars front four.
Q: What are your expectations of CEFL Bowl XII?
SF: We are always “in it to win it”, so we will do everything in our power to win this title. I expect a tough and hard fought game that could easily go down to the wire. Hopefully we can finish this quest in the SK CEFL Championship on a high note and bring this title to the mountains of Tirol.