Coach Richard Bonds About The Upcoming Championship In Norway

Kristiansand Gladiators is a team that moved up from the second division. And, the 1st year in the Division 1, team managed to go straight to the championship, but ended up being second.  

During the regular season we had 5 W and 3 L. We lost one to Eidsvoll 1814's actually. My guys are hungry, we know what's it like to lose, and we don't want it to happen again.

We have 6 imports. Most of them are Canadians with dual passports. We only have one American. He's probably one of the most versatile players. They know the game, and, they know what they're doing. This team is probably the most international team in Norway and around.

This has been the most stressful season, but we managed to overcome the problems we were bumping into.

At this level, guys don't want to practice, they just want to play. Yes, I've been working my guys a lot. We barely have 30 guys on the squad, BUT, they can all play on both sides. We're a long distance team, they are very well conditioned and trained

Our plan for the championship is simple. Eidsvoll 1814's are a versatile team. They run the ball a lot, they have an American QB and RB. Their strength is the running, but our strength is stopping the run. Add as many DBs as you can and force them to pass the ball. They are a dangerous team, but, as long as we do what we have to do and play the game - I think we'll be all good. They are not as big as we are, but they're well coached. 

We're fortunate enough to have the championship at a big soccer stadium that can fit 20K people. It's a nice covered stadium, halftime show is ready as well. We're hoping to get even more people interested in the game itself and to attract more attention to football.
There are really good athletes in Norway, especially the younger kids. Norway is supposed to go back to the international competing in 2015. The only thing guys out here lack is good coaching, but overall, there's a lot of potential. 

There are 6 teams in the 1st division. Norway is not a big country, but teams are pretty spread out. Rides can go up to 16 hours. It's hard to interact with other teams outside the season. We couldn't even do a friendly game before the season, because of the distance. But, even with that being said, we managed to reach the Championship.

Level of football in Norway is similar to Denmark. There are pretty much 3 really good teams. It's expensive to bring in imports, and most make a mistake of settling for imports who will coach as well. This year, I see teams bringing in American coaches to teach the players everything from the basics to what it takes to win games.

Richard Bonds