Montag, 20. Juli 2009
Brandin McClay (SpVgg Weiden) - A young men alone in Bavaria
GERMANY SOCCER TRAVELER: Brandin, is this your first time in Germany? How do you like Bavaria, so far?
Brandin McClay: Yes this is my first time here in Germany, well besides coming here for trials in March 2008. Bavaria is very different from what I am used to from back home in the states.
GERMANY SOCCER TRAVELER: You are a very young player. You played for the University of Southern Connecticut in the NCAA DII. How comes that you signed with SpVgg Weiden. Who was in charge of your transfer?
Brandin McClay: I signed with SpVgg Weiden because I wanted to develop as a top level player and felt the college game and the whole college experience was holding me back. If I wanted to become a professional footballer I would need to dedicate all of my time to developing in the sport and it was hard for me to balance academics and soccer at the same time. Michael Carlson, Ronald Neumann, and Jesko Onken from FARA organization was in charge of my transfer and are now full time agents for me.
GERMANY SOCCER TRAVELER: I already mentioned your age! It is not common to leave home in this age and to play soccer in a different country. What did your parents said, when you told him about your plans?
Brandin McClay: Both my parents were all on board with pursuing my dream. My father had the chance to go professional but the league folded and never got his shot which is why he is so supportive of my career. I have a great family. All of them are wanting me to follow my dreams and to go as high as I can.
GERMANY SOCCER TRAVELER: How does the club support you? Are you just playing soccer or do you continue your studies here in Germany?
Brandin McClay: I am playing full-time soccer here at Weiden. I don’t plan to study here in Germany as I have dedicated my life to this sport but you never know what the future holds.
GERMANY SOCCER TRAVELER: College soccer in the USA is very different compare to the German soccer, especialy in the higher leagues. What is the main different?
Brandin McClay: In my opinion, the biggest difference between the styles of play is the pace, everyday intensity, and the technical ability.
GERMANY SOCCER TRAVELER: Your team is doing very well this year. You are on the top of the table and have 9 points ahead. Do you think that the SpVgg Weiden will get promoted and what is your personal goal for the rest of the season?
Brandin McClay: I have my high hopes on our team getting promoted into the Regionaliga and feel we have a great chance and the team to do it. My personal goal for the rest of this season is to continue to develop and keep growing as a person as well as a player. Specifically I will work on the mental aspect of the game, technical ball work, and the big one… my German!
GERMANY SOCCER TRAVELER: To have this kind of succes, the quality of players must be very good. How many times do you practice during the week? Are the practice sessions various here in Germany?
Brandin McClay: We usually train on average 7-8 times a week and match once a week. The training here is much more intense and much more is expected of you. Training is where you fight for your position on the team so everyone is competing every second.
GERMANY SOCCER TRAVELER: The soccer crowd in Germany is very different compare to the American spectators, especially on the collegiate level? Can you desrcibe us the German soccer culture!
Brandin McClay: The German soccer culture is amazing to see. To see all the fans every game supporting their teams decked out in scarves, face paint, jerseys, and the list goes on, is incredible to see. They are loud all the time singing their team chants, hooting and hollering the whole game.
GERMANY SOCCER TRAVELER: What are you doing after the practice sessions. How does your life looks like in Germany?
Brandin McClay: After training sometimes I will get a massage from our physical trainer, sit in the sauna, shower, and then drive back to my flat. In my free time I like to go to the gym, work on fitness, hang out with friends, and go to church.
GERMANY SOCCER TRAVELER: It is sometimes hard to adopt to any new culture. Do you have any problems with the food, music, humor or even TV?
Brandin McClay: At first the food was very difficult for me to get use to. Now my body has adjusted and actually grew to like the food. They actually listen to the same music as we do in the states, so that wasn’t an issue for me. I don’t watch much T.V but I do miss some of my favorite shows.
GERMANY SOCCER TRAVELER: Did you had the chance to see any other places in Germany? If you did, can you recommend any places?
Brandin McClay: I got to see very little but loved Nuremberg! The city was great and lots of fun.
GERMANY SOCCER TRAVELER: There are always funny things happen in a soccer team. Can you give us a story from your team or your personal experience!
Brandin McClay: During pre-season of this year we ended up having training indoors where there were basketball hoops set up. So for a warm up we split the team in half and played a game. To see them try and shoot the ball and dribble was hilarious. They would be all alone for a easy lay up and instead they would trip over the ball and then try and chuck the ball into the hoop where most, actually all of the time the ball would go into the bleachers. To be there and to see this was something else.
GERMANY SOCCER TRAVELER: Thank you for your time and good luck for you and your team?Do you have any reommondation for players from the US, who wants to play in Germany or even turn pro?
Brandin McClay: If you have the dream of playing professional soccer in Europe or anywhere in the world, I would tell you to fight for you dream. As a professional and living the dream as we speak, I can tell you it is not easy. But if you want it that bad you have to fight for it everyday. You must train everyday, eat properly, and most importantly stay mentally fit. I hope I can be an inspiration to young players who want to become professional themselves. I want to reach out to young Americans who have the same passion for the sport as I have and help them reach their goal as well. Every player must find their own way of dealing with adversity as it comes often in this business. What has been keeping me strong through is my faith in Christ.
Brandin, thank your for the interview. The GERMANY SOCCER TRAVELER Team wish you all the best for your future.