Ahead of our 2019 we took the chance to speak with new head coach Bryce Stevenson on the season ahead and the preseason:
‘Being less than a week away from the regular season opener against East Kilbride Pirates I am glad of this opportunity to reflect on our preseason and look forward to our first season in Division One.
Having taken over as Head Coach on a full time basis I wanted to build on the terrific work Coach Collinson had done last year as the Interim Head Coach, working together to ensure that this team was put in the best position possible to succeed. We also brought back Coach Pirie ST Coordinator and he has also become the OL coach this year.
With the addition of Matthew Watt and Nathan Morrice - RB coach and Defensive assistant respectively - I couldn't be happier with the work ethic and knowledge these 2 coaches bring to this team. The team have responded terrifically well to the new coaches coming in and I am very excited to help them grow in their roles within the team.
We started the year off in January with a 3 day residential camp in Dunfermline where the guys were pushed to their limits both mentally and physically to ensure they would be able to deal with any situation they are confronted with. We took it right back to basics and the camp was a huge success for both the players and coaching staff. Camp was where the 4 Captains for the upcoming season were announced and also decided to have positional leaders to oversee all positional groups to ensure accountability was observed. The 4 Captains for this year are OL Andrew Watts, DB Darren Henderson, QB Chris Breen and MLB Robert Hayes.
Following on from Camp we have taken part in two organised events with Clyde Valley Blackhawks and the Edinburgh Wolves. Having played a preseason game against the Blackhawks this year it allowed both teams to give rookies their first taste of live game action and in typical Northern football it was a very physical affair with the weather doing everything it could to add to the intensity levels.
Next came a situational training session with the Edinburgh Wolves. A thoroughly enjoyable day for everyone associated with the Aberdeen Roughnecks and gave an insight into what is required to taking the next step and we certainly gained a lot from the session.
I'd like to thank both Coach Yates of Clyde Valley and Coach Edmonston of Edinburgh for their help in allowing both events to happen and wish them every success in their campaigns this year.
This is by far going to be this teams toughest test to date but we wouldn't want it any other way. I believe that the team are ready to take on Division One and hit our primary goal which is to establish ourselves this year in Division One. There will be adversity facing us on occasion this year however with the preseason we have had and the mentality that this team carries I have absolutely no concerns about our mental toughness and strength to face these problems.
The coaching staff are doing everything possible every single day to ensure that the players are given the best opportunity to succeed because they deserve it.
Our first three fixtures see us at home to East Kilbride Pirates and Northumberland Vikings with a long away day to Yorkshire Rams all teams who will have the desire to be top of the North when it's all done. This provides us with a massive opportunity to test ourselves against some of the most ambitious teams in the country and we want to come out of all 3 games with positive results.
I'm very much looking forward to being on the sideline this year and seeing the familiar faces spectating and cheering the team on. A lot of our followers have been around the team since the beginning of the Aberdeen Roughnecks and I am looking forward to seeing them cheering us on at the highest level this team has competed at to date.
Finally I'm incredibly proud of the way each player has prepared themselves both individually and as a collective team. And I'm very grateful to be the Head Coach of the hardest working team in football.’
"A great player has the ability to win any game, but a great team has the ability to win every game."