The Furious Foreman (no relation to Eric Foreman) is the capo of Magic City Brigade, a supporters group for the Birmingham Hammers. The Foreman reached out to me on Twitter saying that he would be willing to do a Q & A session with me if I was interested. I took him up on his offer, drew up some questions, and emailed them to him. What you see below are his answers.
Q: Personally, I think the formation of the Hammers is one of more interesting stories in the region, and maybe even in the country. What can you tell me about the founders of the club?
A: The entire Board is made up of guys who care about growing the game at a grassroots level. From what I’ve seen, not a single Board Member has struck me as having a “get paid and leave” type of attitude; and that is refreshing to see.
Q: Looking at the players that have been confirmed for 2017 so far, who really excites you?
A: So many great guys playing this season! Starting off with #1 in the net and #1 in our hearts, Bradley Louis; returning players in Christian Adkins; Jack Ball; Gerard Barbero, Alec Daley, and Srdjan (Sergi) Djkovic. I’m excited to see how some of the new faces perform; especially Oliver Cylowski and Daniel DeMasters. Too many great players to narrow it down to just one.
Q: Last year was the Hammers first year in the NPSL, and they did manage two good wins against Memphis at home and on the road at Nashville, but ultimately finished last in the conference. Do you think they are in position to improve on that this year?
A: Absolutely. Last season we didn’t have the chemistry that Coach Koch and his staff bring this year. Having a group of guys returning who were a part of that I-65 Cup Champion team against Nashville FC (RIP) I think they now understand how much this game means to the supporters, and are determined to put a better product on the pitch this year.
Q: Some Silverbacks fans aren't very keen on 5pm start times on Saturday nights, but how do you feel about it as a traveling fan?
A: Well, kicking off at 4pm/5pm is never ideal especially with the traffic issues Atlanta is currently facing. As a supporter, the kick off time doesn’t matter to me; all it means is more time to bake in the Southern Summer sun while supporting our Boys in Red.
Q: I was looking on the Hammers website and unless I missed something there were no preseason games played. Are you concerned the Hammers might not be as prepared for this game as they could be?
A: It is a little concerning. The Hammers field more currently enrolled University athletic students than I think other NPSL clubs do, and I know that plays a role in the availability of players for preseason matches. At the end of the day; the game that matters is the one currently being played. It wouldn’t be that shocking to see the Silverbacks up 3-1 at half and the Hammers win 5-3.
Q: There are two friendlies scheduled for the end of May with youth teams of Atlanta United and Chivas. Do you think they'll help get the Hammers name out to people who initially missed the memo?
A: I think the matches against the ATLUTD and Chivas de Guadalajara academies will open the local interest of the club. There are some suburbs that may not know who the Hammers are; and I think those matches will peak their interest.
Q: Birmingham and Atlanta aren't very far from each other, so how many Hammers fans do you think will be making the trip?
A: It’s hard to say. I’d like to say we’re bringing close to 100, but realistically I hear murmurs of 30 or so fans.
Q: Lastly, is there anything else about the Hammers that you feel like people should know?
A: First off, I want to thank you or having me on as a guest. The Hammers are coming this year hungry and looking to make a name for ourselves. The Hammers don’t have any competitions in the US Open Cup, so look for our boy to give their all, every match. I also run a fan blog, www.bhamhammersblog.wordpress.com, feel free to check out my Season Preview: 2017. It’s been a pleasure.
The pleasure is all mine Foreman, safe travels to you and the rest of your crew on Saturday. Hopefully by the end of the game, the Silverbacks will be victorious, and you will well and truly be the "Furious" Foreman