This week we get to know coach Rob Mitchell, Offensive Coordinator for the Women’s Contact Team. Coach Rob is known throughout the wider Exiles organisation, for his performances as a player within the Adult team and his knowledge of the game is legendary! Coach Rob, you’re up…
How did you get into American Football?
An American friend of mine encouraged me to give it a try at the club he played for, in fact, I would try Football and he would try Rugby. It’s over a decade later and I’m still waiting for him to step onto a rugby field.
Did you play AF / What position did you play?
I have played all over the park playing at least one snap at every position, except cornerback.
What position did you dream you could play?
I lived the dream, giving absolutely everything a go!
Why the Exiles?
I joined the Exiles with my brother in 2014, after leaving the Sussex Thunder. That year Sussex were not due to compete due to various reasons and we were keen to still get some good game time. When we arrived at the Exiles, the whole club was so welcoming and I enjoyed playing so much, I never left!
What is your greatest achievement in this sport so far?
As a player, being part of the Exiles team that went all the way from Division 2 to the Premiership and stayed there. As a coach, helping the women’s team go undefeated last year to earn promotion to the top tier of the women’s game in this country.
What motivates you to coach football?
mostly, I enjoy helping players to develop their skills and understanding of the game; whether they are a veteran player or a rookie, there is always something new to learn. There is nothing better than watching my players putting either a new play or technique into action on game day. Especially, when we have worked hard to practice new concepts in training. There is nothing more rewarding than watching my players enjoy the rewards of their efforts, its a great feeling.
What are your goals for the Kent Exiles Women’s team over the next five years?
To establish the Exiles at the top of the UK women’s game.
Aside from the Kent Exiles which team do you support and why?
Any one who knows me will know, I’m a huge New Orleans Saints fan. The Saints played in the first NFL game that I saw at Wembley in the international series. I have since been out to see them play in the States a couple of times. The atmosphere at home in the Superdome is amazing, and one of the best I have experienced live. Who Dat!
If you could have one NFL or college player on your team who would it be?
Demario Davis Linebacker for the New Orleans Saints. A fantastic player and a great leader on the field.
What sets AF apart from other sports and why do you think it is growing so well in the UK?
Football is a very inclusive sport, with a position for everyone no matter how big or small you are. It is also a very cerebral game, learning your playbook and knowing what to do in a situation, and relying on your teammates to do the same.