Af Dennis Vestergaard
Foto: Nini Skjoldager
Mermaid Bowl står for døren og i den forbindelse, har vi været i kontakt med en række spillere fra de to hold, Copenhagen Towers og Søllerød Gold Diggers. Det første kommer her, hvor amerikanske Mike Williams fortæller om sin baggrund i USA, sin tid i Danmark, Mermaid Bowl og hvad drømmen er for fremtiden.
Who are you outside of football?
Outside of football I am a model in New York City. I was actually scouted in Hawaii last year before coming to Copenhagen.
Can you tell a little about your football background and how you ended up with the Towers?
Went to a few different colleges, finished my college career in Minnesota. I was actually connected to Victor (defense coach) by the photographer. I reached out to anyone and everyone (players, anyone tagged in photos) associate with the Towers and lucky Nini was the one who answered and connected me with Victor. Very thankful for Nini.
You were here with the Towers last season, going undefeated before the semifinals were cancelled and you came back after the summer break. What have you been up to between last season and this season?
Between seasons I’ve been living between Hawaii and New York City. I actually couldn’t do much of any football workouts because of modeling. I didn’t touch a football until I got back here in August.
What made you return to the Towers this summer?
So I actually returned here in August but the reason I came back to the towers is because of the connections I’ve made with my teammates, coaches, and also coaching the youth players. We have a great board for the towers and the best equipment manager in all of Europe (John Skjorbaek). There’s also no secret on how much I love Denmark!
What is one important lesson you’ve learned from your time as an athlete?
I’ve learned so many lessons it’s hard to pick the most important one. I do think because of football I developed a great work ethic with has carried over to every aspect of my life.
What is the best advice a coach has given you?
The best advice I’ve ever received from a coach is “Use football as a vehicle… and let it take you as far as it can, but eventually every car stops working…” and he went on to say think about life after football. And I think football will end with the towers (no time soon) and the next chapter of my life will start here in Denmark.
What’s your favorite Danish dish?
Any type of danish dessert is absolutely amazing!
Do you have a pre-game ritual you go through before every game?
I actually don’t have any pre-game rituals… maybe yoga before the game? But it’s not something that if I don’t do it then I don’t expect to play well.
How do you keep your teammates feeling positive and motivated after a loss?
That after lost practice is tough. I’ve only experience that once with the towers. But I think players are more motivated after a lost than after a big win. It humbles you.
How would your teammates describe you?
As a future Dane and a Tower for life 😂 most of my teammates know how much I love it here.
Do you intend to build a future in Denmark?
Yes absolutely! I actually reached out to a modeling agency here as well and it went great. In order to sign with them I must apply for another work visa and get approved. But since modeling isn’t a salary based job it makes it a little more difficult.
How high does the Mermaid Bowl rank in your career so far?
This ranks as the highest, simply because this is the next game! Not because the rivalry, or the two losses (lessons), or the championship on the line… my next game is always my most important and that’s how I prepare.
Why will the Copenhagen Towers win the Mermaid Bowl after two tough overtime losses against the Gold Diggers?
I actually believe it hurt the Gold Diggers more by beating us twice! 3rd times a charm. We’ve learned from both of those defeats and used them as lessons! They are a great team with great players and coaches! And they will have a great task ahead of them come October 9th.