Från Tyresö Royal Crowns:
Då var det dags för Tyresö Royal Crowns att presentera ytterligare ett nyförvärv. Laget stärker upp på en position där det funnits frågetecken sedan Olle Norgberg lämnade Tyresö för Stockholm Mean Machines tidigare i år. Ersättaren blir den rutinerade och välmeriterade Gregory Conti. En spelare som spelat D1-AA eller Football Sub Division som det heter numera. Där gick han på Bucknell som är en Ivy league skola. Sitt sista år på skolan fick han högst football grade av alla linjemän under hela säsongen. ”En minst sagt imponerande bedrift” instämmer TAFF’s nya Sportchef Philip Minja, som även poänterar att Gregory har Italienskt pass så han kan spela på plan samtidigt som Tyresös import QB Billy Greene.
Gregs sista år på Bucknell var 2008 och sedan dess har han spelat i Europa. I Europa spelade han tillsammans med den redan välkände Tyresö importen Andrew Preston (San Diego State) i Calanda Broncos där de vann Eurobowl ihop och blev rankade som bästa lag i Europa. Greg är alltså lite äldre än de flesta importer de andra klubbarna tar in. Men! Med sina 28 år och mycket erfarenhet kan det tänkas att han inte bara kommer bidra enormt på fotbollsplanen, ”Gregory kommer även att vara enorm som ledare och tränare för den offensiva linjen vilket kommer att stärka vårat anfall” säger Philip Minja.
I college spelade Greg i ett spring orienterat anfall vilket gör att en av hans stora styrkor är att ’runblocka’. Han är en aggressiv spelare vilket syns tydligt när man tittar på hans film. Den fysiska spelstilen håller även i sig i pass protection och är ett av Gregs kännetecken som spelare. Vi har kontaktat Greg och fått chansen att ställa några frågor till honom.
Tell us a little bit more about yourself?
– I’m born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. I’ve played in Finland, Italy and Switzerland winning two European championships, 2010 EFAF Cup and the Eurobowl 26 in 2012. U.S. I was an All-state offensive and defensive linemen for Pine-Richland High. I played center and was a 2 year letter winner at Bucknell University.
Most recently in 2013 – I was the starting Left Guard for the Italian National Team. In 2012 I was the starting Center for the Calanda Broncos Eurobowl Champions, Ranked first in Europe, Swiss League Champs and perfect record 15-0.
I played for the same team in 2011 and earned a 14-1 record & was named to the Swiss League All-star team. I have two additional years of experience, one season in the Maple League & an additional season with the Broncos (Swiss League Champs, and perfect record 16-0).
So, after being in Europe for a couple of years, do you see any changes in the game?
– In the 5 years since I started playing in Europe, the biggest change I have seen is the increase in talent of the European players. They are receiving better coaching at the junior level and its starting to transition to the senior leagues.
It’s been awhile since you played your last college game. What made you come to Europe the first time around?
– It was crazy how it all happened. I graduated college during the financial collapse of 2008. I wanted to start my professional career in finance but the job market was awful. The only job I could find was selling construction equipment. I did not know about European Football until one Thursday night in January 2009. My friend explained to me all about European football, specifically the website europlayers.com, and it just seemed like it would be an amazing opportunity. After hearing this, I jokingly told him I would quit my job the next day, make a europlayers account, and find a team. When I showed up to work the next morning, however, I got laid off, so I went home and made a Europlayers account; the rest, as they say, is history.
As far as playing football in America and Europe, what has been your best memories?
– My best memories have been the camaraderie with my teammates, the lifelong friendships I have developed, and the championships we have won.
You signed with the Tyresö Royal Crowns one of Sweden top teams. What are your expectations for this year?
– My only expectation is to win the championship
As mentioned earlier, you’ve played with Tyresös defensive import Andrew Preston. Has he given you any pointers about coming to Sweden, in terms of what to expect
– Yea, he gave me some pointers on how to adjust to the culture and what to expect. He stated Sweden is a high level of football, the local talent is very good, and that you have to bring A-game every time in order to succeed. Most importantly, he stressed that I better be ready for Fika Time, so I’ve been getting my coffee game up in preparation.
What do you know about Tyresö as a team?
– I know it’s a team that had an excellent defense last year. A team with good family atmosphere, with a bunch of good people.
Have you seen or heard anything about your opponents?
– I played against Carlstad in the EFAF Cup finals in 2010 with the Calanda Broncos. We won, but they were/are still an excellent team, and the current dynasty of the Swedish league. Andrew Preston told me that there are no weak teams in the league, and every weekend will be a good game.
Okay, so as far as the season goes. What are some of your own goals and what goals does the team have?
– My goals are to work hard, play harder, and improve every day. If every player on the team does that, we will put ourselves in a great position to win a championship.
Any last words for the reader of this article?
– Come out, party, make the games an event, and support the team. It will be a special year, and the fans are an important part of that.