Joey Gabrick kam Anfang der Saison sozusagen als Import zu den Vienna Vikings. Zustande kam das, weil Dominik Bundschuh ihn bei einem längeren Auslandsaufenthalt in Kanada kennengelernt hatte. Man kannte Joey nicht und wusste eigentlich nicht, was man von ihm erwarten sollte. Nun sind einige Monate vergangen, die Saison ist vorbei und wir sind froh und stolz, dass er für uns gespielt hat. Wie es um eine weitere Saison im Jersey der Vienna Vikings steht, hat uns Joey Gabrick in einem Interview verraten.

When do you leave for Canada?

As of now I plan on staying in Europe at least till the end of August where I’ll be in Vienna enjoying my first European summer. I’ll travel, work and make a decision if I want to stay in Vienna for next year. Part of that decision comes down to if my own business grows at all. Currently I am freelancing here in Vienna as a Strength and Conditioning Coach and if business goes well and I get enough clients I would love to stay for at least another year!

Did you like it here in Austria?

Yey, it’s awesome here! The amount of friends I have made has been more than I thought I would develop. The city itself is great, public transportation, the endless amounts of tasty cheap food. Every once in a while I have an opportunity to be a tourist and I am still finding more stuff to see and experience!

How was it for you personally to play for the Vienna Vikings? What is the difference between the sport and the league here and in Canada?

It was a great experience. Being able to go through a player experience as an Auslander. Not knowing the language and being confused at a times with what was coming next. It is invaluable for my development as a player, coach, and person. The biggest difference with the systems are the difficulties in preparing a team for a game. Back home players only have to worry about their class schedule and maybe some volunteering, if he takes care of this then he is prepared and focus on the game come kickoff. However, here the players are managing to juggle multiple roles in life, whether it be a student, volunteering, multiple jobs, or even a parent in some cases!

Besides the game having different rules like in Canada, the game play itself is fairly similar. The competition is slightly better in Canada but it is simply a numbers game. With the amount of players that play in youth programs they simply have more selection for university/professional programs. I suspect if there were more players enrolled in youth programs in the AFL the quality of competition would increase.

Are there any special moments you experienced?

The game day experience by far was the coolest thing I have been through here in Vienna. My university rarely had 3000 fans and often only had 1000 scattered throughout the stadium. Here when I saw fire, smoke and close to 4000 screaming fans, some of them dressed in the traditional lederhosen and dirndl, I was amazed!

Are u planning to come back to Vienna?

Regardless if I play another year, I am coming back It is just a matter of when!

Is there something else you want to say?

Despite the outcome, thanks for the support this season. I hope I will get the opportunity to play again next year as a viking!

Thank you for a great season, Joey!

Joey Gabrick und Dominik Bundschuh // ©Hannes Jirgal
Joey Gabrick und Dominik Bundschuh // ©Hannes Jirgal
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