Hungarian Championship winning coach Jim Ward: “They were hungry to work”

The Fehérvár Enthroners were crowned Hungarian champions for the first time ever, after defeating the Kiev Capitals 14-12 in Hungarian Bowl XIV.

Enthroners head coach Jim Ward arrived in Székesfehérvár, Hungary last year and was met with positive news right away. The team he was taking over was filled with top Hungarian players and solid imports. A good nucleus on which to build a championship contender team. The club has already done a lot of work in strengthening its infrastructure and the roster. Ward added his coaching experience which he gained not only in the US but in Europe as well.

Ward and the Enthroners took the first step by finishing the season in Hungary with the Hungarian title. Next up is the Austrian Division III title where they have reached the championship final and will face the Upper Styrian Rhinos this coming weekend.

American Football International: Your first year in Hungary ended in a Hungarian Championship. How does it feel?

Jim Ward: It is always great to come out on top in any year, but it was very satisfying to have our team get it the first year.

Photo: DigitalSport

AFI:  How did your team perform and what do you think about your opponents in the Hungarian Bowl?

JW: The Hungarian Bowl matched any Championship game that I have been a part of in Europe and those have included the Finnish Maple League, the Swedish Super Series, the Czech League of American Football, and now the Hungarian Football League. Our team performed well in the final, particularly on defense and special teams. The offense also had good moments, especially with the points in the first half and using over 6 minutes off the clock in our final drive. I do want to complement Kiev’s team and coaches. They are a tough physical squad and demonstrate true sportsmanship.

AFI: First impressions on the atmosphere in the final?

JW: The atmosphere at the Hungarian Bowl was fantastic with a large crowd and a great following from the Enthroners fans. The event was well organized, officiated very well, and a hard fought exciting game.

Photo: DigitalSport

AFI: What do you think about the Enthroners progress this season?

JW: We made a great deal of progress, obviously, and that is a tribute to the organization, players and coaches.

AFI: What was the coaching philosophy you had for the team?

JW: I emphasized offseason preparation, mental toughness, and that we were going to win the turnover battle. As a result, we would have the opportunity to win every game.

Photo: DigitalSport

AFI: What were your first impressions of the team and the Hungarian Championship?

JW: My first impression of our team was that they were hungry to work and to win and that extended right through the season and to the Hungarian Championship Game.

Photo: DigitalSport

AFI: What are your plans for the next season?

JW: The club and I are in talks and I expect to have something solid in the very near future. I believe the Enthroners have a great plan as a club and a great future. Looking forward to going to work again.

László Makranczi is a radio reporter, announcer and American Football journalist in Hungary. He lives in Debrecen and works for the Hungarian American Football Federation. Studied at the University of Debrecen, got a master’s degree in American