The Allgäu Comets rise in the German Football League standings over the past two years has included a couple of constants and one of them has been linebacker Niall Padden from the Montana Tech Orediggers (NAIA).
The 6’2″, 234 lb native of Westlake Village, California has helped the Comets to 12-2 and 8-6 records in the two years he has played linebacker for Allgäu. He led the league in tackles in 2016 with 145 and was fifth the year before recording 112, helping the Comets to become one of the top defensive teams in Germany two years in a row.
He has decided to return despite receiving offers from other clubs in Europe so American Football International asked Niall about his decision to come back to the Comets.
American Football International: Why did you decide to return to Allgäu in 2017?
Niall Padden: Unfinished business.
AFI: What kind of unfinished business do the Comets have in the GFL?
Padden: It’s quite simple. The founding fathers of the Comets organization established a legacy. I am honored and have fully embraced that they have invited me to play my part in the fulfillment of their legacy. That is not to only be one of the most dominant teams within the GFL, but also in all of Europe.
AFI: Why do you think you and the organization ‘click’ so well?
Padden: An uncommon bond, integrity. A characteristic that is very rare, but I have found an abundance of here in Allgäu, not just within the organization. I sincerely believe that they have recognized that characteristic in me, and I will not disappoint them.
AFI: 2017 predictions? What do you see for yourself and the Comets in 2017?
Padden: My own personal prediction is that you will witness the best that I have on and off the field to fulfill the dream of the founding fathers. We will be better prepared. We have dedicated ourselves to work hard, study hard, and without question – play hard!
AFI: Is there any more specific about what you think the Comets need to do break through to the top of the standings?
Padden: We must remain focused. It’s a long, hard season. We need to build upon what we did last year. Injuries can undermine any teams chances of success, no matter what league you are in or team sport you play.
Depth is important. Younger players must be ready and prepared when they are called up to the first team, on both sides of the ball as well as special teams. Defensive schemes change week to week, game to game, play by play, from man coverage to zone.
We’ll be working on developing the complete package with the coaching and player personnel we have throughout the entire Comets organization. Yes, we are a team, but individually we must all do our jobs well!
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