Nikola Kovachev #18 is the Quarterback of Plovdiv Wolves and Martin Glavchev #21 is the Running back of Plovdiv Wolves AF team.
Tell us a little bit about your career in american football and how you would describe your experience with the Plovdiv Wolves? - Hi, I'm Nikola and I am the QB and one of the founders of Plovdiv Wolves. I'm 23 y.o. and I study medicine. I first met american football 8 years ago. I was still in highschool then and my friends and I spent about 10 hours daily in front of our computers, playing "Madden 08" and trying to figure out the many rules of this still unknown to us sport. Back then I felt the magic of american football and I was certain that one day I'd be able to feel this magical experience in reality and not just by playing on my PC. Shortly after that I bought my first ball, then the second one and things started to happen. Three years ago two of my friends (and also colleagues - Miroslav and Stefan) and I manage to found the first official american football team in Plovdiv. Then everything started to have a meaning, because the most important thing to me in this sport is the team spirit and the people, you are willing to sacrifice yourself for on the field.
Please describe briefly how you got started playing for the Plovdiv Wolves, what your first impressions were, how your team-mates accepted you? What awaits you in the coming weeks personally? - Like every new beginning ours wasn't easy as well. For a long period of time only 4-5 people trained. Most of the time we just ran and did pointless exercises, but at least I learned how to throw the ball. After we were officially recognized as a team and with the help of the social networks a lot of people showed interest in our team, which we found strange, because we thought that not many people in Plovdiv are interested in american football. But shortly after that we already had a coach, who was american, and we trained twice a week with around 20 people present on each practice session. Most of us were complete strangers and we could barely tolerate each other, but now I can call these people my friends.
Do you think it could be possible, that your team play against a team from NFL? Do you have enough strength to face them in a match? - It seems to us that athletes from NFL come from another world. The things they do every week are unthinkable to us at this state. However if we have the opportunity to play against a NFL team we wouldn't miss it. The sole experience this match would give us, the sensation we would feel while playing against these players would be "out of this world" as well. I can't imagine any of our guys not wanting to score a touchdown against let's say "New England Patriots".
What would you tell us about your coach? Does he push you too hard or on the contrary? - We changed 3 coaches in 3 years. Our first one was american - Daniel, but shortly after the founding of the team he had to return to The States. He laid the foundations of our knowledge. Our second coach's name is Brett and he's also an american. He trained us for more than a year and we owe him the discipline and technical training we now have. He played college football in America and taught us many things. Currently our coach is italian, Vicky, who also happens to be the sponsor of our team as well. He played american football for 15 years in Italy and he was a really successful player with the teams he played with in Europe. Vicky really sticks to the physical training of the team. He aims to squeeze every last bit of energy we have on the field, while training. He also requires that every player should train at a gym of his choice for at least 3 times a week individually.
Which teams or players inspire you? If you have the chance to play for one of them, which one would you choose? - I'm a fan of american football at general and I like players from every team of the NFL. Since I chose to play with "San Diego Chargers" on Madden 08, you could say that I like this team slightly more than the others. I used to know every single player from this team along with their numbers and their positions on the field, but My favorite players were Tomlinson, Rivers, Gates and Merriman. Of course I idolized, the currently accepted as best, Tom Brady. I also liked Ray Lewis, Brian Dawkins a lot and many others. If I could choose a team to play with, I'd choose the "Patriots", because I want to learn from the best and of course have a healthy competition, after all :D.
For those who are not very familiar with the QB position, can you tell us more about it? For many people this is the most responsible position in the whole game. Is it difficult being a Quarterback? - This position is thought to be the hardest and the one that bears the most responsibility in all of the team sports. This is the person, that everybody counts on, who must inspire and lead the team to victory. The good QB, however, must know that without his teammates, he is nothing. As much as the rest of the team is dependent on him, he is on them. It's also a hard being the QB, because most the times the loss of the team weighs on his shoulders the most and many people can't handle the stress of a loss, which is an invariable part of every sport. The truth is that it doesn't matter how well physically and mentally you are trained - if you can't read through the enemy's defense, you won't be able to do well as a QB.
Plovdiv Wolves is the first and only team in Plovdiv City. Are there many people, who support your game? Are bulgarians into american football? - There are currently 4 teams, playing american football in Bulgaria. Two of them are located in Sofia, so it's safe to say that american football is not something bulgarians are into, but it's getting more and more popular. The movies on the subject of american football are contributing to this as well. Despite that a lot of people still can't make a difference between american football and rugby. After the founding of the team we have been hosts to two of the republican tournaments every year and every year we are happy to see more and more people routing for us on the bleachers. We saw a bunch of articles, written about our team and various websites, which is a big compliment for us.
Do you remember your first moment in a game for Plovdiv Wolves? Tell us some of your memories since the time you've joined the team. - I have a good memory of my first game. The idea was to start training with "The Wolves", but it didn't come to that. They just told me I had to play, because a lot of key-players were missing. I just accepted, then I scored a touchdown and everything was clear to me.
What are the relations between you and the other players? Are they your friends or they are more like rivals for you? What's the competition in the AF teams in Bulgaria? - We have a friendly attitude towards enemy teams, but once you set foot on the field the grudge takes over.
How many awards have Plovdiv Wolves got? Do you have MVP players? - Up to this moment I've received 3 MVP awards. One of them was "Season- MVP".
The RB is probably the second most responsible position in the american football. Did you choose to play as 'Running Back'? Why did you choose this position? Is the american football your truly passion? - This position chose me. I had the required qualities and with time I've come to love it.
Who's your inspirational RB player and which is your favorite AF team? - From NFL - Marshawn Lynch.
Is the american football a dream come true for you? What would you advise the other players – should they pursue their dreams, just like you did? - I can give them the usual corny advice: "Never give up on your dreams!", but I'd prefer to say something more motivating: "You can always do better!".
Do you believe, that Plovdiv Wolves deserve to be the victors each match in 2017? What do you love to do after victory? - The team shows character even at defeat. After a victory we gather to have a few drinks (if we in a condition to do so) and we measure which one of us is most beaten - up.