This issue’s Athlete of the Week is Junior Varsity Football’s Hazem Noureddine. Noureddine is studying Business and has played for both the Junior Varsity and Varsity Football teams.
Is AUB JV your first official team?
No, I played with my school team (Choueifat Riyadh) before coming to AUB. I then played with Ansar SC (Under 20s) for around three months before joining AUB’s Junior Varsity team as well as signing for and playing with a Lebanese third division team. After a semester with JV, I had to quit due to weekly league games and an intense training schedule with my third division team. At the end of the football season, I quit that team and spent two years without committing to any team. I then joined AUB’s Varsity team at the beginning of last semester. This semester I decided to go back and rejoin JV.
Did you prefer playing for Varsity or JV?
I enjoyed playing for both, but I think I would have had a much better experience with the Varsity team if Coach Vatche (Sarkissian, current Junior Varsity coach) was in charge of the team. I personally believe that his style of coaching could bring better results for the team as a whole and would better enhance every players’ abilities.
Do you feel the drafting of players during tryouts is biased?
When it comes to tryouts, each coach gets to draft his own players. Coach Rabih (Idriss) for the Varsity team and Coach Vatche for JV. Rabih has a knack for choosing the ultimate best players. However, when put in a situation where two players are trying out for a position, and he knows one of the players personally, he would definitely choose the player he knows. Vatche tests every player the exact same way. He records every player’s speed test, agility test, ability to play in the tryout games, and so on. And he bases his decisions on these results. He even uses them to track the player’s improvement over the tryouts period. Whoever fits his criteria based on these test results will definitely be drafted.