The clock continues to tick towards the New York Streets inaugural season in the National Arena League and the return of Arena Football to New York. Training camp for the Streets kicked off earlier this week at the Brooklyn Lifestyle Athletic Club (BKLA), the official practice facility and headquarters of the Streets. With the season opener on April 13th in Jacksonville against the Sharks and the home opener April 20th against the Orlando Predators at Westchester County Center fast approaching, I recently had a chat with Streets Head Coach Rick Marsilio about training camp, the roster, and the excitement for the 2019 season.
PS: Now that training camp is underway, how excited are you to have the players on the field and to begin the countdown to kickoff?
RM: “This has been more than a year in the making…several months of 24/7 recruiting elite players form all over the United States and Canada. Late March and early April has always been a real exciting time for me and my family for several reasons. It's spring, start of lacrosse season, college spring football and most importantly camp starts for us "indoor" guys. This has been a long time in the making and a incredible opportunity for fans, our players, front office and coaches to be part of something very special.”
PS: How is a training camp different for an expansion team as opposed to an established team?
RM: “The main difference and really the most exciting thing about an expansion team is that we are starting from scratch. That means that my staff and I have the unique opportunity to pick and choose high character young men with exceptional abilities on the football field. We are working diligently at creating a culture which we call "Street Life" that will create the building blocks and lay the foundation of the New York Street.”
PS: You worked a lot of hours and drove a lot of miles during the off-season putting this team together. Now that it’s all right in front of you, how happy are you with team and what are your expectations?
RM: “I cannot be more excited to work with the team that we put together. These guys are some of the most talented young men that my staff and I have worked with thus far. We have assembled veterans mixed in with rookies that helped us create instant competition. The veterans know they are going to be pushed and rookies are working their tails off trying to make the team. We are working very hard to get better every practice. Our guys know that we have one main goal each game and that is to score one more pint than them and we win. Our expectation is pretty simple…win every play…win every game and that brings a championship to New York City.”
PS: What’s a typical day of training camp like for a staff and players in Arena Football compared to say the NFL? RM: “There is not much of a difference. It is a 100% hard-charging full-time gig during camp. Our players and staff report every day at 7am and the day ends arounds 11pm. We are in team meetings, individual meetings, coaches meetings, administrative meetings and about eight hours a day practicing on the field.”
PS: Many Arena Football teams have to search long and hard for a practice facility but the Streets have their own facility in Brooklyn. How much of a game changer is it for a team to have a practice facility of their own?
RM: “Our ability to call the Brooklyn Lifestyle Athletic Club (BKLA) home is our "difference maker". Having everything that the players, coaches and staff needs under one roof is a game changer. Not only was it selling tool used to recruit players it makes all of our lives easier. It's one stop shopping. We have our field, weight room, dining hall, meeting space and even jobs for our players all located in Brooklyn. Not many indoor or arena teams can offer that or have the facilities that the Streets can offer.”
PS: What are some of the position and roster battles that you’re most looking forward to seeing in camp?
RM: “Being an expansion team, there are no positions spoken for. Every roster spot is open and extremely competitive. We are chomping at the bit to see how it all works out for April 13th in Jacksonville.”
It’s been an eleven year wait for Arena Football fans in New York to have a team to root for again and now the waiting is almost over. The New York Streets have begun training camp and now the team is taking shape with the objective being to bring the 2019 National Arena League championship to New York.
For information on New York Streets season tickets, please visit www.nystreetsfootball.com and click on the “Purchase Tickets” button on the splash page or enter the site and click on the “Season Tickets” button.