Tim has now spent more than a month on Swedish soil and I caught up with him to hear a bit more about him and his experience with Sweden and the Griffins so far. He has already played a few games and is coaching several of the junior teams but I managed to take a few minutes of his time to figure out who Tim is and what his ambition with the Swedish adventure is.Facts and figures:
|Full name||Tim McGarry|
|Hometown||San Diego, California|
|Previous team||Catholic University of America|
Tell us a bit about your background and your life in the US.
I’m from San Diego, California. I come from a family of all sports, my dad coached the University of San Diego for 26 years and all my memories from when I was younger are from being on the football field with him. Being the ball boy or being dragged by the cord along the side lines because back them you had a cord instead of wireless so he would just start sprinting and he was so fast I couldn’t keep up and people would just start laughing as I was being dragged trying to make sure he didn’t get tangled up. Sometimes they got mad and you got the headphones thrown after you but it was fun and it was all football.
School has always been big too; my mom was always a big influence for that, my dad too but also football and being tough. But it was always a lot about sports and school and later I went to play college football in DC, I spent about 5 years there before coming out here.
How did you come across the opportunity to come to Sweden and Limhamn Griffins and what made you decide to come?
I did an all start game in Virginia in college and a scout talked to me about the CFL and about European players, I have a friend who played in Europe and that lead me to the Griffins. It seemed like a straightforward option and a nice place to go so after a few interviews with Hampus who seemed like a really nice guy I took the chance.
What are your thoughts about Sweden and Malmö so far?
Different… Hehe, it’s just very different, you walk everywhere, ride your bikes everywhere and a lot of nice people out here. People say hello and are really willing to help, I feel like the English is fine here but people are just nervous to talk. But Malmö is nice, the weather is really windy, even when the sun is out which is kind of different but I like it, Malmö is a really good place.
How about the language, have you learnt any Swedish?
Hehe, not really. I know a few words, ”sluta”, I use that a lot when everyone speaks Swedish I just tell them ”sluta”. I also learnt… eh…eh… Jag…eh, well my name is Tim.
How are you settling in with your new teammates?
Everyone is really nice, it’s something which is very noticeable over here everyone is really welcoming. That’s the best thing and they were all welcoming me from day one. From top to bottom over here, coaches, leaders and players all have been very nice and welcoming from the day I got here. It really made the transition so much easier.
The world of football is obviously very different here compared to in its native country, what are some of the biggest differences you have observed so far?
Just the football intelligence level, I mean you have big athletes over here too, athletic and strong, if not stronger. All pretty similar so it’s more about the intelligence around the game. We get the luxury of watching all Saturday morning, through the night of college football and then the whole next day the NFL and over here in Malmö you don’t watch it until two in the morning because of the time difference. It’s all about the luxury of being able to watch football, that’s really the biggest difference; it really isn’t about anything else.
What personal attributes do you think make a good football player?
Toughness, definitely it’s a big one. If you are mentally tough and physically tough you are going to be a good football player. Understanding the game is important but half of the game is being tough and going through these knick-knack injuries and going through practice. Mental and physical toughness is huge in football.
You have been here for about a month now and obviously noticed that football is a much smaller sport over here. With that in mind what would your advice be to a young guy or girl over here that wants to become a football player?
Start watching football early and do it a lot, it’s so easy now with YouTube and everything. Just start watching clips of the top players, watch their highlights. I mean if you hear about this guy Reggie Bush who is really athletic and just makes everyone miss in college football just get out there and watch what he is doing, big hits by Ray Lewis, start watching those things from a young age. I mean it’s hard but you get out there and play just always have a football around and watch it, that’s the way we learn just by imitating our favorite players.
You are keeping yourself busy by playing and coaching, with all this work put into the Griffins, what do you hope to achieve together with the team at the end of your adventure?
The goal is definitely getting the team into the Super series, helping the team out in any way I can. My aim is always to get to the top so of course winning the championship with the U19 team. I want football to be more serious, getting people to take it more seriously and to take football up a level. Just getting up a level with the varsity team and getting that championship with the U19, those are definitely the goals.
What about your personal ambitions for the future?
My goal from the beginning was of course to make it to the NFL but of course getting to the CFL would be a big accomplishment. I would like to go through that. The goal is to be in the CFL for a couple of years and then see what happens from there
This is your first time in Europe, are you going to take the opportunity and see something more than Swedish football fields while you are over here?
Yes, I have a road trip planned and some of my friends say they are coming over so I will go travel with them. I have planned a summer break for three weeks to get around and see a bit. I mean Europe is just so different, the food is different, the people are different, and the atmosphere is different so it would be good to travel around a bit. I want my big family, my three brothers mom and dad to come over. I want them all to come out and see this too.