With preseason in their sights, atlantasilverbacks.com caught up with a few Silverbacks players to see what they were up to over the offseason. Here is what defender Martyn Lancaster and goalkeepers Eric Ati and Joe Nasco had to say:
What did you do this offseason to stay fit? Did you train with any other teams?
JOE: I just went through my normal exercise routine and trained with the club team that I help coach, Darlington Academy.
MARTYN: I stayed in shape by doing a two-month CrossFit stint. A gym just opened up near my house, and the workouts are really challenging and competitive. I also have to run after my daughter, which is like running a daily marathon!
ERIC: I hit the gym quite a bit. The offseason is the time to get stronger, so I've done a lot of gym work. I also trained with some other professional goalkeepers from around here like Jimmy Maurer, Sean Johnson, and Alec Kahn.
Did you take some time to relax? What did you do to get away from the field for a little while?
JOE: I wish I could have done a bit more, but I was working quite a bit. We did get a chance to go back home to see my family in Kissimmee, Florida for New Years.
MARTYN: Mysti, Mariella, and I went to see my family and friends in England for 2 weeks. We had a great time, seeing old friends and relaxing in the rain!
ERIC:I took some time off and hung out with my family and my girlfriend's family. We relaxed in the North Georgia mountains, and did some horseback riding and sightseeing. It was fun to get away from the city for a little while and hang out where life is a little slower.
What was the best Christmas present you got?
JOE: I got a treadmill…boom! No more running on busy streets or in the cold weather!
MARTYN: This is easy. I got a full Christmas onesie. It's great for those cold British winters (click here to see this HILARIOUS picture).
ERIC: My sister got me a muscle massage roller. I absolutely love that thing!
Have you been keeping an eye on English Premier League (EPL) and UEFA Champions League soccer? Who do you think will win each of those competitions?
JOE: Not really - I got rid of TV. I’ve been trying to do some more reading and games.
MARTYN: I keep up with EPL, and the football league in England. I still have a lot of friends playing for several League One and League Two teams. While I was in England, I went to watch my local team, Wigan Athletic, play against Manchester United. It was great to see an EPL game live! United won 4-0. I like their chances to win the Champions League.
ERIC: I think Manchester United will kick into second gear and run away with the EPL title this year. I'm also an optimist, so I think they'll win the Champions League as well.
Are you itching for preseason to start? How excited are you about the upcoming NASL season?
JOE: Uhh...is a polar bear white? I’m definitely ready for preseason and the season to start. It really can’t get here soon enough!
MARTYN: I'm very excited about the new season. It should be a very competitive league this year.
ERIC: After the second month of not playing daily, I started to get antsy, so yes I'm itching for preseason to start! The past two years, we haven't gotten to show how good of a club we are throughout an entire season. Towards the end of the last season, with the arrival of Eric and Brian as well as some new players, we really hit our stride and showed how we can really play. I believe we are ready to carry that form into the 2013 season, so I'm excited to start.
Do you feel like the team's strong finish last season will give us some momentum going into 2013?
JOE: Absolutely. I think teams we’re afraid to play us at the end of the season last year and I think Brian will bring in some quality players to help build on what we already have. I think this year will be special, so just wait and see.
MARTYN: Our form was very good during the second part of the season, and it was a pleasure to play in those games. Considering the way we finished, I'm sure most teams will not want to visit Atlanta Silverbacks Park any time soon! #fortress
ERIC: I definitely believe so. The returning guys had good chemistry and we are absolutely looking to carry that into the new year.
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