Tom McQuillin has just the one game left to go in his first season playing American Football – and it’s a final. McQuillin has certainly done his bit getting the Cheetahs to this stage, having caught 3 touchdowns in the regular season and adding another against the London Blitz B in the semi-final.
We caught up with Tom again to find out how he’s feeling, and to reflect back on what has been a pretty special year.
Since we last caught up, how has the rest of the season gone for you personally?
I’ve actually been really happy with it! The first Portsmouth game was obviously a low-point but I was really pleased with my TD in the game that clinched the division, that was a really special moment. I’ve felt that I’ve been able to improve elements of my game that I was previously struggling with so I’m feeling pretty good!
Getting to a final in your first season! How have the playoffs felt?
The playoffs have been tough but a lot of fun! I think the first half of the Ipswich game was a wake-up call as we made it closer than it needed to be but since then (with the exception of a shaky quarter against the Blitz) it’s been really positive! I don’t think I’ve approached it hugely differently, I’ve tried to keep my pre-game routines the same… if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.
What are you most looking forward to about the final?
The nerves of the final are going to be the worst but in a way they’re also the best bit. There are few times where I’ll ever get to play for a title like this so the anticipation and edginess will be nearly unbearable. But with that comes the opportunity for something really special and that’s really exciting! What a moment to be a part of!
Looking back now, what’s the one thing you’ll take away from your first season of american football?
I think I’ve genuinely just really enjoyed being a part of this team. There’s a great atmosphere and camaraderie in the club which has been so much fun. It’s the main thing that motivates me to get to training and put in the work. The desire to win and improve is important, but getting to play with the group of players we have has been the best part of coming to training whether it’s -6 back in February or 30+ degrees at points this summer!
Best of luck to Tom and the entire #CheetahPride for the SFC 2 Final this Sunday!!