Mr Bradshaw, firstly let me thank you for allowing us the time to ask a few questions. Let’s start with an easy one what do you think of the build up to 2012 season so far?
Clay Bradshaw: It's been brilliant! Since the new additions off the field there has been a good buzz around the team and plenty of banter! We have been in preparation since Jan, working hard and it's nearly time to play ball and show people what hard work can do!
Hard work is the only path to glory, and we’re glad to hear that the Saxons are serious about this year! How did you first get in to American Football, when and where did you first play?
CB: I first got into the sport when a friend of mine introduced me to it around 6 years ago! I was instantly hooked but watched as a neutral at first. But then I settled on the Green Bay Packers after seeing Brett Favre throw an 80 yard TD in the first play of overtime. After that I looked into the History and was sold.
After this, me and my mate wanted to play, did a bit of research and there was a start-up team in Northampton. After a couple of years there (They failed to get past the 2 Introductory games) I took a year out then joined the Saxons last year.
And since then you’ve never looked back! Seriously though, why have you stayed with the Saxons?
CB: Because I believe the current squad of players can be successful for many years to come and I want to be part of that!
Last year, Clay, you were playing on defence – how… why did you make the transition from defence to tight end?
CB: When I joined the Saxons I was out of shape and bigger than I was when I was training in Northampton, where I played FB/TE, so thought I would try Defence (DE/OLB). However, when Liam (Cooke, Saxons Offensive Co-ordinator) asked if I wanted to try out TE this year I was keen to give it a go as its where I first started and felt like I had good enough hands to do so! However I did need to get in better shape which I am still working on! But the transition has been smooth thanks to Liam and our QB Nick (Tilbury) who put extra time in with me at training!
By the sounds of it, those extra reps are really paying off! How are you dealing with the expectation for this season?
CB: There's nothing to deal with. I always expect to win whenever the team and I take to the field. It was the same last year and is the same this year. We will take it one game at a time starting with Bedford on the 14th!
You are tipped to lead the division in receiving touchdowns; do you think this is realistic?
CB: Well...I think the only people tipping me for that are some of my more comedic team mates but I can't see why it isn't possible. We have an explosive offense that can put up points. I plan on being a big part of that and want to score for my team every game! If that makes me lead in TD's in our division...awesome. But it only matters if we win the games and there are a lot of good teams to get by and beat first before thinking about Stats
Let’s hope that you managed to be right up there at the end of the season. Now, I have to ask, you seems to have about twenty different nicknames where have they all come from?
CB: My original nickname: ‘Clay’ was from my first training session with the Saxons. I wore my Clay Matthews and played DE/OLB and because people didn't know my name they called me Clay and that was that.
‘Featured’ is one I gave myself as I'm the featured offensive player. Simples! Ha, It's just a bit of banter I throw around at training that stuck around!
I'm not sure where ‘Human Highlight Reel’ came from, possible from HC William White, but I like it!
And the new one that seems to be sticking is ‘Claymaker’....a clever play on words with playmaker courtesy of Mr Nick Tilbury our QB!
I'm sure there are many other nicknames not suitable for this too. But I don't mind any of them! It all adds to the banter!
We have definitely heard a few of the more graphic nicknames flying around the studio here! How do you think the step down to div 2 will affect the Saxons?
CB: I don't think I can answer this one fully until the season is over. But I think it has given us a chance to rebuild and reform and come back stronger and Div 2 was the best place for that to happen!
Obviously a lot of your time is taken up by football but what do you do when you're not playing ball?
CB: Spend time with my beautiful fiancée Anna and baby daughter Sophie. Football comes a close second to these two! I enjoy watching any sports, playing any sports, going to the gym and playing xbox! Gamertag: Fatshaw88 - lets play!
Ha ha right, time to get serious now! I have a few questions about your teammates. Who has the best work ethic?
CB: That's a hard one to answer as I think everyone involved has a great work ethic! I think William White and Ryan Toone have done a lot to get us in a strong position off the field and on the field I'm going to have to big up Mr Nick Tilbury for the time he has put in to help me get up to speed!
It seems like every day, hours before practice, you and Nick are running routes and making sure everything is perfect! Ok, who are you mostly likely to find in the gym?
CB: Noel Toone and Nick Tilbury....these 2 are always comparing weights etc!
Noel Toone has definitely got his place at the table! While being athletes, we’ve heard stories of wild parties, who are you mostly likely to find in a bar?
CB: Hands down...Ryan Toone! Drunkard!
Final question, then we will let you do. Which of your team mates has the brightest future in the football world?
CB: Me. Jason 'Mr Featured - Human Highlight Reel - The Claymaker' Bradshaw…
…or in reality J-Dub...the guy is a pure beast!
Thank you so much for this interview. We wish you and all the Saxons the best for the season.
And thank you to everyone listening! We will try to bring you more from inside the Saxons camp as the season approaches. That’s it for today folks – stay tuned for more Saxons news tomorrow!