Anthony Daniels frustrated as winter break puts the freeze on Dubai Stallions’ season
Dubai Stallions coach Anthony Daniels is candid when describing the effect the winter break had on his team. Following a lone appearance on the field, the Stallions joined the rest of the EAFL squads in a month-long lay-off the spanned the majority of December and the first two weeks of January.
Although the time off was relatively shorter compared to previous winter breaks the league has had, it has still set back Daniels’ attempts to build consistency with his side. “I think the break sucks,” Daniels said.
“I wish we wouldn’t have a break. We had one games before the break and it doesn’t really give you time to install the things you need to. It hurts any continuity you’re trying to build with your team.”
The break is especially inconvenient this season for the Stallions, who have a new field general in Rani Zahr starting at quarterback.
In his first start against the Dubai Barracudas, Zahr scrambled for his team’s only score, but couldn’t put any more points on the board.
“He’s got some work to do but he’s learning,” Daniels said. “We’ll continue to work with him and improve on what he sees downfield and getting the ball to receivers.”
Al Ain Desert Foxes coach Johnny Sharp, whose strength lies on defence, is well aware of Zahr’s inexperience and will try to capitalise on it.
“I think with [Rani], his football IQ isn’t as high as a lot of other players, especially the quarterback the Stallions had last year (Chris Wentzel),” Sharp said. “It’s just about giving him different looks and showing him things that aren’t there and vice versa. It’s using some gamesmanship to make him think more than he wants to.”
The Desert Foxes also have a lack of experience to make up for, as well as a lack of numbers, but Sharp isn’t going back to the drawing board just yet following their first loss – a 21-0 defeat at the hands of the Abu Dhabi Wildcats.
“We’re going to stay the course,” Sharp said. “We have a plan and we’re going to stick to it.”
Jay Asser - Sport360