Ontario Prospect Challenge (Team Central Underclassman Head Coach) Roberto Allen aka Coach Bubba



WHERE: Guelph – University of Guelph Alumni Stadium – $10 general admission, all-day pass

WHEN:  Sunday May 4 – Kickoff times are 10am, 12:30pm, 3:30pm, 7:30pm

BROADCAST: Live on Canadafootballchat.com & on ROGERS TV May 17


One of the unique qualities of this year’s ONTARIO PROSPECT CHALLENGE involves the competition that will play out in the two earlier games, The FOX 40 “Minor” Game (10-12 years old) and The Baron Rings “Underclassmen” Game (13-14 years old). Historically, provincial and national all star games/tournaments have tended to feature older players usually focusing on 15-17 age bracket, however in this year’s OPC ballers as young as 10 will get a chance to test their skills against some of the provinces elite. The man tasked with heading up this year’s edition of Team GTA in the underclassmen game will be The Toronto Thunder’s Roberto “Bubba” Allen. Coach Bubba, well known in Toronto coaching circles, coaches with the Toronto Thunder and serves as the head coach of their Junior Varsity team. Prior to this Coach B was an offensive specialist with Agincourt Collegiate while employed by the school to work with children with autism. 
CFC: Thanks for joining us coach, now before we start do you prefer Coach Roberto, Bobby, Allen…
Coach Bubba: Everyone calls me Coach Bubba
CFC: Perfect! Coach, how did you get involved in the ONTARIO PROSPECT CHALLENGE and what did you think after day one?
Coach Bubba: I had been coaching the GTA all-star teams with Russ Hoff for the past three years and we were approached with an opportunity to coach in the inaugural ONTARIO PROSPECT CHALLENGE, I liked the idea, the potential for growth and I especially liked the fact that there were opportunities for younger players. It’s not something that you often see, so for a lot of the younger players this will be their first chance to compete against the best of their age group.
I really liked the process, I liked the way the tryouts were structured and everything was well organized, at the same time you are mindful of ways you can improve.
CFC:  With such little prep time what will you stress, how will you go about implementing?
Coach Bubba: There is little prep time and on top of that you don’t know what you are going to have until the moment you start, so we don’t come out and say “here’s the playbook” but rather we wait, focus on evaluating, see where our strengths lie and then create our system from there. With such a short period to install, I find it is always better to tailor the system to your talent as opposed to the other way around. I mean football is football, so if you focus on building around what you have with sound principals it tends to work out in the condensed all-star environment.
CFC: You mentioned that you really liked that the OPC gave younger players a chance to compete on such a large stage against an elevated level of competition. You’re coaching 13 and 14 year old boys, traditionally an age where they transition from youth to “big boy” football, any advice for young men making this transition?
Coach Bubba: Definitely, like you said that’s right around the age when football becomes a “big boy” game and the hitting becomes a lot meaner. I tell my players, if they are serious about continuing, now is the time when they have to be training, trying to get better of the field. I’m not talking about lifting weights at that age, but agility, conditioning, speed and skill training are all things they need to start taking very seriously, as well as becoming students of the game. It’s at this
age that the game becomes much more cerebral.
Check in tomorrow when we feature Team GTA Underclassmen “Players to watch” with Coach Roberto Bubba Allen.

Advocating for football prospects one story at a time.

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