GARY: Yank Commander – Q&A from the USA with Gary Cennerazzo

Posted on Friday, April 22nd, 2016

A model professional in his approach to the game.  He has a determination to win and his dedication to the cause is second to none.  It’s no surprise therefore that Gary Cennerazzo has secured himself a contract with USL side Tulsa Roughnecks in Oklahoma.

We caught up with Gaz recently…

S: We’re delighted and very proud to see you doing so well at Tulsa, it’s obviously a very high standard of football, what are the main differences to the Lowland League?

GC: The difference is that every team is full time, tempo and intensity is much higher for obvious reasons. A lot of MLS teams have second teams in that league which at time feature 1st team players so the standard is high. Technically great as a lot of foreign players and physical also.  So far the teams I have played have been small and quick and focusing on playing football far from what people think America is all about physicality.  No disrespect to lowland league but it’s definitely been a step up.

S: It is a tough league with the reserve teams from a number of MLS teams in it, what do you enjoy the most about the set up and the games?

GC: Yes its a tough league for sure. Everyone can beat everyone and very competitive and high level. USL is regarded as second strongest league behind MLS due to having second teams involved. Its been great to come up against players that are maybe on bench or even featuring for the 1st team.  So much could be here but the set up is mind-blowing and quite frankly miles ahead of Scottish football apart from our premier league.  The work and the things they do is incredible. Its been brilliant, Our home crowd is superb and its just a big party atmosphere and lots of things to do, have beers, lots of food stalls and live entertainment etc so much I could go on.  The national anthem been sung and the entrance to games is pretty cool and this gets you well fired up for the game.

S: What are the targets for you and the team this season?

GC: My target as individual is to be starting every game so far started 3 out of 3 with one man of the match and making usl team of the week. Also had a clean sheet which is a bonus in other game. I have had a lot of support and great feedback and I just want to perform every game and reach even higher level and help get 3 points for the team.  The aim for the team is to reach the play offs. Its a long season but we have very talented squad so hopefully we can do it.

S: Talk us through your normal weekly regime, do miss out the twice weekly night club visits in case your manager ever reads the article!

GC: Normal routine we train every morning apart from Wednesday which is our day off. Sunday is day off also. Our managers likes us to rest on our days as much as possible.  So we have to be in for 9am and we start training 10 am.  So in this time we can grab warm baths, compression machine which helps with recovery etc and just foam roll, mobility and just hang out etc before we start.  Monday recovery etc and Tuesday is more focused on some fitness work and so fourth and towards end of the week work on certain aspects towards the game shape, tactics etc. I love it. Afternoons gyms, chill, eat or grab some coffee haha! The weather can be great and training in shorts in t-shirt in 22 degrees! Ii rest my case. I miss the night times sometimes …….;)

S: As you know we’ve a number of very promising youngsters at Spartans, what advice would you give them if they harbour a dream of full time football?

GC: Work hard every day! Every session is an opportunity to better yourself as a player and what you do out of training is important also.  I was fortunate to experience full time all be it for short period when I was younger, since that day my dream was to get back to full time football. You have to be disciplined, believe in yourself and stay focused and always willing to learn and improve! At that age you think you know it all and if I could tell my younger self something of what I know now compared to back then would be to, love what you do and push yourself and don’t be so naïve in your thinking and listen to experienced players and always be willing to learn.

If you truly believe you can make it and good enough then never give up no matter what people may think and do whatever you have to do and you will get that chance.  Lots of good players out there but be the one that works the hardest because if not someone out there with the same talent is outworking you. If you have talent you need to have the attitude and the desire to succeed and to work to become better and achieve your goals to become a full time footballer. Its the best job in the world.

S: Your home ground is a baseball stadium and it looks like the stands are set up for baseball rather than football…what is the atmosphere like?

GC: Yes there co owned by the drillers baseball team. The stadium is beautiful and the facilities are unreal.  The pitch is brilliant but its the smallest in the league due to the baseball etc.  Its very tight and not the longest.  The crowds are great and very vocal and it still an amazing atmosphere. Its just like a big party and they all drink beers and lots family, kids etc all come. Support has been great so far.

S: You won the man of the match in your second game…was your prize as good as a bottle of cheap fizz from the Malt and Hops?

GC: Haha the good old fizz. All my bottles are untouched. I am collecting them as not too sure about the taste. Still great to be recognised.  I got a riggers hat as the connection with oil rig and history.  It has the date and the match played and also that you were MOM written on it. Its cool thing to have but don’t think il be wearing it out in public ha! I also got $50 dollar voucher for big sport shop over here which was cool incentive and great prize!

Just want to say been a pleasure to speak to you guys and I wish you all the very best in the future. Club was great for me and helped get me to where I am today especially thankful for Dougie bringing me there. Met some great people there. Talented bunch of lads and hopefully secure league status soon.

Y’all have a nice day now as they would say in Oklahoma and get the W tomorrow!!

Next Fixture

Date: Saturday 27th April
Opponent: Peterhead
Venue:Ainslie Park
Competition: SPFL 2
Kick off: 3.00pm

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