Dedication and focus have brought this young German player Simon Otto (CB) to be part of Finland’s best team in American football. The man puts it in words “there is no need for motivation when playing football. It has become such a big part of my life, that the feeling of playing football and giving it my all, sets me free of all worries and allows me to feel the moment like nothing else does. Chasing after a receiver at full speed lets me feel my full potential of physical abilities, which empowers me mentally. Football is my motivation.”
His passion for football started quite early in his life with inspiration from another player Luca Hebel who will also join the Kuopio Steelers season 2023. Let the young man introduce himself and his journey to Kuopio:
“Hey… …My name is Simon Otto, I am from the metropolitan area of Frankfurt, I’m 21… …and currently I am studying in college while pursuing my goals in terms of football.
I started playing football at 15 and played in a club near Frankfurt (Hanau Hornets) where I started playing football through my classmate Luca Hebel. After getting some experience in football I made the youth state team in 2017 and then transferred to Frankfurt Universe in 2019 where I played and started a few games in the GFL at 18. After having to take a break during the covid year, in 2021 I changed teams to Frankfurt Galaxy in the ELF where we won the championship in its inaugural season. My 2022 season got cut short due to an injury where I broke my hand after starting in the first game of the season.“
His journey in football has brought him some valuable life learnings and showed him the way to pass the obstacles with a wise mindset, “throughout my football journey, I have learned that there is no mistake that is bad, the only mistake is to not see it as a blessing from which you can learn for future situations. Football is for me the prettiest expression of this concept, when the receiver makes a play for a few yards on you and you just take it as a lesson to be learned from for the next play, the next play might bring you a much bigger reward.”
We asked head coach Pekka how he managed to find such a highly motivated and skilled player. Also, we are interested to know what expectations he has regarding Simon. He says:
“Simon is a very talented young player, who was supposed to break through on the European football scene this past summer there in Frankfurt, but an unfortunate injury stole that opportunity away from him. Now, it is going to happen in Kuopio, and we are of course very excited about that. Simon has all the tools, speed, football IQ, physicality, and some nice length in his frame to be able to match up against the opposing teams’ top targets.”
Since it is Simon’s first time in Finland we were curious about his assumptions about Finland, he comments “2023 will be my first year playing in Finland and I expect to play in probably one of the top 3 best leagues in Europe, so I definitely expect to see some good competition while doing everything to keep the championship trophy in Kuopio.” With tremendous motivation and putting high expectations of himself, he seems to be quite confident about his skills and team abilities in Finland and at the European level.
Simon promises to bring his team spirit to Kuopio, and help out the team with no fear of getting his hands dirty, “2023 I aspire to be a big help for the already very talented defensive backfield and hopefully be a piece that will complete the defense to once again prove that defense wins championships. Also, I want to just be a part of a group of goal-driven disciplined individuals who have proven throughout the last three years that hard work pays off.”
Since Simon’s 22nd birthday is coming up (17.11) we wish him many successful years in the field and may he reach his goals. We cannot wait to see him in action on the field in season 2023 to live up to his true potential. Welcome, Simon!