Since joining the Glasgow Tigers in 2018, Ryan Cassidy has quickly become one of the cornerstones of the team. From winning Rookie of the Year in his debut season to being voted as a position captain ahead of the 2020 season, the linebacker has continued to grow each season.

We caught up with him during the extended off-season, thanks to the COVID-19 lockdown, to find out about how he got started with the team and what his ambitions are in American Football. What’s the story behind how you got involved in American Football?

Ryan Cassidy: I had no idea it existed in this country at first. I was down watching the games in London, and very drunkenly suggested we should all go join a team if there was one. We all had a good laugh about it but it stuck in my mind so I started Googling and it led me to the Tigers.

GT: What made you decide the Tigers were the team for you?

RC: I had been looking through the Internet at teams near me, and ended up messaging the Tigers on Facebook. That same week Andy Howie told me he’d already been to training a few times so I tagged along.

Tigers linebacker Ryan Cassidy and defensive end Ian Millar team up against Aberdeen Roughnecks (Picture by Richard Lundy)

GT: Describe how you felt ahead of your first game – and how did it turn out?

RC: I’m not going to lie, pretty nervous. I didn’t know what to expect.

Bit of an up and down game personally, got a sack and a few tackles, but also made a couple of howlers. Lost the game 10-0, which was pretty fair given about 75% of the team were rookies. It was a good learning experience.

GT: What is your favourite story from your time with the Tigers?

RC: There’s been a few. Most are extra curricular related so I’ll try keep it football based.

Probably my favourite one to tell is the time I blitzed off the edge, was just about to lay a glorious hit on the QB and from nowhere Jamie Baird appears from the other side of the QB.

What could have been an absolute stupendous tandem sack turned into me punching Baird in the side of the helmet and him falling into me and the QB running up the middle. Still give him stick for it.

Tigers LB Ryan Cassidy (52) eyes an interception against Aberdeen Roughnecks (Picture by Richard Lundy)

Would also put a special mention in for the first away trip I was on. Won the game, Gatorade (water) shower for the coach. Beach ball being bounced around the bus. Absolutely burst and everyone up singing. Was some day.

GT: What would you like to achieve in the sport by the time you hang up your boots?

RC: I’d love to get the team as far as possible. Everyone loves individual awards, I do too. But having the team take the next step and compete in the Prem and challenge for the top spot, who wouldn’t want to be top dog as a team.

 Quick fire round…

Best athlete – Fraser (Fish)
Worst gear – Skittles
Best music taste – Apart from myself, then Jamie McIsaac
Biggest joker – Euan McLean
Underrated – Jamie Baird

For more on the Glasgow Tigers throughout the 2020 off-season, make sure to follow the team on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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