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Interview

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Slashers of Hattrick
By: Robert F. Ludwick | Game Data | 2:42pm, July 9, 2003
Slashers is the Hattrick USA National Team Coach, as well as one major player in the Major League in the USA. His team name, Slashers FC, was chosen at random.

OMGN: So how about some information about the real-life Slashers?

Slashers: Well, my real name is Kevin Shook. I just turned 21 earlier this month. I graduated from DeVry University with a bachelorís degree in Accounting in March, and have just started a new job (which unfortunately, wonít let me use Hattrick during the day).

I have two brothers who play Hattrick as well, George (Cyclones) and Adam (The Wolfpack), as well as another brother who is an officer in the Navy, and a sister who is an elementary school teacher.

OMGN: What brought you to Hattrick, and when did you get here?

Slashers: George was addicted to Hattrick long before I ever was; he had a team in the Swedish league three seasons before they opened the other leagues, or even before the site was translated to English. Since he was one of the few non-Swedes playing at that time, he developed a good relationship with the HT-team and was one of the reasons HT decided to go global and one of the first to be informed about it. When he found out that HT was adding a USA league, he got me and Paul (KC Wizards) to sign up for the new league. I received my team one day before they did, so I was the first user in a foreign HT league. Iíve had my team since October of 2000, approaching my third calendar year on Hattrick.

OMGN: How did you decide upon your team name, Slashers FC, and your screename Slashers?

Slashers: Random, totally random. George called his Swedish team The Cyclones so the called his USA team the same, and Paul is a huge KC Wizards fan, so he named his team after them. I was setting around trying to decide on a cool name for my team, and just liked the way Slashers FC sounded. I actually was planning on changing it after a few seasons, but I decided I liked it too much.

OMGN: You've been in Hattrick for a very long time. How would you say the game has progressed in the time you've been playing it?

Slashers: Many, many, many, more users, which has made it infinitely more fun. The first few seasons, HT didnít advertise much and kept the foreign leagues small, probably to test to see if they would work. Once they discovered that HT was a hit with non-Swedes as well, it just took off.

The game itself hasnít changed much though. With the introduction of foreign markets, daytrading has become more prevalent and profitable, and they added specialties and special events a few seasons ago. But the game itself hasnít changed all the much, which I think is good.

OMGN: You're currently the USA National Team Coach. What is that job like?

Slashers: Itís definitely different than managing your club team. In a way itís almost less fun because you all you have to worry about is form and team spirit: no economy, no training (since you have no control over it, there is no need worrying about it).

But it also is great, to be able to manage a team that is chalked full of great players against the best the rest of the world has to offer. It gives you goals to aspire to in with your club team, like I want to have a midfielder that good, or I want to train my defender that high. It really expands your knowledge of the game as well, how different people train players, how people play in different spots, how certain players work together.

Being National team coach is definitely the best thing I have done in Hattrick.

OMGN: You're arguably the most popular National Team Coach for the USA. What does it feel like having that kind of widespread popularity?

Slashers: Itís good that people know me and recognize me; but I was always popular before I became coach, because of my club teamís success. I like it, but I donít really revel in it like some would.

The main thing is posting on the boards. I hate message boards. I like reading them, but when ever you post it always seems like it comes off wrong. People get offended to easily and then a big long debate/controversy starts over something simple. When I became coach everyone wanted me to post more (which is a reasonable request), but I HATE posting on message boards. I would rather deal with users privately though HT mail or MIRC, and not have everything out there for all to see. I think Iíve done a better job than I did before about posting on the boards, but Iíve never felt comfortable doing it. That has been the hardest adjustment being National coach, having to be publicly responsible for the team.

OMGN: How far do you realistically see the USA going in the current World Cup III?

Slashers: A lot depends on the groupings. I think we are talented enough to win the whole thing. But realistically, I see us getting to at least the semi-finals. How far we go from there depends on opponents, form, team spirit, and luck.

OMGN: If you were forced to name a successor to your term right now, who would you call up?

Slashers: Paul (KC Wizards). But he would never do it, so I would say either Minutemen or GM-Apoc. A lot depends on who wants to run.

OMGN: Did you ever consider becoming a GM like your brother, GM-George?

Slashers: Nope. I canít stand having to defend myself publicly after playing backups for the National team. I would never be able to handle having to publicly defend myself after fining or banning someone. Plus I donít have the time, I work full-time (with no internet access) and go to school at nights.

OMGN: On to your team. Is The Cutting Edge Fan Club happy with the performance of Slashers FC this season?

Slashers: Apparently not, since I have supporters leaving left and right. ;) But I am pretty happy with what my team has done. Iíve had some tough injuries, and Iím playing stiff competition week in and week out. I think I should be doing better, but I could be doing worse.

OMGN: Is your team where you wanted it to be, this far into its existence?

Slashers: Yes and no. Yes, because my team has managed to spend along time at or near the top of the pile. No, because Iím not there this year, and with the players I have added this season I feel I should be getting better team results.

OMGN: Where do you see Slashers FC at the end of next season?

Slashers: Well the goal is always to win the league. I have always started every season thinking that I have just as good a shot as anyone to win. I donít see why next season would be any different.

OMGN: You have bought Hattrick Supporter. Would you say it's worth it?

Slashers: Yes. It was definitely worth it when they had all the extra player stats up, and the federations are very cool to be in. But Hattrick Supporter could be better: I would like for them to bring back some of the stats that were taking down, and I think the federations should be redesigned to be more fun and useful. But overall it is worth the price.

OMGN: What is your favorite feature of Supporter?

Slashers: The team stats. They help to give you a good idea where your team has been and were its heading.

OMGN: How many supporters do you have?

Slashers: I have 14 supporters. I think if I was more active on the boards, I would probably have more, but I wonít complain.

OMGN: Who do you support?

Slashers: My brothers Cyclones and Wolfpack. Jurra, Rude Boys (Sweden) founder of HT-Radio, GM-Hans, Nights Who Say Ni! (England), and Mod-Zaphus, The Torps (Oceania).

OMGN: What is your favorite Hattrick-related website?

Slashers: There are several good ones, but I like HatStats and HTSCB the most because I am a stat nerd, and I like seeing lists where my team is near the top. :)

OMGN: Is there any advice you would offer to a new team in Hattrick?

Slashers: First off read the rules, I am surprised by the number of newbies who donít read the rules before asking questions. The basics are very well explained in the rules, and you can get a good working knowledge of the game just from reading them.

After having read the rules, ask questions. Ask everyone you can for advice, but ask intelligent questions a do it in a polite way. I have no problem answering newbie questions, if they are willing to put forth the effort to find the answer and are not just expecting everything to be spoon-fed to them.

Lastly, I would tell a new owner to pick something to train, and never change. Training is the only sure fire way to get your team to progress in this game. Daytrading and other tactics might work for some, but they donít always work and are not nearly as effective as a good system of training players, and turning the extra trainees into players to fill other positions.

OMGN: Do you play any other games online?

Slashers: Not right now, I never had time. But I think I will start playing Star Wars: Galaxies when it comes out.

OMGN: Is there anything else that you would like to add?

Slashers: Thanks for the interview, and good luck with the rest of your season.
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