Punter Josh Bartel is the latest Tiger-Cat to answer questions posed by our fans on Facebook...
When did you decide you wanted to change from Australian football to Canadian football? (From John S.)
Probably about two years ago. I was playing footy (Australian Rules Football) with the Wodonga Bulldogs and wasn't really enjoying playing it, didn't want to go train and all that. I got in contact with Nathan Chapman of Pro-kick Australia. Since I can kick an Aussie rules football a far ways, he said to come down and have a go. Now I’m here two years later.
What do you think about wearing all that equipment? (From Ryan W.)
The first time I wore all of the gear was in training camp… I had the full pads and helmet on and, yeah, it was a little awkward at first. You know, after a week it all feels normal so I’ve been kicking in it everyday since.
What are some of the surprises you've had since you arrived in Canada for the season? (From Elvira C.)
I haven’t had too much of a surprise. I guess it’s surprising how hot it gets.. like 35, 36… it was great. Reminded me of home.
When you kick the football in Canada, does it spiral opposite to the way it spirals in Australia? You know... like flushing a toilet? (From Tim B.)
(Laughs) It all spirals the same way. I love that question.
Does your Aussie Rules experience help you concentrate when being rushed while punting? (From Mike K.)
Yes, definitely. We kick under pressure a fair bit in Aussie rules so it definitely has helped me. Visually you can see people coming but you have to concentrate on the kick and get it off the best you can.
How do you like working with Paul Osbaldiston and what is the best advice he has given you? (From Donna H.)
Working with Ozzie is absolutely amazing. Obviously, he is a legend with this club and I reckon if he wasn’t here working with me I wouldn’t be here. He’s had limited time with me but already he has corrected a few things from my technique which have helped me amazingly. The main thing is that he’s helped me out here at Ivor Wynne because of the wind patterns and teaching me where to kick it.
Josh, I've heard that you wear different size shoes when you are kicking. Are they custom made or do you actually take two pairs and match them up? (From Kristin F.)
I wear two sizes smaller on my kicking foot so it gives me a nice tight fit. That way, you get better impact when you kick the ball. On my left foot I wear a normal size, just for comfort.