Berlin Thunder wide receiver Max Zimmermann: "Give football in Berlin a boost"
Max Zimmermann is one of the Berlin Thunder's newly signed wide receivers so far for the upcoming season. Together with Robin Wilzeck and Aaron Jackson, he is expected to form a lethal trio which could make Berlin Thunder successful in the future. The 28-year-old pass catcher started playing football in 2012 under then wide receivers coach, then head coach Johnny Schmuck with the Berlin Adler, where he also spent his last two years.
It's come full circle for Zimmermann, who also previously played for the Kuopio Steelers, Saskatchewan Roughriders and Potsdam Royals. After winning the "European Football League" (European club cup at the time) and a victory in the "BIG6" (also club cup), the showpiece player now wants to attack at the top.
Q: Max, why did you decide to join Berlin Thunder?
Max Zimmermann: "I decided to play for the Berlin Adler in 2021 and to move up to the first league with them. I stayed there in 2022, but had the first talks with Berlin Thunder even before that. Now it was just great timing and I decided that the European League of Football and my move would be the best to give football in Berlin a boost. Thunder is the perfect solution. Not only do I know a lot of people from my start in football, but we share the fighting spirit and vision of how you want to play football."
Q: Why did it become Thunder and not another franchise? Love of home?
"My hometown plays a big part in that. Of course, there are many reasons, but my hometown is special. When I was in training camp in Miami and in Canada, I was everywhere, but never with my family. Meanwhile, it's important for me to have my family and friends around. I think the key of the league is for players to stay there and establish a character of the team. I don't think we'll get far if the best players always move to the best franchise, but for the players to help pull the programs up in the region. That's where I see my role as well."
Q: What keeps you busy off the football field?
"Currently, I work relatively few hours as a personal trainer and coach overall. I want to continue to focus on football. I've put my teaching career on hold for now since I left for Canada back in the day."
Q: What do you think are your strengths on the field, and what are you working on in the offseason?
"I'm not the fastest, I'm not the biggest, but I think I'm technically very clean – as far as the wide receiver position and route running. In the offseason, I want to continue to perfect that and get habit into it so I can always call on the technique – even in the fourth quarter. Currently, I'm using the regeneration to get my body to another level. I know by now how to deal with my body."
Have you seen this yet?
Q: You have two top-notch wide receiver teammates on your side in Robin Wilzeck and Aaron Jackson. Have you talked to them yet?
"With Robin, I just played basketball last weekend, and we'll be working out together soon. With Aaron, I have had contact over text a little, but look forward to meeting him in person. However, I have heard only good things from him. Fact is: We will all help each other. Not only in terms of the craft, but when you have three top-notch receivers, opponents are going to have a hard time covering us. All three of us have always found ways to get open. That goes for the other two as well. That adds even more danger and panic to the opposing defense. For me, the most important thing continues to be doing my part on the team to be successful as a team."
Final question: How excited are you to be coached by head coach Johnny Schmuck again?
"That's actually the biggest story for me. He is the coach that has always supported me. The people who know me better know that if you look over the career that there have been a lot of ups and downs and both Coach Johnny and Coach Kuhlfeldt have always been by my side. To be able to build a franchise here with those two and possibly go for the championship would be perfect."