Nov 2nd, 2023 16:30, by Chris Hahn & Eleni Frommann

CEO of Paris Musketeers John McKeon: "It felt like we were facing 'Murderer’s Row'"

Nov 2nd, 2023 16:30, by Chris Hahn & Eleni Frommann

CEO of Paris Musketeers John McKeon: "It felt like we were facing 'Murderer’s Row'"

For the Paris Musketeers, it was the first season ever in the European League of Football. With France as a football powerhouse of talent on the continent, expectations were sky-high, even before the team played their first snap in June. Having signed Zach Edwards and his teammate Kyle Sweet off the Barcelona Dragons increased expectations previous to their first campaign. After finishing 6-6, we talked to the CEO of the Paris Musketeers, John McKeon, about evaluation, improvements and the goals of the franchise.

Hey Mr. McKeon, it was the first season for the Paris Musketeers in the ELF. How do you evaluate your team's performance in the past season, and what aspects do you consider particularly positive or negative?

On the whole, we are very pleased with our team's performance in 2023. Building a football team from scratch is no small feat. Simply bringing athletes from all around Europe and France together does not make a team. Time together, sweating, bleeding, learning, and trusting… is. It took us 4 to 5 weeks to really get to know 'who' we were. We faced some very strong teams in those early weeks [Stuttgart, Rhein, Frankfurt] and took our lumps. However, our character was truly revealed in the second half of the season as we came together and finished with 4 straight wins. I’m proud of our guys. 'Tous pour un, un pour tou' [all for one, one for all] rings true for this group.

CEO John McKeon of the Paris Musketeers. © Private

What changes or improvements do you plan for the upcoming season to further develop the team?

We are implementing an off season program to get our guys in France working out and studying together. Our athletes are hungry to fulfill their potential and show the league what Paris can do.

What key insights have you gained from the past season, and how will they influence your strategy for the upcoming season?

The level of competition of the league has exceeded our expectations. It felt like we were facing 'Murderer’s Row' Week 2 through Week 8. Facing the best of Europe week in and week out was sobering, yet exciting to see where this league is going and the level of play it offers. We also saw the importance of learning to grow and adapt from week to week. The season is long but moves quickly, and you have to be ready to change your roster and tactics if things aren’t working. We made some tough decisions midway through the 2023 season, and we think it helped turn us around and set us up for success in the back end of the schedule.

Paris faced Stuttgart and Rhein Fire twice in the first seven weeks. © Tiffany Amisse

How do you assess the competition in your league for the upcoming season, and which teams do you see as the biggest challenges?

As mentioned earlier, we were up against some tough competition in our expansion season. Stuttgart, Frankfurt, and Rhein dealt us all six of our losses, and we are very likely to see them again on the field in 2024. 'Iron sharpens iron' and we are up for the challenge!

What's the main goal for the upcoming season?

Starting faster. Last year was truly a 'Year 0' in Paris. Right now is our first true off-season. Most of our guys will have a year of training, studying, and playing TOGETHER behind them. The only limit to our success is ourselves.

Thank you!

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