Tom Brady: We Play Exciting Korfball
‘Voice of korfball’ Tom Brady will be a big part of this year’s England Korfball LFF Grand Finals, and not just in the commentary box where he is now synonymous. He will also be playing for his team, Birmingham City, who are fighting to get back into the England Korfball League (EKL).
A former winner of the EKL, Tom has vast experience, having played the sport for 32 years since starting out at Brighton Polytechnic (now Brighton University).
He is a voice known to many as a korfball commentator, and has covered most major korfball championships since the 1996 European Championships.
Tom is well known on the pitch too and has played in the top leagues in England, Portugal and Australia. But his career highlight came playing internationally when he was part of the England team who won a bronze medal at the 1999 Korfball World Championships.
Tom’s only EKL win came back in the 1989/90 season with Vultrix, who beat Mitcham to the league title that season. His focus in 2017 is very much with his current team, Birmingham City, with whom he has played with for five years.
We play exciting korfball
“To still be playing with a great team like Birmingham City is amazing. It’s a really great, well run, well coached club with a sense of love for the game. And that comes across in the way we play – we play exciting korfball”, said Tom.
“We’ve got a lot of young players who had their first taste of the national league and they want more. It is a really tough league to play in because the teams are so good. Until you feel the pace and pressure of the quality defence you just don’t know what it’s like. Even though we got relegated in our 2nd year it changed our mentality of the way that we train and the way that we play because it set the standard.”
The game is quicker now
Over the years Tom has seen the game change and develop, much of it for the better he believes.
“The game has had some great innovations since I first started playing. Back then it was mostly played outdoors, the indoor game is better and quicker. For me the shot clock has been the best revolution in korfball, it has really given a sense of purpose to the defence – we’ve all responded and we play quicker and more aggressively and it’s a much more enjoyable game to play,” said Tom.
However some things do not change in the sport – and the social side of things is just as important as ever.
Tom said: “It has always been a really sociable sport – I co-founded the University of Birmingham team and have seen the incredible social life that they have right from the beginning. It mirrored the experience I had as a student at Brighton.”
Alongside the England experience Tom has also played for Ireland. “I founded the Irish Korfball Association and played with them for a few years. Even though I was born and brought up in England my parents are Irish and I have a strong attachment with that,” he said.
You can watch Tom play at K2 Crawley on 6th-7th May. He is hopeful Birmingham will be returning to the top flight of English korfball, after a two year absence.
Tom said: “We hope to get in the top three, and are aiming to win it. But we know it’s tough. Only the best teams can go to national league, and we’ll have to play some really motivated teams. We are hopeful but not complacent.”