|Robert at the FISTF World Cup in Rochefort, Belgium in September 2014|
During the Christmas period we continue to interview some of the great players of the WASPA circuit. Robert Green is what we can call a popular guy in the circuit. The Australian has played in many different nations in his career and even attended the latest FISTF world cup in Belgium and the recent Open of Milano in Italy.
When did you first start to play Subbuteo and what was the first team you got bought?
RG: I've played Subbuteo from 1976-78, 1985-95 and 2012-now. I can't remember the first team I bought, hopefully it was Leeds.
How many years have you been playing and what are the main titles you have achieved in any level?
RG: In total I've played for 16 years and my main title was Australian National Champion in 1995.
What is the best thing about this game and why would you recommend it to someone?
RG: The best thing in the game is the camaraderie with other players from many different countries. I would recommend the game for that reason - and also that it's fun and challenging to play.
Your most memorable moments from this game happy or even sad?
RG: Most memorable moments were beating the great Australian champion Gary Hosie for the first time in 1994 and then becoming Australian champion in 1995.
Who was your strongest opponent and who is your favorite player and why?
RG: The best opponents I ever played were Willi Hofmann (Switzerland), Fabian Brau (Belgium) and - in recent times - Antonio Montano (Spain).
Is it a sport or a game ? What is your opinion about this question that many people ask?
RG: It's a sport. The level of skill, concentration and practice that you need to be a top player far exceeds what's needed to become a top player at a game.
What improvements would you like to see in the future and what would you suggest to improve things?
RG: Improving is difficult when people ignore obvious problems. Many players "push" their short blocking flicks and some also use the side of their finger for these flicks. FISTF must commit to cleaning this up - even for offenders from the top group of players. Tournaments would improve if referees are at their tables on time to avoid delays. Again, individual offenders must be held to account for repeat offences. Overall we must strive to be less "amateurish" - how our game looks to the outside world (including sponsors) is important... so delays in starting playing sessions while a tournament organiser yells into a microphone to call "missing" referees is definitely an obvious problem.
What would you recommend to someone who starts the game now? What are the secrets for top performance?
RG: For new players I would say to concentrate on flicking correctly at all times. For top performance it's about concentration and regular competition (which is something that I miss now).
What are your feelings about how FISTF and WASPA are working and doing something for the game nowadays?
RG: I think the current FISTF / WASPA relationship is a good one. They both work to develop the game. Hoever, FISTF seems to have some "blind" spots (see what I think needs to improve).
What would the WASPA rankings? Do they mean something for you?
RG: The WASPA rankings don't mean so much to me - but I think that's because I see myself competing against players in the higher standard FISTF tournaments.
Name: Robert Green
Club: Northern Falcons (Sydney)
Type of figures/bases used: Using Bodo bases
Job: Computer programmer
Hobbies: hobbies are Subbuteo, football and running online "tipping" competitions for big football tournaments.