Assistant Sports Editor
Casper Gimand, a native of Denmark, played the critical role of defensive anchor for the Rams this year. Gimand did not miss a single minute this season and was a vocal leader for the team.
The Fordham Ram: You went to high school in Fairfield, Conn., but you’re originally from Denmark, right?
Casper Gimand: Yeah, I was born in Denmark. I moved over here with my family when I was 10. I went to high school and grew up in Fairfield, but I’m originally from Denmark. The first couple of games they announced me as being from Fairfield, but I asked them to switch it to Denmark just to change it up. I think that first weekend it worked and we went 2-0.
TFR: Can you tell me about your recruiting process and why you chose Fordham?
CG: Well going into the summer of my junior year in high school, I had it narrowed down to a couple of schools and obviously Fordham was one of them, first because it was local. In Denmark we don’t really have the whole “going away to college,” so my parents weren’t really loving the idea of me going further than about five hours, so I think the farthest place I looked was Georgetown. I liked the business school and the soccer program was up and coming. But, I think what really attracted me to Fordham was the coach. Jim [McElderry] was really honest during the process and clear about the expectations and where the program was headed and what I could see in the future and things like that. For me, that’s what I found most attractive.
TFR: You led your team in goals your senior year of high school, but here you took on more of a defensive role. What was that process like?
CG: In high school, I kind of played every position. Freshman year I played center back; the next two years I played center midfielder and my senior year I actually played forward. I think coming in I was recruited as a center midfielder, that’s what I played in my club outside of school, but I’ve always been moved around. One of the things I kind of take pride in is that I’m pretty versatile when it comes to playing different positions. I started as a freshman, playing right midfielder for that whole season. Then sophomore year, I started as a right midfielder. But I think the second game I started at centerback and I’ve played centerback ever since.
TFR: Did you ask to play there?
CG: Coach just said, ‘Let’s try you at centerback’ and I wasn’t going to tell him no, so I said, ‘Yeah let’s try it.’ I did alright there and the guys around me obviously helped. But it wasn’t like I hadn’t played there before so it wasn’t that new to me. But I did well and was like, ‘Okay, this is where I’m going to play from now on.’
TFR: What’s your favorite part of going to school at Fordham?
CG: I’d say just being close to the city and the atmosphere of being in New York. The four seasons changing, we have a New York winter and a New York summer. And I mean, Christmas in New York. There’s no place that beats it. And being close to home, which is really nice. I think we have a great environment here for both academics and athletics.
TFR: As a senior, do you feel you took on more of a leadership role this year?
CG: I mean, yeah I would say so. It’s more about helping the younger guys and doing the right things that maybe people on the outside don’t see. Things that go on behind the scenes like always being there early, doing the right things before games, eating properly. Just setting a good example for the younger guys. These guys that come in and it’s their first season and their first semester. When I was a freshman, I came in and it was a whirlwind and some of the older guys I played with I got to learn from and I tried to set the same example.
TFR: Especially during the last few matches, you were very vocal on the field. What goes into that?
CG: I’m always trying to be the vocal communicator and drive guys on the field. Sometimes if the energy isn’t high people need that extra motivation or extra push. Sometimes when it dies down on the field I need to step in and let guys know you got to win that tackle, you got to keep pushing. I feel like it’s easier for some guys who aren’t sure or are tired, having someone barking at you lights a little fire.
TFR: Do you have a favorite memory from your four years of soccer at Fordham?
CG: I would say it was my sophomore year when we won the Atlantic 10 regular season down at Temple in overtime. That’s the one that stands out most in my mind. It’s not a lot of times you have a chance to win something in college. There are so many teams and so many conferences and things are so tight. So to actually win our conference when it hadn’t been done in 20 or 25 years was pretty special.
TFR: Do you have any plans for after graduation?
CG: I’ve been getting that question a lot lately. I would say not yet. I don’t have any set plans; I’m kind of just weighing my options, which probably isn’t the best answer. We’ll see where it takes me. I think I need to keep working hard in the classroom and see what the future holds for me.