Matteo Gaddoni: The Rising Star Of The East Coast

It’s strange to make an interview to a friend: Clay and I took it like a game or a joke. So, we invited Matteo Gaddoni Saturday afternoon to our house, after the training, to make him some questions on freestyle, about freestyle world and about him.

An English translation of Clay and Lui Collera’s Italian language interview of Matteo Gaddoni. Many thanks to Fabio Sanna and Eleonora for the translation.

Every Saturday afternoon Matteo leaves Forli, the city where he lives, and travels for 50Km by car or train, to train himself at Rimini beach. Forli is a hinterland city, so going to Rimini is an exigence. Here, he meets Clay, Daniele, Andrea, and where Fabio and Luca meet toghether…the new freestylers of the East Coast.

Yesterday, after 3 training hours on a grey beach, a beautiful and lonely beach, with low waves, constant wind, people walking on the shore with dogs. It’s not the same beach we saw at Paganello and FPA, but not for this it’s less fascinating, on the contrary, it’s charming, as a chamaleon changing its colour, like all the beaches in winter. After spins, throws, catches, brushes, frisbees dropped in the water, Matteo and Clay went back home and officially started the interview.
In front of a cup of hot, steaming, dense chocolate and cookies, to “put the interviewed at his ease”, because what started as a game was becoming a serious thing:

L&C (Lui & Clay): Well Matteo, when did you discover frisbee?

Matteo: When I was a kid (N.B.Matteo is 24 years old…).I played on the beach, on holiday, with my friends.

L&C: And when did you discover freestyle?

Matteo: By Internet. My friends and I were searching for good frisbees. In fact, I’ve continued playing frisbee for many years, in my city park. But we understood the disc had to be good, different, so I found out about frisbee freestyle world on the Internet. I contacted Jumpy and he told me that they (Cota & Tequila) sold frisbees, and to contact Clay from Rimini, who could be surely disposable to teach me something, if I was interested in freestyle.

L&C: Your first fake nail?

Matteo: Yes, I made it with a phone card…I found a website, where they explained how to make fake nails.

L&C: What happened the first time you met Clay (September 2003)?

Matteo: By that time, freestyle was already my passion. Clay was an unreachable phenomenon, but he continued to tell me I could make it. So, I focused on some objectives. Clay told me what to train on (catches, passages under the leg, etc.). I tried at home, and when I succeeded, I phoned him and we met at Rimini. I showed him what I could do and he gave me other objectives.

L&C: What makes you think frisbee is not just a game?

Matteo: When I played with my friends, I never had enough. When they proposed other things to do, like going for a walk downtown, meeting other people, ecc. I felt something inside telling me to play. I needed frisbee.

L&C: What does your girlfriend think about your love for freestyle?

Matteo: In the beginning, she was quiet. She didn’t imagine how the thing would change…

L&C: And your parents?

Matteo: My father told me I was a foolish…he didn’t change his mind

L&C: Well, he’s consistent at least… and what does Sandra (Matteo’s girlfriend) say about freestyle now?

Matteo: Sometimes she gets angry. Like this summer. When I didn’t make shows at Acquafan (aquatic park where Clay and Matteo worked together) and I was with her on the beach, I continued playing freestyle.What else could I do? She was sunbathing…and I played!

L&C:What made you change? Which are the stages that made you mature in freestyle in this last year?

Matteo: I overcame the obstacle of my mental attitude. I didn’t believe in me. The players who motivated me gave me the belief, they made me play free. For example, Dave Lewis and Dave Murphy on the beach, the day after FPA believed in me. And, for the first time, I played with just one nail. I never did it before. I begun to play well thanks to the support of those players who played better than me. It was like having many people inside me, who played with me, who motivated me.

L&C:And your stages?

Matteo: Paganello 2003. Before that, I knew only Clay. He could be the only one to make those things with the disc. Then, Paganello came. There was a lot of people sharing the same interests and a really good atmosphere. I didn’t expect it.

L&C: And what did you expect from the FPA 2003?

Matteo: Another Paganello. Waiting for a year to see again the people I met sounded tremendous, but, fortunately, they organized the FPA. I had great expectations. But participating to these events (Paganello, FPA), always go beyond expectations. I rejoined a family. Yes, when I play and I see people playing, I always feel good when I go back home. And expectations are always satisfied.

L&C: Who helped you a lot with freestyle?

Matteo: Clay

L&C: Öexcluding ClayÖ

Matteo: at Paganello John Titcomb. At the FPA everyone. There was a total involvement.

L&C: What’s your relationship with italian freestylers?

Matteo: It’s different. We’re all in Italy, but we see each other now and then. When there is Paganello and FPA we all stay more with American or European freestylers. So, I don’t stay a lot with Italian freestylers.

L&C: … a bit of gossip. You’re on a lonely island and you have to choose a freestyle girl. Who do you choose? (general embarassment)

Matteo: C’mon, not this one!

L&C: Oh yes!

Matteo: Ila. Dori Yaniv’s sister

L&C: Ok, back to serious things. What kind of style you would like to have?

Matteo: Improvisation. And I love tips, long sequences, just like Tom Leitner makes.

L&C: Which freestyler inspires you more?

Matteo: Everyone is a model. But I’d make a fusion of Clay, Tom Leitner, Ted Oberhaus and Randy Silvey.

L&C: Would you like to work with frisbee?

Matteo: I don’t know, I don’t think so. I fear, it could loose its charm. I should think about it.

L&C:How much do you train?

Matteo: Every Saturday, for 4 hours. And two times in a week in the park, for 1 or 2 hours.

L&C: What do you need when you train?

Matteo: A beach, a bit of wind and a good partner.

L&C: And a good partner-girl?

Matteo: I’d like it. I’d like that Sandra (his girlfriend) begins to play…

L&C: gossip

Matteo: no!

L&C: yes…you must choose a partner for the open pairs among: Tom Leitner, Clay, Reto, Sune, Ted Oberhause and Randy.

Matteo: (After at least 10 minutes…then we gave him 10 seconds to answer!) Ted Oberhaus.. And if I should choose for the coop: Tom Leitner and Randy Silvey.

L&C: Very well, now you have to choose a partner-girl…(among the girls you met): Lisa, Linda,Karolina, Cindy; Anne; Bethany and Judy.

Matteo: I would choose Lisa again.

L&C: Frisbee gave you a lot. What would you give for frisbee?

Matteo: I’d like to transmit to someone else what frisbee gave me.

L&C: Do you think about frisbee as a sport or a show?

Matteo: Show is not indispensable. But if there is some show in the routine, then the exercise is more beautiful to see. It gets more value. I think about Sune, he’s not a showman, but his look to the public, when he makes a catch, is enough to add value to his exercise.

L&C: What you think about FPA judging method?

Matteo: It’s complicated. I didn’t understand some things yet! But it looks good. Many players who judge divided in groups…it sounds effective

L&C: Do you think we should take into consideration the judgement of the public in the competition?

Matteo: No! Public likes easy tricks too. I’m thinking about delaying the disc on the elbow or on the toe: public likes it, but it doesn’t appreciate a really hard exercise, maybe. If the public should judge, freestylers should balance the frisbee on their noses, knees, on their ….

Lui: Well, this last hypothesis could sound good…

L&C: Let’s get serious again. What would you change in FPA organisation?

Matteo: I think it should be more visible: TV, Newspapers…

L&C: What do you ask from a tournament? Or better: proportions costs/tournament. Would you like to pay less and have less (Ex: tribune, red carpet, tents,etc.), and play with all FPA players, or spend a lot and have all the comforts?

Matteo: The tournaments are all right. They are complete.

L&C: The last question. The evil question: if Sandra asked you: “Me or freestyle?”

Matteo: It would be the end of our story. But she already knows it.

The interview is over, as well as the chocolate and this Saturday afternoon. We know a little more about Matteo, you as well as us…and Clay liked a lot this experience so, if you want, he will be the next interviewed.