CFL 2.0: Combining Talent in the UK

CFL 2.0: Combining Talent in the UK
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CFL 2.0 is well and truly up and running. When it was introduced, the main focus for UK based fans were the ‘plans for a greater ‘international presence’. The key point being “Building bridges with countries, outside of North America, that play american football.”

The hope was that ‘the best players from the world beyond the U.S. and Canada’ could be invited to vie to play in the CFL. Well now players from the UK are getting their chance.

BAFA have announced the participants of the combine in Bristol this January 25th. The athletes taking part are listed below:

Keanu BanksOLHildesheim Invaders
Rodon ZeqiriDLBrunel Burners
Thomas CampbellRBUWE Bullets
David IzinyonLBRostock Griffins
Jamaal FredercksDLLondon Warriors
Laurent TishmangaRBMerseyside Nighthawks
Matthew SharpDLFree Agent
Montel PattersonWRDüsseldorf Panthers
Andy OwusuRBPori Bears
Raymond SobowaleRBLondon Warriors
Luke HegneyWRLondon Olympians
Marcus UrbanskiWRLeicester Falcons
Jason SelormeyDBLondon Blitz
Kadel KingLBFrankfurt Universe
Glen Mbeleg-ToongaRBDresden Monarchs
DJ OgunkolatiOL/DLLondon Blitz
Wayne DrewDLSaarland Hurricanes
Will ElgetiKSolent Thrashers
William DavisDBHelsinki Roosters

Following in the CFL footsteps of last years’ pioneers

For fans in the UK this is a chance to see players stepping into the CFL global player programme as we have seen players from other countries do.

There have been for example an international combine, and a European Draft already.

Teams were required to dress one ‘global’ player last year. Some like Winnipeg linebacker Thiadric Hansen and Hamilton kicker Gabriel Amavizca have seen playing time. Amavizca even became first global player to score in the CFL.

Now it’s time for the Brits to take a turn as part of a European round of combines. There’s a lot to compete for as the league has stated there will be a total of 45 practice squad and active roster spots assigned to global players from across all participating countries for the upcoming season.

It will be fascinating seeing if any Brit athletes make it from this stage to competing at the CFL Combine in Toronto alongside Canadian athletes from USport and the NCAA.

Something to Consider

The CFL is a minority interest in the UK at the moment. Most people follow the NFL or college football. The three down game is on the periphery of most people’s consciousness with these things.

If Brits start to make it there though it could raise interest. What the CFL really needs most of all is people to understand the subtle differences that can make the 3 down game so exciting. Perhaps raising its profile here will help with that eventually.

Whatever happens it will surely be a fabulous experience for the athletes involved and perhaps ultimately beneficial for the profile of the CFL among athletes on these shores.

Banner image from cfl.ca

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