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.
|Keanu Banks||OL||Hildesheim Invaders|
|Rodon Zeqiri||DL||Brunel Burners|
|Thomas Campbell||RB||UWE Bullets|
|David Izinyon||LB||Rostock Griffins|
|Jamaal Fredercks||DL||London Warriors|
|Laurent Tishmanga||RB||Merseyside Nighthawks|
|Matthew Sharp||DL||Free Agent|
|Montel Patterson||WR||Düsseldorf Panthers|
|Andy Owusu||RB||Pori Bears|
|Raymond Sobowale||RB||London Warriors|
|Luke Hegney||WR||London Olympians|
|Marcus Urbanski||WR||Leicester Falcons|
|Jason Selormey||DB||London Blitz|
|Kadel King||LB||Frankfurt Universe|
|Glen Mbeleg-Toonga||RB||Dresden Monarchs|
|DJ Ogunkolati||OL/DL||London Blitz|
|Wayne Drew||DL||Saarland Hurricanes|
|Will Elgeti||K||Solent Thrashers|
|William Davis||DB||Helsinki 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.
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