On Saturday October 22, the day before the Tampa Bay Buccaneers host the Chicago Bears in the Pepsi Max International Series, BAFA will stage its first UK Talent Camp for players aged 16 to 19.
The players will be put through their paces and assessed in a range of physical and skills-based tests by a group including former Denver Broncos general manager John Beake; ex-Chicago Bears and Dallas Cowboys player Dick Daniel, a long-time scout with the St Louis Rams; ex-Kansas City Chiefs and New Orleans Saints scout Cornell Gowdy, a former Cowboys and Pittsburgh Steelers player; former Dallas Cowboys scout Larry Dixon; and Tony Allen, formerly head of international player development for the NFL.
The BAFA UK Talent Camp will take place at The London Soccerdome in Greenwich, with player registration from 9:30 a.m. and testing beginning at 11:00 a.m. Places are available for players who apply or for clubs to apply on their behalf. Anyone interested in applying for a place in the Talent Camp should email UKTalentCamp@nfl.com and they will receive the relevant application information. The cost of participation is £10 per player.
Gary Marshall, Chairman of the British American Football Association, said: “The BAFA board of directors are keen to support this initiative and work in partnership with the NFL to provide this opportunity to BAFA members. We see it as a positive step and a great opportunity for many of our talented young athletes to work with top coaches and to be measured against the criteria necessary for a possible chance to play at college level in the US.
NFLUK Managing Director Alistair Kirkwood said: “This is a great opportunity for young players in the UK to have their skills and their physical abilities monitored by a group with many years of experience in identifying NFL talent. We hope that this will be the beginning of creating pathways for the best young British players to earn places in the US high school and college system and one day earn a shot at the NFL. As fans in the UK get ready for our game at Wembley, it would be fantastic to think that one day they will be watching a local player running out onto the field.”