Three Lions make impact with NFL Europe League

THE NFL Europe League has assigned eight British national players to teams ready for the official opening of training camp in Tampa Bay, Florida. Included in the eight British players assigned to NFLE teams are DANIEL WATTS, ONOH OZONGWU and SHAUN SMITH, three of GB Lions stars from last years qualifying tournament in Amiens France.  The Lions defeated France in the final and qualified for this years European Championships to be held in Sweden in July.

LB Shaun Smith and DL Danny Watts both received European All-star honours on the defensive line in Amiens in August, vital parts of an aggressive, destructive defensive front that set the tempo in all three victories. Safety Onoh Ozongwu has also been selected, and the hard hitting Olympian is now fully recovered from a broken shoulder sustained in the first game against Russia last year.

Lions Head Coach Riq Ayub was full of praise for all three:

‘The National Programme in conjunction with their club coaches are very proud to have been able to offer a stage upon which players of quality can achieve NFLE recognition. They are a great example of the benefits gained from playing against the best domestic and European athletes at GB camps and tournaments. I am also personally happy to see that UK players continue to be a force in Europe.

Defensive Coordinator Tony Mulhall added:

‘The tournament was a perfect opportunity for the guys to shine with NFLE’s Tony Allen and Jeff Reinebold in attendance. They were there to scout some of the best players in Europe, and they found them in Danny, Shaun and Onoh. They will be difficult to replace, but there are other players in the squad who could also achieve NFLEL honours in due course.’

In addition to the three lions players who have been assigned there are five other Brits including SCOTT McCREADY who last season became the first national player to lead the NFLEL in a major individual category when he caught 59 passes for the Scottish Claymores. Former England rugby union Under-20 international NEIL BAXTER who will be continuing his conversion to Running Back.

Following on from the success of the last GB Lions Camp held in February with 92 invited players attending the process of selection for the final roster has begun. 65 Players will be invited back for Aprils Camp which is confirmed for 24/25th April at Crystal Palace NSC.

Unlike the England soccer team the GB Lions have only had 15 years of hurt having won the European Championship last in 1991.  However, like Euro 96 they will be meeting Germany (who have 16 players selected for NFLE) in the Semi Final and the Lions will need all the experience and qualities of their NFLE national players if available to overcome the tournament Malmo on the 28th July 2005.  Hopefully then the GB Lions will be roaring and not just singing “its coming home”!!!!!!!



DE Daniel Watts (GB); RB Neil Baxter (GB).


CB Jeff Brown (GB); WR Marvin Allen (GB).


LB Aden Durde (GB); WR Scott McCready (GB).


S Onoh Ozongwu (GB); LB Shaun Smith (GB).


 24/25th April 2005 Crystal palace NSC.