Nighthawks RB Laurent Tshimanga stars at CFL Combine

The Canadian Football League, in partnership with the British American Football Association, held its first ever UK Combine on Saturday 25 January 2020, scouting for athletes that can represent a global pool of players at the Canadian combine in March.

Laurent Tshimanga, #20, during the classroom session at Filton Pride last Saturday

The event, held at Filton Pride’s Academy of Football, where WR Dominic Woo plied his trade, saw a number of players specifically selected to try and attract the watching eyes of the scouts of the CFL. This combine will also act as a springboard to potentially being selected in the CFL, as all participants are now eligible to be selected in the upcoming draft.

Our man, Laurent Tshimanga, was there, and hit some incredible measurables, including a 4.80 40 yard sprint and a 37″ vertical jump. Whilst not being immediately selected on the day, ‘LT’ remains hopeful of a potential move to Canada telling us :-

‘I’ve faced a few job interviews in my lifetime, but none like the CFL combine in Bristol. It was truly one of the most remarkable experiences of my sporting career, and I got to go through it with some of the best guys originating from the UK.

Funnily enough, most of my time was spent trying to figure out where the cameras were situated for the headshots required before every drill, and with so many cameras surrounding us, I would find myself smiling in the wrong direction, that cracked everyone up.

I always demand more from myself, so in terms of my performance, I wanted to have done better. I initially was told I ran a 4.5 upon completion, but on the website, they posted me up as having run a 4.8, I almost died in shock. But in actuality, the 4.5 was hand-timed whilst the 4.8 was the laser time.

Overall, I was over the moon to see my good friend David Inziyon get the call up to Canada, the mutual respect between us two goes beyond the game of football, and I can’t wait to see him ball out in Canada.

I would like to thank Michael Callan for the opportunity and for considering me, and also the Merseyside Nighthawks. The first carry I ever got playing football was with the Hawk’s, and to think back at the level of support received from the organisation since has meant everything to me.’

You can see all of the results from the Combine here :-

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