Smith included in U19 squad to face Dutch

This past weekend, U19 Offensive Lineman, Tom Smith, was called into the Great Britain Lions U19 touring team to Holland. The game was played to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the set up on the Dutch outfit and we caught up with Tom before he went.

First off Tom, congratulations on making the U19 team. Everyone at the Nighthawks is right behind you.

What made you start playing American Football?

I’d watched it on TV and really liked it, and knew I wanted to play. I looked up teams nearby and found the Nighthawks, however I was only 15 at the time so had to wait untill I turned 16 to start playing. Fortunately, that won;t be the case in future, with the new set-up of the U16s team.

What made you apply for GB?

I thought it’d be a great experience to have a days coaching from the best coaches in the country. I wasn’t expecting to be selected and just went along for the experience and played to the best of my ability.

How did you find the selection process?

Nerve racking is probably the best way to describe it. The first trial was cancelled and I had to wait a while to take part in the trials. Add onto that then having to wait again for the results, and you can appreciate my nervousness. The selection for the traveling squad was equally nerve racking

What was the main difference with the practice sessions with GB to normal Nighthawks sessions?

The sessions are long, as they run all day (9am-5pm) and there is definitely more people at a GB practice. At the Nighthawks, we probably have anywhere between 20 and 35 at any session, and GB will have up to 90 at each practice.

How do you feel heading into the weekend with GB?

Excited, but nervous. It will be nice to see how other countries compare to the UK in regards to American football. I’m also very proud to be able to represent the country and the Merseyside Nighthawks on an international platform

What would you say to anyone interested in playing?

Go for it. It’s an amazing sport to participate in. The teammates I have met have been amazing on and off the field. It really becomes a wonderful part of your life. My success and enjoyment has even inspired my younger brother to want to play and he is coming for the rookie event coming up in a few weeks.


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