A two-times Super Bowl winner is one of a trio of National Football League (NFL) stars running Scotland’s first ever American Football national training camp.
Former Denver Broncos Guard and Super Bowl star Dave Diaz-Infante joins ex-Philadelphia Eagles full-back Cecil Martin and legendary coach Thurmond Moore at the University of Stirling on Monday 12 September to coach more than 100 youth, junior and University players from clubs across the country.
The six-hour camp at Scotland’s University for Sporting Excellence coincides with the start of the NFL season and will feature a leading American Football scout on the lookout for Scots with the potential to turn professional.
Football University (FBU), which runs training camps for elite players in the United States of America (USA), has organised the event – only the third ever held outside the United States of America.
Players attending the camp will brush up on the fundamentals of the sport then undertake a series of speed and agility trials while there is also a clinic for coaches. Martin, who combines coaching with his role as an American Football analyst for Sky Sports, welcomed the chance to see Scotland’s best players.
He said: “We can’t wait to bring Football University to the University of Stirling and to Scotland. The sport is becoming ever more popular in Scotland and myself and stars like Dave [Diaz-Infante] aim to help the young Scottish players achieve their potential.
“We’ve heard there are a number of players showing real promise and so we’ll be watching for anyone that might be able to make the step up to the FBU Europe team or maybe even make it into the professional game.”
Scotland’s only professional team, The Scottish Claymores, called time on their involvement in the now-folded NFL Europe back in 2004. Ex-Claymore Lawrence Tynes, born in Greenock, is the only Scot currently competing in the NFL, plying his trade as a kicker with the New York Giants.
But American Football continues to prove popular in Scotland at amateur level, with unbeaten youth side Inverness Blitz making the national UK finals, while Scottish University and senior league sides consistently compete at the highest level for UK honours too.
Hosts Stirling compete on the Scottish University scene, their side the Clansmen winning the national championship in 2003.
Clansmen AFC Head Coach Rob Orr, a former player with the Edinburgh Eagles, said: “For me, the fact players the calibre of Dave Diaz-Infante and Cecil Martin are willing to come and scout talent in Scotland shows they recognise the good work going on here. There have been a number of regional gatherings before, but never an event which brings everyone from across Scotland together and it is sure to be a great opportunity to learn from the pros.”
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The FBU training camp runs from 4pm-10pm on Monday 12 September and includes a coaches’ clinic, trial session and presentation by the University of Stirling.
NFL coaches and Scottish participants will be available for interview and members of the media should notify the University of their attendance and requirements by Monday 5 September.
Attached image of the Stirling University Clansmen AFC should be credited to Renzo Mazzolini.
Dave Diaz-Infante An offensive lineman from San Jose State, Diaz-Infante debuted with the San Diego Chargers in 1987 before spending nine years away from the NFL, competing in Canada and World Leagues. In 1996, he became the oldest player in NFL history to make his first start, representing the Denver Broncos at the age of 32. He went on to win the Superbowl two-years running with the Broncos, in 1998 and 1999. The 47-year-old now lives in Phoenix and is a Football Analyst with ESPN.
Cecil Martin Running Back Cecil Martin started out at Wisconsin, where he captained the Badgers to the 1999 Rosebowl. He then entered the NFL that year with the Philadelphia Eagles. During his four year stint, he became a fans’ favourite, renowned for his toughness and turn of pace. Martin also turned out for the Oakland Raiders and the Tampa Bay Bucaneers before injury forced him to retire in 2003. Martin now works for the National Collegiate Scouting Association and is part of Sky Sports NFL presenting team.
Thurmond Moore A highly experienced defensive line coach, Thurmond Moore has worked at NFL, college programmes and in the NFL Europe with the Amsterdam Admirals. Stints in the NFL include working for the Arizona Cardinals, the St Louis Rams and the San Francisco 49ers. He coached Indianapolis Colt Dwight Freeney, considered the pass rusher of his generation and now trains a number of future NFL stars, working in Arizona with elite collegiates.