CFL Division Finalists’ rosters filled with 30 national and provincial alumni, 2 personnel
Teams vying for a spot in Grey Cup this weekend in Ottawa and Calgary
When four CFL teams take to the field on Sunday to battle for one of two spots in the 106th Grey Cup, there will be some glimpses of Football Canada past on the field.
At least 30 players from the four remaining teams left standing have represented Canada on the international stage or provincially at the national championship – Football Canada Cup, These players represent Additionally, a coach and a general manager were personnel on previous Junior National Teams.
The Junior National Team competes in IFAF sanctioned events such as the World Junior Championships, International Bowl and North American Championship and the program itself is run by Football Canada. Meanwhile, the Provincial Programs provides opportunities for athletes to develop locally and are governed by Football Canada. The Provincial Sport Organizations run these programs and it prepares athletes to compete in the Football Canada’s national under-18 championship, the Football Canada Cup.
Of the 30, 20 players participated at previous Football Canada Cup tournaments, representing six provinces.
Highlighting this group are two players that represented Canada at the 2011 IFAF World Senior Men’s Championships in Austria – Hamilton Tiger-Cats kicker Lirim Hajrullahu and Winnipeg Blue Bombers defensive tackle Jake Thomas. At the event, Hajrullahu and Thomas helped Canada claim silver after losing to the United States 50-7 in front of 20,000 fans at Ernst Happel Stadium in Vienna, Austria.
Four athletes helped Canada win their first gold medal at the 2012 IFAF World Junior Championships in Austin, Texas with a 23-17 victory over the United States. Helping Canada bring home the gold were Tiger-Cats running back Mercer Timmis, Blue Bombers linebacker John Rush and Calgary Stampeders long snapper Pierre-Luc Caron.
Head Coach of the 2012 Junior National Team that was golden in Texas Noel Thorpe, who is currently defensive coordinator of the Ottawa Redblacks.
Another four players claimed silver for Canada at the 2014 IFAF World Junior Championships in Kuwait under head coach Warren Craney after losing to rivals the United States 40-17. Those athletes were Tiger-Cats defensive back Nick Parisotto, Redblacks offensive lineman Andrew Pickett, Stampeders defensive back Royce Metchie as well as offensive linemen Ryan Sceviour and Justin Lawrence.
Four CFL players contributed to Canada’s silver medal effort at the 2009 IFAF World Cup in Canton, Ohio as the team was defeated by the United States 40-3 under head coach Glen Constantin. That group includes Hajrullahu, Thomas, Blue Bombers linebacker Jesse Briggs and Stampeders wide receiver Adam Thibault. One of the coaches on the 2009 staff was Kyle Walters who is currently the General Manager of the Blue Bombers.
Five athletes were on the IFAF World Team that defeated Team United States 35-29 at the 2012 International Bowl in Austin, Texas – Redblacks linebacker Chris Ackie, Redblacks defensive lineman Daryl Waud, Rush as well as Blue Bombers offensive linemen Matthias Goossen and Sukh Chungh. Additionally, Goossen also played for IFAF World Team.
About Football Canada
Established in 1884, Football Canada is the national governing body of amateur football in Canada and a proud member of the International Federation of American Football (IFAF). Working closely with the provincial football associations, we develop programs and resources for players, coaches, officials in the three disciplines of Tackle, Flag and Touch Football. Football Canada’s vision statement is “from playground to stadium” where players can participate in the game of football throughout a lifetime recreationally, competitively and internationally. Athletes represent Canada internationally at IFAF governed tournaments such as the World Junior Championships and World Women’s Championships and Senior Men’s World Championships and compete against other nations such as the United States, Mexico, Japan, Australia and Sweden. Football Canada provides a national stage for our athletes to compete and develop in tournaments primarily the Football Canada Cup, which is the Under-18 National Championship. Over 320 athletes from coast-to-coast benefit each year from competing at the tournament. Since the inception of the tournament, over 7,500 athletes who have competed in the national championship have enjoyed further success in their careers in the NFL, CFL and USports.
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