In comparison to other sports played in the UK, American Football isn’t the most popular, however it has amassed about 14.3 million fans in England, meaning nearly 1 in 5 Brits are intrigued. One of those people being a student at Peter Symonds College in Hampshire, who will soon be moving schools in his attempt to turn his love of the sport into a career. I had an opportunity to interview Barney before he moves to board at his new college.


“How were you introduced to American football?”

“I was looking for a contact sport to play due to growing up in a rugby-heavy family and having an ex-professional uncle. Unfortunately, our secondary school didn’t have much of a rugby team, but I had a conversation with a friend, and he brought up that he did American Football. I thought it sounded cool and that it was something I wanted to have a go at because it sounded pretty niche but interesting. I went along to a couple of sessions at Solent Seahawks in Southampton.”


“So, what would you say you enjoy most?”

“Well, I just find it fun really. Also, I think it helps that I’m tall.” (for the record he’s 6’6”) “I liked that it was less mainstream and though it seems technical, once you understand it, the positions and specific roles are quite simple. It’s great to be part of a team even though when I joined, I only knew one person. When you get to know the guys on the team it becomes more fun and there’s more team spirit and banter."


“How did this new opportunity come up and what exactly is it?”

“Well, I’m going to the NFL academy because I was offered a place. It was open application for anyone of any sport so I thought it would be interesting to apply, along with about 1,500 other applicants. They asked us to share our Instagram with them so they could review it. There were 80 people at my trial in Loughborough for American football. Although there were rugby players there too that had never tried it but were just picked out to do it. I’ve Been given an offer to the college and am trying to move schools as quickly as possible to maximise the opportunity."


“How do you feel about the new experience?”

“It’s pretty crazy and a lot to take in. It’s a valuable opportunity, I think, a once in a lifetime opportunity. I should really take it. I know it’s going to be tough, but I think once I get into the mindset it should be really productive.”


“Where are you moving an what will it be like?”

“I’m having to move to Loughborough College but I’m certain it will be a great learning environment mixed with a rigorous but enjoyable football schedule.”