Salford Scorpions coach Dave Myring believes the recent NFL Academy Coaching Clinic will help to grow American football in the UK.
Myring, coach and founder of the Scorpions, Salford’s first American flag football team, was invited to the newly built Tottenham Hotspur Stadium last month for the NFL Academy’s inaugural Coaching Clinic.
Having taken place in between two of the league’s International Series games at the new state-of-the-art complex in North London, the evening brought American football coaches from across the country together to learn from some of the game’s elite mentoring brains.
“It was a top evening. Being quite an inexperienced coach, it was good to get some pearls of wisdom from some guys who really know what they’re talking about”, he said.
“It was also really encouraging as well, as a coach, to know that you’re on the right lines and you’re getting your guys doing the right things – it was a really good learning experience for me.
“Those sorts of events have to help the game in this country, the more the NFL brings across [from the United States], the better in my opinion. It was a top event and I hope they do more.”
On-field demonstrations on the night were headed by ex-professional NFL talent including former Pro Bowl stars LeCharles Bentley and Bobby Taylor, alongside talks from the league’s official equipment manufacturer, Riddell.
— Dave Myring (@davemyring) October 9, 2019
Despite coaching a flag football team, which includes a non-physical take on the traditional American football rules, Myring took plenty away from the full contact drills during the evening, that he has since been able to implement on his side, back here in Salford.
“The big thing they talked about was the NFL’s new ‘Way to Play’ scheme which ensures that players are playing safely. One of the big things within that was about coaches setting the right culture.
“It’s really important for any team and that’s one of the things we’re trying to do with the Scorpions. We’re a team that enjoys our football, takes it seriously but has a good time whilst we’re doing it. That was a big thing I took from it.”
Myring founded the Salford Scorpions just over a year ago due to his growing passion for watching the sport. He’s been amazed with how things have gone in the last 14 months since getting the team up and running.
“It’s absolutely blown me away. We started last September, and my plan was to just get some guys together to play some ‘ball, that was it.
“The first week I invited two people, we had 11 come down and we’ve just built from there. We’ve got to the stage now where we’ve got through the BAFA (British American Football Association) affiliation process so we’ll be part of the national leagues next year.
“We’ve got a squad of 20 guys who come week in week out, [they] absolutely love it and were all beginners to start out with but are now growing into good, competitive flag football players. It’s fantastic to see.”
In recent years, the successes of Salford City FC and most recently, the Salford Red Devils, have dominated the local sporting headlines. Myring is hoping the Scorpions can be the next team for the Salford sporting community to get behind in the years to come.
“Hopefully when we get into competitive matches, we can get some people to come down and enjoy some free football. It’s good, it’s competitive, it’s the closest you’re going to get to American football without wearing plans and helmets – the standard is high.”
“But at the moment, we’re new, we’re enjoying ourselves and we’ll see how far we can go after our first season. We’ve got a long way to go but we’ve got boys who are committed and ready to put the work in.”
Keep up to date with the Salford Scorpions’ progress by following them on Twitter; @SalfordScorpio1.