Christian Wade hails ‘crazy’ Tottenham Hotspur Stadium as he eyes historic NFL debut – The Sun
CHRISTIAN WADE insists walking out onto the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium as an NFL player would top anything he achieved in rugby.
The former Wasps flier, 28, was released from his contract in October so he could pursue a career Stateside, where he will try an earn a spot in the Buffalo Bills squad.
Spurs threw open the doors of their £1bn new home – the first in the UK with custom NFL facilities – to host trials for a groundbreaking academy in North London.
And after giving some of the hopeful schoolkids a pep talk, Wade set his sights on joining them on the turf one day.
Asked about the arena, he told SunSport: "It’s sick. I came here for the Manchester City game in the Champions League and I was blown away.
"I didn’t even know it could transform into this. When I first came and when they showed me the videos I said ‘ this is crazy’ and now I’m here today to see it in the flesh, it looks awesome.
"Playing here would definitely top everything I’ve done in my career I’ve had some pretty big moments – playing in a Premiership final, representing the British and Irish Lions – but this would definitely be right at the top of the list."
NEW PATH TO GLORY
Wade faces astronomical odds in reaching the NFL via the International Player Pathway Program, which awards teams an extra spot in their practice squads to welcome potential stars from abroad.
Carolina Panthers star Efe Obada – who grew up in London – became the first graduate to skip the traditional college route and make a start in the league in 2018.
But there are moves being made to bridge the gap, with youngsters from all over the country – and even Europe – aiming to earn a spot in the NFL academy in Barnet.
The newly-formed program will provide specialised coaching in the sport for its students designed to imitate the American High School system.
I'd give myself a B so far but the real work starts when we get padded up. That's the man test.
Next up for Wade is an intense pre-season schedule, where he will wear pads for the first time, and the former England speedster firmly believes he has the skills to make the Bills.
Wade added: "It’s tough, being able to learn plays and learn lots of information to being physically ready to go when your name’s called to go – you can be on the sidelines for a while.
"The Bills have been incredible everyone’s been welcoming. The coaches and other running backs are always there to ask questions of, we're all working to be the best we can be as a team.
"I’d give myself a B so far, I’ve picked up the playbook pretty well and I haven’t really dropped too many balls. I've fumbled a few, which I guess you want to get them out of the way early doors because if you fumble you aren’t going to make a team.
"I feel like I’ve been able to mix it with the guys and show a glimpse of what I can do – but the real work starts when we get padded up. That’s the man test – to see who is really man enough to play this game.
"I don’t have anything to prove to anyone except for myself. I've always been someone who wants to be the best they can be and I feel like going into the NFL, that’s something that’s going to force it out of me.
"In order to play with those guys you have to compete every day and strain to be the best version of yourself."
Please visit www.nflacademy.com for more information.
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