NFL: Scotland's Jamie Gillan backs UK franchise

Gillan is a punter for the Cleveland Browns in the American Football Conference
Gillan is a punter for the Cleveland Browns in the American Football Conference

Scottish American football punter Jamie Gillan has backed the introduction of an NFL franchise based in the UK.

Gillan is currently in his debut season with the Cleveland Browns after being signed as a free agent in September.

Four NFL matches have been played in London this year amid continued speculation of a team being launched in the city.

"I think it would open a lot more doors for guys in the UK, to play football and see what it's like," Gillan said.

"I think they could make a lot of money through that, also I think you'd have a good fan base and it would be a fun game for any away team coming to the UK to play against whichever team it would be here."

Having made 50 punts for the Browns, who have a 5-7 win loss record this season, Gillan is being touted as a contender for this year's Pro Bowl, with voting opened last week.

The Scot made the switch from rugby after playing for Highland Rugby Club in his hometown of Inverness and at Merchiston Castle School in Edinburgh.

He left for the US in 2014 and received a college scholarship at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, where he played for four years before entering the 2019 NFL draft.

Although Gillan went undrafted, he signed a free-agent contract with the Browns in April.

"It's pretty cool being the only pure Scottish guy in the NFL right now, it's pretty fun," he said.

"I haven't been home in about four years now. I miss being able to walk everywhere and not having to rely on a car to get everywhere, a good bus system, good pubs, good pub food, I miss watching rugby. There's alot of stuff I miss about it, but I'm enjoying my time in America right now."

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