NFL: The Britons are coming! Londoner signs as first non-American coach

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What's your American Football position? Aden Durde explains who will fit which one

Players from the UK making it into the NFL is a well-worn path, but with the appointment of Aden Durde, for the first time a Briton will be coaching elite athletes in America's game.

Durde has joined the Atlanta Falcons after serving as the head of football development at NFL UK.

"It feels great to be the first NFL coach from outside the US," says the 37-year-old from north London.

"I'm more excited about getting into the role and becoming a coach in the NFL, that's the next step I have to take. I am super excited about that."

Working alongside two-time Super Bowl champion Osi Umenyiora, Durde helped four international players - tight end Alex Gray (Atlanta), defensive end Alex Jenkins (New Orleans), defensive end Efe Obada (Carolina), and linebacker Eric Nzeocha (Tampa Bay) - transition to practice squads in 2017.

His appointment is the culmination of a lot of hard work and hustle.

Prior to his work with NFL UK, Durde had had a taste of coaching with the best American Football has to offer while with the Falcons NFL Diversity Coaching Fellowship.

He also worked as a coaching intern with Dallas Cowboys.

A man coaches a quarterback
British American Football stress that it is not crucial for prospective coaches to have extensive tactical knowledge of the sport

His hands-on coaching experience includes being the defensive co-ordinator of the London Warriors for six seasons as a volunteer.

"It's not about giving back, it was supporting something I came from," he adds.

Durde played as a linebacker during his career, graduating from the London Capitals in Finsbury Park to playing in NFL Europe for six years with the Scottish Claymores and Hamburg Sea Devils, while also spending time on the practice squads of the Carolina Panthers and Kansas City Chiefs.