History of London Silverbacks

The London Silverbacks are entering their 5th season as part of the NAFL (the North American Football League), a men’s semi-pro tackle, American Rules football league with over 120 teams in North America.

The team is comprised of approximately 60 players, and 15 cheerleaders. One of only 2 Canadian teams in the league, the Silverbacks are focused on featuring and promoting Canadian talent. The team has entered the NAFL to ensure their players have the greatest competition each week to reach their full potential.

The organization has been bolstered by a myriad of experienced players including a good number of former professionals as well as those with extensive university backgrounds, generously contributing their time and knowledge whenever possible in both official and unofficial capacities. Many team members have moved up to various pro leagues including, most recently, the CFL. The roster has varied talent and age groups, from those fresh out of college and university to former pros and those who still love the game but have not been able to play for a number of years.

Since their inception , the Silverbacks have achieved the following:

First Canadian team to win a Regional Championship (2006)
First Canadian team to win a Conference Championship (2006)
Produced 20 NAFL League All-Stars
At least 1 player each season has advanced to football on a professional level
Alan Lazar was the 1st Canadian All-Star Coach at Disney’s Wide World of Sports (2004)
Approximately 80% of the players on the Silverbacks’ roster are from the London area.
Coaches,management and helpers are all volunteers.

Every member is dedicated to ensuring not only a competitive team, but also an exciting and fun experience in the stands and successful fundraising events.

The Silverbacks are growing exponentially and have expanded player, volunteer and fan base two fold each year since the team’s inception in March 2004 and aim to achieve similar growth for 2007. In the next two years the organization will work toward bringing London Football programs together to aid in promotion, generate income and create buying discounts while also expanding vertically into owning our own facility, field, as well as other exciting initiatives.

Partnerships with key organizations, such as our recent affiliation with the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League (CFL), as well as becoming an increased part of the London community through appearances and other programs will help build stability and the reputation to achieve and exceed all of our goals.

The North American Football League (NAFL), founded in 1999 with 18 teams, has quickly become the world’s largest football league with more than 120 teams (two of which are located in Canada with the London Silverbacks being the oldest) and over 6000 players and coaches.

The NAFL is believed to be the first truly national minor league in history. This national structure and the premise of crowning a true national champion through scheduled competition and a set playoff format (something that still has eluded the mighty U.S college ranks) is the major contributing factor for its success. This annual championship, which also features the all-star game and a scouting combine, is showcased each year over one weekend. In 2007 it will be held in Las Vegas, Nevada.

All of this is the reason why a great number of our athletes develop the ability to go to the next level and new teams continue to vie for the opportunity to get on board.

Source: London Silverbacks

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