The sport of American football continues to grow in the United Kingdom as evidenced by increased television viewing figures, rising participation numbers, three sold out International Series games at Wembley Stadium and the promise of more regular season contests to come in the future.
That growth has now extended to the coaching ranks as London Warriors defensive coordinator Aden Durde is heading to America to serve as an intern coach for the Dallas Cowboys during the NFC East club’s summer training camp.
The former linebacker played professionally for six seasons in NFL Europe for the Scottish Claymores and Hamburg Sea Devils and boasts three years of NFL experience, serving on the practice squads of the Carolina Panthers (2007) and Kansas City Chiefs (2008-2009).
Durde – who played one year of football at North Iowa Area Community College – has spent the past six years coaching the Warriors and has produced the top-ranked defense in British American football in each season as the club’s defensive coordinator. The Warriors are the reigning British national champions.
The 34-year-old said: “I’m very excited because this is a crazy opportunity for me. It will be a great experience to be around an NFL team and to learn from a coaching perspective. The Dallas Cowboys are an amazing organisation and to be part of their preparations for the new season and to learn from their coaches and players will be incredible.”
The Cowboys open their training camp in Oxnard, California, on Thursday July 24. Dallas kick off their 2014 campaign at home to the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday September 7.
Dallas will play a regular season game in London in Week 10 when they take on the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday November 9. Durde is expected to be back on the practice field with the Cowboys in London ahead of their Wembley Stadium clash with the Jaguars.