Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane joins NFL Academy as ambassador
By Max Mathews
Last Updated: 07/07/19 12:32pm
England captain and Tottenham striker Harry Kane has joined the new NFL Academy as an official ambassador.
The academy, which begins operating in September 2019 at Barnet and Southgate College, offers student-athletes aged 16-18 the chance to combine education with life skills and intensive training in the sport under full-time professional coaches.
Kane, who came into football via the Tottenham academy, announced his new role on Twitter on American Independence Day and will work alongside NFL stars like Kansas City Chiefs quarterback and NFL MVP Patrick Mahomes and Cleveland Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr.
He said: "I'm so proud to be an ambassador for the NFL academy and can't wait to see the academy in action.
"I'm a huge fan of the NFL and have been following it for a while.
"I'm so excited about the club bringing the NFL to Tottenham and the benefits the partnership has for our local community."
Recruitment for the first class of around 80 students has been underway over the past month, with final tryouts staged on Tuesday, July 2 at the new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, the first event on the stadium's bespoke NFL field.
Behind the NFL Academy's stadium showcase
In the first ever NFL event at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, 150 teenagers took part in the final trials for the NFL Academy.
NFL UK managing director Alistair Kirkwood said: "We are thrilled to have Harry on board as an ambassador.
"The involvement of high-profile UK figures alongside our NFL stars is an important element of the academy.
"Harry's achievements can serve as an inspiration to our students and his strong connection to the local area, along with his well-known love of the NFL, makes him a meaningful and credible participant in the academy."
Some of the NFL's biggest names have pledged their support for the academy and will also serve ambassadorial roles, involving regular visits to help mentor the student-athletes.
These include Philadelphia Eagles' British-born running back Jay Ajayi, Carolina Panthers' London-raised defensive end Efe Obada and London-born two-time Super Bowl winner Osi Umenyiora.
They will be joined by Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster - who attended the final tryouts - NFL Hall of Fame wide receiver Jerry Rice.
The NFL plays its first two games at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Saturday October 6 and 13, when the Oakland Raiders host the Chicago Bears before the Tampa Bay Buccaneers take on the Carolina Panthers.