Braunschweig New Yorker Lions bolster secondary with Darrain Winston

The Braunschweig New Yorker Lions have signed ball-hawk Darrain Winston after the departure of import safety Dashawn Benton.

Winston has arrived in Braunschweig after finishing the 2021 Polish Football League season with the Warsaw Eagles. Although the team finished without a win, Winston remained one of the most explosive players in the league on both sides of the ball.

The 6’0, 205 pound safety began his college career at Northeastern State UniversityOklahoma (NCAA DII) before transferring to Baker (NAIA) where he led the team, conference and nation (NAIA) in interceptions; earning himself first-team All-Conference safety honors.

After being invited to the New Orleans Saints regional combine, Winston made it onto the AFL’s Duke City Gladiators roster towards the back end of the season where he totaled 23 tackles and 3 interceptions. Winston also had a short stint in minicamp with CFL’s Saskatchewan Roughriders.

In 2019, Winston signed with the Rostock Griffins (GFL2) where he led the team in both interceptions and passes defended. The following year he signed with the Wroclaw Panthers before COVID delayed and inevitably ended the safety’s season.

He is joining a Lions squad that has been ravaged by ELF transfers as only eight of the 2019 starters have returned; a season in which they went unbeaten. The Lions are currently sitting at 2 – 3 and will welcome Winston after their starting running back, Exavier Edwards, was forced to play safety in their last game.

Winston will not see his first piece of action until the end of July due to a two week bye. The team will surely welcome this however, as a regroup may be just what they need after such a rocky start.

Winston on his signing:

“I feel great and accomplished. I’m a small school player who wants to show anybody and everybody, if you turn on the film, you will see I’m the top in my position. I told my dad and Coach Francis, four years ago. I will join and play for the New Yorker Lions one day and I did. I’m a Dreamchaser and this is a dream come true. 

“This is a big time difference. When I’m in the GFL1, the imports and the Germans take pride in being the best they can be in this sport and winning the day and the game. I’m blessed to have played for the Wroclaw Panthers and the Warsaw Eagles, because it humbled me and made me hungry to be successful. Now I’m on the top team, I am now the hunted, not the hunter. So I will have to separate myself from the pack.”

Daniel Mackenzie is a Press Association graduate who works in journalism and communications in the third sector. Daniel began playing football for the London Warriors and Team Great Britain and has since played across Europe.