David Izinyon: CFL prospect waiting for his chance

British linebacker David Izinyon is a patient man.

As one of only two players selected from the British CFL Global Combine in early 2020 to attend the CFL Combine and Draft, he knows the huge opportunity that still awaits him once things get back to some semblance of normal. So he continues to play football wherever he can.

The 6’1″, 245 pound Izinyon just finished a season with the Tychy Falcons in Poland. In a shortened season, Izinyon was one of the top players in Poland making a name for himself as a hard hitter with a knack for stripping the ball loose. He is thankful for his time in Poland and his chance to put be able to put on the pads in 2020.

“The season with the Tychy Falcons was a blessing, not many people were able to play football this year and I was happy with the opportunity of being able to just run around and smack people. The team took me in as part of the family from the jump and made me feel at home.”

Izinyon first started playing football at the University of Surrey in England, after years of being a rugby player. He soon realized that the gridiron was his calling. He was then recruited by the London Warriors who play in Britain’s Premier league. After two seasons with the Warriors, Izinyon headed to Finland’s Maple League joining a talented Hameenlinna Huskies team. After his lone season in Finland, he took his talents to Germany. While playing for the Rostock Griffins (GFL2) David recorded 272 tackles over two seasons, making him one of the most productive defenders in Germany.

His impressive statistics and athleticism caught the eyes of international scouts. Back in January the former Surrey Stinger was part of the British CFL Combine. His performance impressed, as he was selected to take part in Toronto’s CFL Combine in March. Greg Dick, the Canadian Football League’s CFO and director of football operations said this of the British prospect.

“David performed extremely well in conditions that were not the best. We saw some great athletes and David was at the top. He projects very well and could do really well in both special teams and on the defensive line.”

Unfortunately, both the CFL Combine and season were cancelled because of the COVID 19 pandemic, denying Izinyon and other European prospects the chance to showcase their skills. Rather than sitting around and binging on Netflix in quarantine, Izinyon was working. After the cancellation of the CFL season, Izinyon took his skills east to the Tychy Falcons of Poland.

“After the news that the CFL season was cancelled, I kept on training and prayed to God to direct my footsteps and lucky enough the Tychy Falcons hit me up a couple of days after the news.”

Izinyon used the Polish season to refine his skills and work toward his goals. Don’t expect the uncertain times to scare off the determined linebacker. His future football goals remain unchanged, as he hopes to follow the footsteps of other Europeans who played in the CFL such as Germany’s Thiadric Hansen who ended up in the defensive line rotation with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, and Valentin Gnahoua from France who played for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.

“My focus is being the best football player I can be in any situation I’m in, I want to be able to go into the CFL and make an impact in the team that drafts me on and off the field and hopefully being able to win a couple of Grey Cups.”

Feature image: Marcin Fijałkowski 

Alex is a former NCAA and semi-pro American football player who is now located in London, where he works in digital marketing. His goal in writing for AFI is to stay involved with the game that has given him so much. Alex enjoys covering leagues and