Finland’s Porvoon Butchers Boost Defense With Grambling State Linebacker

Finland club signs Troy Roach who will depart a few days after graduation to join the team in May for pre-season camp.

Roach, a 5’11” 221 lbs linebacker, hails from Grambling State University and played his last season for the Tigers in 2015. He will be joining the Porvoo Butchers of Finland’s Maple League, the top division in Finland. The Butchers are looking for Roach to help the club improve on the 2-8 peformance in 2015. The new signee says he will make sure he is prepared for this summer by learning the playbook he recently received from the coaches over in Finland and he’ll continue prepping himself physically.

Roach says he’s kept himself in relatively good shape since the SWAC Championship game in 2015, however, he will most likely start training with a regimen in January either in Shreveport, Louisana. In 2015, Roach had 50 total tackles, 8.5 tackles for loss, and seven sacks.

The linebacker also explained that the plays aren’t that different from GSU’s, therefore, adjusting shouldn’t be terribly challenging.

“The Butchers’ coaches told me after watching my film tape that they feel I can be an immediate difference maker on the team and in the league,” Roach said. “That’s exactly what’s on my mind heading over there, doing all I can do to leave Europe with a ring”

American Football International had a chance to chat with Roach about his signing.

American Football International: How did you come to sign with the Butchers?

Troy Roach: It was a matter of Coach Vilko, the defensive coordinator for the Butchers, seeing my film on the internet, liking what he saw and extending an offer to me in a matter of days once the organization approved.

AFI: Did you know about American football in Finland or Europe before now?

TR: I do follow football very closely and I was aware of international American football specifically in Finland. I know that the Maple League is one of the higher tier leagues in Europe so I’m especially excited.

AFI: What are you looking forward to most about playing in Finland?

TR: I’m looking forward to adapting to a new country and a new style of living. Adapting to change is something that I know is important in life, so getting to do that and call myself a pro athlete is a blessing.

AFI: What do you think you can bring to the Butchers, as leader and as a football player in 2017?

TR: I’m looking forward to coming over and making an immediate impact. The Butchers run a similar defense schematically as my University so I should be able to hop in and get to playing fast and making plays quickly.

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John McKeon is a former professional and collegiate American Football player and coach now living and working in New York. His goal is to spread news, information, and opinion on the global growth of the sport he loves.