Troy Tomlin, head coach of German Football League champions the Braunschweig New Yorker Lions, has tapped into British American football to bolster his ground game, signing bruising running back Marcus Francis.
The 28-year-old, 6’1″. 243 pound Francis from Derby, England spent the past two seasons, 2018 and 2019, helping the Leicester Falcons advance to the Premier League in 2019 where they posted a 2-8 record in their very first year. With Francis in the backfield, the Falcons had “run the table” in 2018 winning the NFC 1 South title with a perfect 10-0 record. Francis started his career with the University of Derby in 2010 and his talent was immediately apparent as he was picked for Great Britain’s U19 squad. After a stop with the Tamworth Phoenix he played for the Wernigerode Mountain Tigers in Germany for the 2014 and 2015 seasons. He then spent two years in Denmark with the Amager Demons (2016) and Horsens Stallions (2017) before returning to the United Kingdom.
The Braunschweig New Yorker Lions, Europe’s #1 team, won the GFL title after completing a perfect 17-0 season, beating the Scwabisch Hall Unicorns 10-7 in the championship game.
For Francis, the invitation came as somewhat of a surprise:
“It came as a huge surprise when the Lions contacted me. I was gearing up for my third season at Leicester. I spoke to Guy Kersey, the president of the Leicester Falcons and also a very close friend, and we both agreed that this was a massive opportunity that I could not turn down. I’m excited to get out to Braunschweig and put in the work with all of the incredible coaches and players already out there, that make this organization as dominant as they are!”