Holland’s Top Running Back Signed By The Braunschweig New Yorker Lions

Chris Smith, arguably the finest running back in Holland, threw a wrench into the plans of the defending Dutch champion Alphen Eagles just before the season opened in Holland by signing to play for German champion and powerhouse the Braunschweig New Yorker Lions.

Chris Smith, Alphen Eagles

(Photo: Maarten van Bergen).

Smith signed with the Lions, following the lead of Eagles and Dutch national team partner Tom van Duijn, who also will be playing for the German club:

“I am focusing on the challenges I face and trying to overcome them step by step. If this leads to bigger things in Germany, it is God’s will and I will be happy about this.”

The reason Smith decided to make the move to another country is because he feels ready for a new challenge.

“After four wonderful seasons with the Eagles, I thought it was time to broaden my horizons. Pascal Matla brought me to the Eagles, and I played under coaches Crayton and Zeefuik. I’ve been through three national championships. “

After an open tryout, van Duijn talked him into giving Germany a try.

“We were put together in a select group and given an opportunity to show what we had. Everything happened quite naturally. “

Smith does not expect the Alphen dynasty to collapse with his departure. Although he has been a powerful weapon for them, in his mind the Eagles do not depend on him or any one player. This was borne out in Tulip Bowl 2013.

“Alphen does not depend on me or other key players. They have proven this time and time again over the years, as exemplified by the Tulip Bowl 2013. I had broken my hand prior to the game and Jermaine Charles took my spot and helped the team win the championship.”

Smith hopes to be the featured back for the Lions, but he also realizes that this will not be easy.

“Expectations can lead to disappointments, but despite that I do hope to be their number one running back. I am aware of the fact that this is going to a lot of work, so I will also have to prepare myself.  I am a hard worker and I like to be in that position.”

Written by Perry Hendriks for Gridiron Magazine in Holland

Roger Kelly
Roger Kelly is an editor and a writer for AFI. A former PR Director the B.C. Lions of the Canadian Football League for 7 years, he now lives in Sweden writing about and scouting American Football throughout the world.
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