Jacob Templar: Germany’s unlikely Aussie All Star

On September 27th 2019, the German Football League released its list of All Stars. The Hildesheim Invaders, coming off an excellent season, had seven players named to the All-Star team, including former NFL players Anthony Dable-Wolf and Justin Francis.

Hidden among all the high-profile names on the list of some of Europe’s best players was Australian punter Jacob Templar.

Templar, a native of Wagga Wagga, Australia had grown up playing Australian rules football until 2014 when he stumbled onto American football after switching jobs and moving to Brisbane and suffering multiple injuries playing Australian Rules football. He joined a local American football team, the Bayside Ravens. Using his Aussie football skills, the future European All-Star broke club records as a wide receiver scoring 20 touchdowns and having over 2,000 yards in two seasons for his Brisbane squad.

“I played at a high level throughout my youth football all the way into young adulthood but stopped playing competitively at 20 years old in 2012 due to a severe ankle injury and after rehabilitation new-found work commitments.”

After a great 2014 season in Australia, Templar looked for avenues to play abroad. After being scouted by professional kicking and punting expert Nathan Chapman, Templar was encouraged to pursue college football opportunities in the United States. He enrolled in a junior college in California but ultimately decided not to go due to his financial situation. Soon after, Templar used his Australian connection to get in contact with Team Australia head coach John Leijten,  who also happened to be the head coach of the Dresden Monarchs, one of the top teams in Germany.

“He asked if I would be interested in playing in the GFL for the Dresden Monarchs on a ‘prove yourself’ contract for 2017. Being as how the GFL was the highest level in Europe I was aware of, and I had some savings from my failed college attempt, I backed myself and accepted the challenge and invitation to play in Dresden with the Monarchs.”

With the Dresden Monarchs, Templar proved himself as one of the leagues best punters, the 6’4 former Bayside Raven receiver often was able to convert on 4th down on fake punts, and pin opposing offenses deep in their own territory. After two seasons in Dresden, Templar joined the Hildesheim Invaders in 2019 for his third season in Germany.

Templar on his new life and football career in Germany.

“I wanted to continue to play football at the highest level possible to me while I still could, with no CFL or NFL pathway opportunities presenting themselves presently and college opportunities now being behind me, Europe and Germany felt like the best fit. Of course other factors resulting in the move to Germany  becoming more full time and not country hopping outside of the season, I met my girlfriend in Dresden in 2017 and following my signing and move to Hildesheim with the Invaders in 2019 she also relocated with me, so we wanted more stability outside of football and chose to settle more permanently in Hildesheim.”

Jacob Templar finding running room with Hildesheim Invaders Photo: Schorni

The GFL All Star is also an avid vlogger and has a YouTube channel called Puntingforthepeople with over eight thousand subscribers. His channel shows the cultural differences an Australian might experience in Germany along with gameday vlogs showing the viewers a first-hand experience of a German Football League game.

“It built into a community that was really interested in seeing what everyday life is/was like for someone in Germany who is from outside of its borders, not just on the football field, but also off of it.”

Templar is currently living in Hildesheim, Germany and is looking forward to his next chance to play football. His future football goals include improving as a complete player and becoming one of the best specialists in Europe.

“By the time my playing days are over, I want it to be no question that I was the best punter to step on a field here in Europe as well as a great team player whose positivity and commitment to his team cannot be matched.”

Alex Malchow
Alex is a former professional American football player who is now studying in London. His goal writing for AFI is to stay involved with the game that has given him so much. Alex enjoys covering leagues and players and sharing different football stories from across the globe.
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