Russia’s Moscow Bruins Sign Matthew Kershey

The Moscow Bruins are looking to improve for 2017 by signing quarterback/linebacker Matthew Hershey.

The Bruins suffered through a winless first season in Russia’s top league in 2016 and their first move is signing Kershey, a four-year veteran of European American football. This will be Kershey’s fifth straight season in Europe. He arrived in 2013, playing for the Kraljevo Royal Crowns in Serbia’s first division. Since then he has played in Germany, France and Poland.

The 30 year old, 6’1″, 215 lb Kershey, a Pennsylvania native, is a graduate of Lackawanna JC and Westmoreland College.

AFI caught up with Matt for a chat.

American Football International: This isn’t your first team in Europe. Where have you played before this?

Matthew Kershey: This will be my fifth year playing professionally in Europe. I’ve played in Serbia (Kraljevo Royal Crowns), Germany (Badener Greifs), France (Saint Etienne Giants), Poland (Torun Angels), and I’ll be playing in Russia this upcoming season for the Moscow Bruins.

AFI: How did you first end up coming to Europe in the first place?

Kershey: I heard about the opportunities to play here in Europe in 2012. My friend and I were at a restaurant when we randomly ran into his acquaintance who just returned from his season in Germany. Since that conversation, I was enamoured with the thought of traveling, experiencing new cultures, and playing the game I love. That five minute conversation changed my life completely.

AFI: What do you bring to the Bruins as a player and teammate?

Kershey: As a teammate I bring a contagious work ethic. Whether it’s improving my body, film study, or coaching teammates, there aren’t many days off for me. I bring a humble attitude and I know that there is no player above the team. As a player I bring toughness, intensity, and physicality. most importantly i bring leadership.

AFI: What do you know about Russia?

Kershey: I know Russia has a rich tradition in sport. They continually put out some of the best athletes in the world, so I’m extremely excited to compete there. Other than the sporting aspect of it, I’m not sure. I’m going into this opportunity with my eyes wide open. I’m looking forward to learning the traditions and customs of the people there.

AFI: What has been your favorite food in Europe?

Kershey: It’s impossible for me to pick just one, but my top 3 would be Brazilian Barbecue I had in Portugal, kebab I had in Turkey, and some of the burgers I had this year in Poland. I could probably go on for hours though.

AFI: Have you had a chance to travel much and if so where?

Kershey: I have had the opportunity to travel in my time in Europe. I’ve been to 9 different countries my time here. My favorite places were Istanbul, Porto, and Munich. The most incredible place I visited was this year when I had the chance to visit Auschwitz here in Poland. Visiting the camps there changed me forever.

AFI: And how much longer do you foresee playing overseas?

Kershey: I don’t have a timetable to when I’ll stop playing. Right now, My body is healthy, I have no lingering injuries and i’ve never been in better shape physically. After my playing career is over, I would consider a coaching role here in Europe.

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