American Football is thriving all over the world, especially in Europe. To help develop the sport and keep competition at a high level, American players are “imported” onto club teams in various capacities. These players get paid to play the game they love while seeing the world and experience different cultures. The Nice Dauphins (France) American import, Rondell White, allowed me a detailed interview about his experiences in Europe.
HOW IT ALL BEGAN
Where have you played previously?
Last season I also played in Nice where we made it to the championship but lost.
How many years have you played in Europe?
This is my second season overseas
How did you get here? What’s your football journey?
I used the website europlayers and my friend on the team Massimo reached out to me and then I was able to make a decision to continue playing here.
LIFE IN FRANCE
How do you like it in France?
I like France a lot. I think the people are very nice so it’s easy to enjoy. Also the south is very beautiful.
What is your go to meal in France?
I love chicken so I’m big on fajitas or pasta with chicken.
Do you spend a lot of time with teammates or on your own/with other imports?
I would say it’s a mixture of everything I hang out with everyone on my team. A bunch of good guys and my french teammates know the area better then me so I’m under there wing.
FOOTBALL IN FRANCE
What level would you compare the football played there to in the United States?
I’ve played division 2 but I wouldn’t say their D2, but there’s some guys on my team who I believe could play at the division 2 level.
What do you see as some of the biggest differences between football in the states compared to France?
I would say in the states we practice more, games are definitely promoted more, and the coaching is different.
How have you personally helped your teammates and coaches develop their American Football knowledge during your time abroad?
I try to help in any way I can by teaching them skills in drills or even for receivers maybe route running . In high school I played cornerback so I try to help the secondary guys with tips as well.
What are your plans after the season concludes?
After this season I’m not sure what’s next but I would like to continue playing some where just not sure where yet.
What advice would you give to someone playing football in Europe/overseas for the first time?
My advice to overseas players is enjoy the experience, try to learn the language maybe. Also it’s different then home but you can still be yourself. When you’re American and been playing football your whole life a lot of these people look up to you, so share your knowledge of the game with them, help them become better football players.
What does American Football mean to you?
It’s everything, I love football and glad I can travel and continue playing.