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CFL extending its global reach to Europe, Japan, and Mexico

Commissioner Randy Ambrosie's CFL 2.0 plan would open the game to more international players.
Commissioner Randy Ambrosie's CFL 2.0 plan would open the game to more international players. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn

The Canadian Football League has announced a schedule of international combines for early in 2020 as Commissioner Randy Ambrosie’s 2.0 initiative moves a step further in the process.

The first combine is set for Jan. 11 in Helsinki, Finland for players from Scandinavia and Northern Europe. Others will will follow on Jan. 17 in Paris, France – Jan. 25 in Florence, Italy – and then Jan. 26 in Bristol, England and Frankfurt, Germany.

After that, the CFL representatives operating and monitoring these combines- along an as yet to be appointed Director of Global Scouting – will travel to Japan for sessions in Tokyo and Osaka on Feb.1 and 2 before completing their globe-trotting on Mar. 14-15 in Mexico City.

READ MORE: Rick Zamperin: CFL teams draft Mexican players. So, now what?

“Becoming a more global league, and expanding our international footprint, are important pillars for our vision of CFL 2.0,” said Ambrosie in a league news release.

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“We’ll travel the world in search of the finest football talent, and at the same time, we’ll continue working closely with our international partners to create more opportunities for Canadian players to develop their skills and continue their careers.”

The CFL will also host Ontario, East and West combines in Toronto, Montreal and Edmonton on Mar. 12, 13 and 20 respectively. And then the top players from all of these events will be invited to attend the league’s National Combine on March 26-28 in Toronto.

The second annual CFL Global draft is scheduled for Apr. 16 and will be followed by the CFL National Draft two weeks later on Thursday, Apr. 30.

READ MORE: Blue Bombers “Top up the Trenches” in 2019 CFL Draft

This past season, as part of the initial phase of the development process, all nine CFL teams had three designated players from countries outside of the United States and Canada. That number could be increased to as many as five in 2020.

For the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, that group included 26 year old German born linebacker Thiadric Hansen who has dressed for all 18 games and was credited with five defensive tackles and a quarterback sack during his rookie season.

READ MORE: Blue Bombers select German linebacker in CFL European Draft

Linebacker Manuel Hernandez-Reyes and defensive Back Sergio Schiaffino-Perez, both of Mexico, have sent the 2019 season on the Blue Bombers Practice Roster.

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