The National Arean League has expanded game day roster sizes from 21 to 22 players. The Columbus Lions used that extra spot to invite an international player to training camp. Columbus is the first NAL team to have a South American player join training camp. Felipe Castillo, an offensive lineman from Chile, will join the Lions training camp roster.
Head Coach Jason Gibson believes building this bridge with a South American fan base will be good for the NAL and great for the Columbus Lions as a whole. He’s excited to bring in a passionate fansbase to the NAL and the Lions.
“Obviously now a days it’s about impressions and social media and all of a sudden you’re going to double and triple your social media. Not necessarily at the game but just your brand and your following and that’s great for everybody,” said Gibson.
He fondly remembers the Lions international game experience when they played the game in Monterrey, Mexico. He knows that Arena Football’s international appeal can just create more opportunities for his organization.
“When I went to Monterrey those fans are so passionate. There were 20,000 people at that game. I will always remember that game. The way the fans were, the way they interacted with the players. The love Arena Football. To be able to go to South American there are some things that are going to stem from this it’s a great opportunity,” said Gibson.
Due to COVID-19 precautions the NAL season has been pushed back to July. Training camps for teams can start on June 14th.