JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Ever since they started to make a trip to London an annual event, the Jaguars have made fans in the United Kingdom.
In Jacksonville, the Armada are led by an Englishman, head coach Mark Lowry, and leading goal scorer Jack Blake. Both said that the Jaguars association with their home country is a positive on both sides of the pond.
"I think it's a great opportunity for fans in England to get to know the sport" said Blake, who is tied for third in the league with eight goals this season. "Obviously, it's great for the Jaguars to go over to London and see around the city. Wembley is an amazing stadium. To be able to perform there and have a proper league game over there, it's really cool."
Blake, who is in his first season with the Armada enjoyed a major life event earlier this year when he was married on Jacksonville Beach. His teammate Jemal Johnson is one of the original Armada players. He scored the first NASL goal in team history. The team's technical director, Nathan Walter is also an Englishman. Midfielder Michael O'Sullivan wsa born in Romford, England.
Lowry, a West Midlands native, sees a number of positives with the Jaguars annual trek across the pond.
"American football is getting really popular over in England," Lowry said. "The more they can do these type of thing, whether its the Jaguar or other teams, I think its a good thing. People get excited about it."
The other piece of the relationship, of course it the Jaguars owner, Shad Khan's ownership of Fulham FC, the London-based soccer club in the English second-division. That gives the Jaguars another fan base to draw from that other clubs might not be able to tap into.
"I know the Jaguars have had some positive results the last couple of years going over there. With the relationship with Shad Khan has with Fulham being in London, I think they're the right club to do it," Lowry said.