Alex heading to America to pursue his gridiron dream
AMERICAN FOOTBALL Alex Jenkins is bidding to follow in the footsteps of cousins Scott and Martin Sinclair by making his name on the international stage.
But while the Sinclair brothers plied their trade at London 2012 in football, Jenkins is heading to the States to compete in the American sport which bears its name.
The 19-year-old from Odd Down has been called up for the Great Britain team and will also feature in the first ever all-star European side, due to play a series of games in Texas in January.
All this comes just over a year after he first took up gridiron.
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"It's going to be crazy," said Jenkins on the possibility of playing in front of 20,000-plus crowds in the USA.
"It's a new experience for a lot of the players. It's a lot of pressure but we just have to focus.
"There are going to be loads of scouts there watching and it's a great chance to get spotted."
Jenkins played for the academy teams of Team Bath and Bath City, then had a trial at Chelsea before switching from soccer to American football.
"I just got bored of it really and I wanted something more aggressive," he explained.
"I had always liked rugby and that was what put me on to NFL."
Jenkins has been training with the Bristol Academy ahead of this month's Great Britain matches against Serbia and Italy.
Then he will take part in the all-star European tour in the US and is hoping to receive support to fund the cost of his flights.
It is something of a meteoric rise considering his trial for the Great Britain side was his first kitted session.
"My coaches said I should go along for the experience but none of them thought I would get in," said Jenkins.
"Now I've had one scholarship offer from a college in America and had some interviews in Miami, so this is a chance for more exposure."
If he were to succeed in his aim to reach the NFL, Jenkins would be one of few English players to have featured in the league.
But Jenkins' family are no strangers to success, with his cousins representing Team GB in the Olympics and Paralympics.
"I'm very proud of them and it will be an honour to put the rest of the family on the map," he added.