The EPL, as they call it here in the USA, met the NFL today as some of City’s star names dropped in on the Baltimore Ravens training camp
Situated some 45 minutes from the centre of town, Ravenstown was a hub of activity with around 2,000 fans watching practice as the team shapes up for a crack at a second Superbowl to add to the one pocketed in millennium year.
Shaun Wright-Phillips, Joleon Lescott, Nedum Onuoha and Adam Johnson were amongst the senior players rubbing shoulders – or at least attempting to – with defensive and offensive giants on the Ravens roster.
Greg Cunningham proved the star kicker in the team impressing everyone as he drilled field goals between the uprights under the eye of Ravens kicker Billy Cundiff who jointly holds the franchise record for field goals made in a game (five).
Ravens legendary star names, multiple Pro Bowlers to a man, Ray Lewis, Ed Reed and Trevor Pryce all spent time chatting to the players and backroom staff and Wright-Phillips went head-to-head (above) with 350lb nose tackle Brandon McKinney.
“I am not sure where I’d fit into the team but if they got the ball to me I’d drop a shoulder and run, that is until one of these guys came to tackle me at which point I would lie down,” laughed the England international who is a close follower of the NFL.
“We don’t get chance to watch the NFL live because our season is so long but when it is on at a decent hour on television in England I watch.
I have a couple of very good friends who play, Steve Smith at Carolina and Shaun Phillips at San Diego, so I follow their progress. Now I have another team to look out for
...Shaun Wright-Phillips on his NFL favourites
“We really enjoyed our time at the camp. It was great fun and it is always good to swap notes with other professional athletes.”
The Blues take on European Champions Inter Milan in Baltimore on Saturday night (Sunday morning in England) in what is the last match of the USA tour that has seen the squad touchdown in Portland, Oregon, New York, Atlanta and now Baltimore.
Watch out for mcfc.co.uk’s video of the trip to the Ravens camp and keep your eye on our official Facebook page for some funnies.