The historical past of Australians within the Canadian Soccer League is extra like a paragraph than a Greek epic, however Calgary Stampeders rookie Cody Grace is amongst a bunch of Aussies writing a particularly promising new chapter.
Rising up in Perth, Grace’s sporting roots are in rugby and Aussie Guidelines.
He tailored to punting within the NCAA with Arkansas State to assist pay for his education as a power and conditioning coach.
However the name of the Friday evening lights was too highly effective to disregard.
Publish-graduation, the 26-year-old must adapt his recreation for the third time when Calgary known as his identify on the 2021 CFL International Draft, which noticed 4 Australians chosen within the first spherical.
Grace might have had the most important footwear to fill, as he was known as on to exchange the not too long ago retired all-star Rob Maver whereas nonetheless studying the fundamentals of the Canadian recreation.
“He’s higher than marketed, and we thought he was fairly good,” Stamps head coach Dave Dickenson stated.
“His directional punting has been wonderful. His holding — he by no means actually held — it’s been wonderful. (We’re) clearly lacking Maver, love Maver, however proper now, Cody is correct there with the tops within the league. He’s acquired nice hold time. He’s acquired nice placement. He’s doing every thing proper for our workforce.”
The location the workforce now raves about didn’t come simply.
Grace shortly discovered punting within the CFL requires far more nuance than Aussie Guidelines or the NCAA, which primarily required him to kick as onerous and so far as potential.
“You’ve the power to regulate the sport much more as a punter the place the American recreation is sort of simple,” Grace defined.
“It’s been a very good eye-opener, particularly the final couple of video games, understanding how one can type of dictate discipline place and momentum of the sport when you execute the job.”
On a workforce crammed with fiery personalities, Grace prefers to keep up his chill persona and name on a quiet killer intuition when it’s his flip to step up and ship a superbly positioned coffin nook punt.
Punters typically fly below the radar with regards to accolades, however 770 CHQR Stampeders play-by-play man Mark Stephen believes Grace is making a case for workforce Rookie of the 12 months.
“He’s the primary punter with regards to web yards, and he hasn’t kicked a single but this yr, which tells me he’s actually nailed that when he’s been requested to take action,” Stephen stated.
“He’s been an actual measure of stability within the league the place there’s been lots of instability this yr on the punting place.”
Whereas he’s at present making a residing on particular groups, Grace believes there’s an Australasian goldmine of expertise in any respect positions that the CFL is simply beginning to crack.
“I believe now they’re beginning to transition to truly see there are strong athletes that may play different positions as properly, which is cool,” Grace stated.
“Within the NFL, we see offensive linemen and defensive linemen achieve success, and there are some names on the market that individuals haven’t heard taking part in good school soccer down in Australia, New Zealand. There’s lots of guys down there that simply don’t know stand up right here and get into the system.”
If he retains these numbers up, Grace’s largest problem would possibly simply be surviving his first Canadian winter.
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https://globalnews.ca/information/8264373/calgary-stampeders-rookie-cody-grace/ | Calgary Stampeders punter goes from down below to the highest of the CFL – Calgary