By: Bhavi Mandalia Pledge Times
The game videos paved the way for Elli Metsola and Nana Olavu to become professionals in the American Football Women’s League in the United States. Olavuo started Yankee football at the age of six, but Metsola did not reach adulthood. Olavu was interested in rapper Ja Rule, the owner of the New York club, and San Diego Tridents in Metsola.
Lohja resident Elli Metsola sat at his home in January in front of a computer watching a reservation for the American Women’s Football Alliance. The WFLA is a newly formed women’s American football professional league.
The booking ceremony was held online due to the corona epidemic. The players had posted training videos made by the teams according to the instructions of the league.
Metsohja, the support player and team leader of the Lohja Lionesses team, had sent the league his own video and compilations from previous matches.
“I was curious. I had heard about the league a couple of years earlier, and I had watched from the sidelines what they were doing. I posted the video when I wanted to see how the league works. ”
At four in the morning, Metsola could no longer stand awake, but went to sleep. In the morning, he noticed a message coming through Facebook with the head coach of the San Diego Tridents team Duncan McCallum said Metsola was booked for the team in the third round.
“I didn’t expect to be booked. The head coach said that he believes I can benefit the team, ”Metsola says.
“There is no certainty yet as the league gets underway.
Finns there are two players on the WFLA team lists. National team back defender, last played in Sweden Nana Olavuo signed a preliminary contract with the New York Stars team in January 2020.
Olavuo did not participate in the league’s first booking event. He speculates that his match videos had been seen in New York on social media.
The phone call came from New York just over a year ago while Olavuo was driving to rehearsals. At the other end was the owner of the Stars team, a millionaire rapper who sold several platinum records Ja Rule (nicknamed Jeffrey Atkins).
“I didn’t know who the owner was before Ja Rule introduced himself. He said he saw my game videos and said he wanted to bring me to his team in New York. ”
It is no wonder that Finnish female players are interviewed for US series. Finland is the number one country in Europe in women’s American football. The women have played in the European Championship twice in 2015 and 2019, and Finland has won both tournaments.
In the WFLA hasn’t played any matches yet. In August 2019, the WFLA announced that the first season would be allowed to begin in August 2020.
There is no certainty yet as the league gets underway. Nana Olavuo says she has received information from New York team owner Ja Rule that the WFLA has now announced that the games will start in 2022.
In the past, attempts have been made in the United States to get the Women’s Professional League up and running, but the companies have not been long-lived. The first league began in 1999, when the first match in the WPFL series was played. The league ended in 2007.
WFLA made headlines after former athlete and flag and rugby player, a popular fitness star on social media Santia Deck made a multi-million dollar deal with the league. Deck’s team is Los Angeles Fame.
“The salary will also be such that it lives well.”
Booking opportunity since then Elli Metsola has been waiting for the announcement of the start of the San Diego Tridents training camp. He has no knowledge of what will happen after the camp. However, the team has already held online meetings where the game book has been learned. According to Metsola, everyone participating in the camp is part of the team.
Metsola has two school-age children. At first he leaves for San Diego alone, the rest of the family could come later later when schools run out.
“The salary will also be such that it lives well.”
Not much has happened with the New York team lately. In February last year, Olavuo was invited to Miami for a Super Bowl side event to play flag ball with celebrities, where he met other New York Stars players.
If the training camp at New York Stars ever gets started, then, according to Olavuo, it is a relegation camp, ie not everyone who participates in the camp can join the actual team.
Metsolan and Olavuo’s player paths are very different. Metsola did not start playing until four years ago at the age of 34, and he had no previous competitive sports background.
In addition to the Lohja division team, Metsola has played league games in Roosters. He has not played for the national team. Metsola has also played for the New York Sharks team halfway through the WFA Amateur League in the United States. In December 2019, he was involved in the WFA League East vs. West match in Las Vegas.
Olavuo started following American big brother at the age of six on the boys’ under-13 team. The parents gave permission on the condition that they be allowed to practice but not yet play. The first year convinced the parents enough that already at the age of seven Olavuo played in the series of boys under 13 years of age.
“I took a feed cut in my first match and on the next attempt our center striker ran the ball to the goal. That’s the only thing I really remember from the first five years. ”
Olavuo was part of the national team that won the European Championship in 2019.
“At the time of the 2015 tournament, I was 14 years old, and under 16s are not allowed to play adult national matches,” he says.
Olavuo is also the Swedish champion from 2019. Leirin While waiting for the start, Elli Metsola is training in Lohja.
“The game will be fast and there is more power than in Finland. With our coach, we have now practiced reading, ranking and reacting to the game. ”
Nana Olavuo says she doesn’t expect too much from the WFLA. If the games ever get underway, then it is enough for him that at least he will not lose out financially.