Being in the Maritimes feels like home for Toronto Argonauts linebacker Henoc Muamba.
The veteran pro played his university football for St. Francis Xavier from 2007 to 2010 and believes people in Atlantic Canada want a Canadian Football League franchise to call their own.
“Having played here, I know what it’s like, I know the people out here and how much they love the game. They feel like they’re missing out a little bit on some CFL. It’s going to be exciting once it’s going to be official,” Muamba said.
The 33-year-old Muamba recently spoke with CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosie, who filled him in on what’s happening behind the scenes with regards to potential expansion out east and efforts to make the three-down league coast to coast.
“Steps are being taken forward. Obviously, we’re not there yet, but it’s an exciting time for not just the country but this league as a whole,” Muamba said.
“I know what the reality of the situation is, when it really is going to happen the rest of the country is going to figure it out that they want a team here.”
Muamba was an All-Canadian linebacker with the X-Men and earned the 2010 Presidents’ Trophy as the top defensive player in Canadian university football. His career at St. FX helped him become the first overall pick in the 2011 CFL Draft.
“There is a buzz, there’s excitement, I played here before and I know what it’s like as far as the excitement level, the anticipation, as well as the love for the game,” Muamba said.
Muamba played in the last Touchdown Atlantic game prior to the coronavirus pandemic. His Argos lost 28-22 to Montreal in front of 10,126 fans at Croix-Bleue Medavie Stadium in Moncton, NB. This Saturday, the six-foot, 230-pound linebacker will suit up against the Saskatchewan Roughriders at Raymond Field in Wolfville, NS with a sold-out crowd of over 10,000 set to be on campus at Acadia University.
“It means a lot to the community here, it means a lot to the league, it means a lot to the country, to be honest with you,” Muamba said. “It shows the hunger, the thirst that exists in Eastern Canada. Not only does that show the love of the game out here in Eastern Canada, but also it shows that they’re ready and excited for a team.”