Joe’s gridiron test

Joe Paladino, 46,  ringside at his gym in Sutton, with his children Giuseppe, 16, Gabriella, 12, Daniela, 12, and Joshua, eight
Joe Paladino, 46, ringside at his gym in Sutton, with his children Giuseppe, 16, Gabriella, 12, Daniela, 12, and Joshua, eight
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A TEENAGER from St Helens has been called up to Great Britain’s American Football squad.

Joe Paladino, son of his ex-boxer and St Helens Town legend Joe Paladino, is set to fly out to Rome later this week for a mini tournament with Serbia, Italy and The Netherlands.

Amazingly, the 17-year-old, who plays in the defensive line for Lancashire Wolverines, only started playing the sport seriously this year.

He said: “I’ve only just finished my first season so I was delighted to be called up. I just got a bit bored playing football and wanted to try something new. So I went for a trial with the Merseyside Nighthawks and it just went from there.

“In the position I play it’s all about passion and aggression. It’s my job to protect the quarterback and it involves a lot of pushing and pulling. It certainly gives me a bit of an outlet!”

Joe Jnr was called up to the GB squad for the first time last week and is set to fly out to Rome with his teammates for the mini tournament tomorrow (Thursday, September 6).

Amazingly, Joe snr made his debut for England’s semi-professional side against Italy.

He is also involved with a college in Bristol which competes with US colleges and harbours dreams of playing in the NFL.

He added: “I’m definitely going to stick at it and see how far I can go. In the National League it’s hard to get much further than the GB squad. But the college I’m at enables me to play against the American lads too, which can only be good for my development.

“The next step after this would be to get into the Europe squad, which could get me noticed across the pond.”