Kojo Millington
Kojo Millington

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By Steve Spinks

Kojo Millington used to play in front of packed stadiums of 50,000 people when he was a professional Canadian Football League player.

Last Saturday Millington was playing second grade with the Southern Cross University rugby union team at Albert Park, Casino, in front of a crowd just a little smaller.

As a professional athlete, the 26-year-old was earning about $2000 a week just to play football.

With the Gold Rats, Millington is expecting to earn a little less.

It's a big contrast, but the 1.88m, 107kg Canadian is not out to make millions.

He just wants to have a little fun while completing his graduate diploma in secondary education at SCU.

Canadian Football is similar to American Football.

There are slight differences, but the two football codes are so similar that there is plenty of cross-over between players from the CFL and the American National Football League.

Millington was drafted by the Toronto Argonauts in 2001 from university.

He spent a season with them before transferring to the British Columbia Lions in Vancouver.

From there he became a personal trainer before the former linebacker decided to pursue his interest in teaching.

"This sounds terrible, but the best thing about football was the money," Millington said.

"I was getting paid to do something I loved and we only had to train about four times a week."

Most footballers in the CFL dream of cracking a major contract with an American franchise ... but not Millington.

"No, not at all," he said.

"I didn't play football until my last year of high school.

"It was never a dream to play football."

Last Saturday, Millington played outside centre and scored a try on debut in SCU's 15-7 loss to Casino.

Despite sources at the club saying there was a slight pause before he placed the ball to score the try, Millington said he wasn't confused about the rules.

"Oh, no, I remembered to do that," he laughed.

"I understand most of the rules."

Asked to describe the biggest difference between Canadian football and rugby, the Toronto-born Millington was honest.

"Rugby seems so disorganised," he chuckled.

"In football (Canadian) there was one play at a time and everyone knew where they had to be at a certain point."

Considering that the Southern Cross University Rugby Club is notoriously disorganised, Millington may not get much guidance.



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