Speaking to A Head For The Game in the locker room at Wembley Stadium yesterday following the New York Jets 27-14 divisional win over the Dolphins, Jets linebacker Trevor Reilly, the 27-year-old out of Utah expressed his excitement and happiness of visiting the home of Premier League side Crystal Palace on Saturday.
Along with his brother, Trevor was amongst the 24,033 fans at Selhurst Park watching the Eagles’ lunchtime 2-0 victory over West Bromwich Albion which ultimately put them fourth in the table following the weekend results.
“My brother and I wanted to go to a Premier League game and we saw that Palace had the early kick-off,” said Reilly, who spent two years living in Sweden after college conducting missionary work.
“We know no-one sells scalped tickets, but we were on the subway heading to the ground hoping to get a ticket on the gate when my brother met a season ticket holder by chance. They had two spare seats as the two people who they were going with couldn’t make it so he bought them off of him and we went.”
Having time to visit SE25 was impressive in itself as Reilly and the New York Jets only landed in London at 6am on Friday morning for the first of three regular season NFL games to be held in London this year – before heading straight to the London Irish rugby training ground for their first practice – and just over 60 hours later, following their win, they were already flying back home to the East Coast of America.
“We got there right at kick-off,” continued Reilly, who signed for the Jets in May 2014 and is gradually making his presence felt in the team.
“We were in the stand in the opposite corner to the loud fans (Holmesdale Fanatics), in the fourth row. I’ve been to a few American (soccer) games but the precision of the passing and the trapping of the ball is much higher over here.
“We got to appreciate how good the players are –Palace dominated the game and Bolasie was explosive but I don’t know if he’s been hurt or not but he ran out of gas – he needs to lose some weight (jokes).
“He scored an unbelievable goal, but the pass for that was even better than the header, the pass was perfect – right over the defenders head. Who was it? The number 7 for Palace (Cabaye)? He’s like a Beckham or Zidane-type of player.
“It was my first Premier League match, but my brother and uncle are both really into football and they went to Champions League semi-final between Barcelona and Bayern Munich last season, but my experience at Selhurst Park was amazing.
“When I come back to London I’ll be back at Selhurst Park – I don’t watch a lot of soccer but I know soccer and Palace are my team, although I think Zlatan Ibrahimovic is the best player in the world.
“Palace are third or fourth now so maybe they can get third this season – Chelsea are not doing so well and Liverpool are average so this is their year now.”
Reilly genuinely displayed affection after his experience watching the boys in red and blue, and took time to visit the club shop, as the 6ft 5”, 16 stone player bought a XXL travel gilet which he will be sure to wear back home after being told about the New York Eagles fan club in New York.
“Send me over there man,” he said. “I’ll go watch a game with the fans – Palace are my squad now.”