Portræt: Anthony DiMarsico
This week’s American player is a guy who could do about anything with the ball in his hands. He was supposed to be a WR for the Søllerød Gold Diggers, 2018, but ended up being a bigger factor as a QB. Anthony DiMarsico was a huge playmaker in the National League and probably the fastest ever to play in Denmark, running a 40 yard in 4.29 sec. Unfortunately he missed a couple of games due to a knee injury. Before heading to the Gold Diggers, Anthony was a participant at the New York Jets’ rookie camp. Even though he was cut after the camp, it gives an indicator what he was capable to do.
Tell a little about yourself from the time you decided to go to Denmark to extend your career, football experience etc.
As a kid I grew up playing three sports. By the time I was in high school I realized football is what I wanted to continue my career on after a couple colleges bouncing around, I began my football career at William Paterson University in Wayne New Jersey from there I became an All American wide receiver and All East Coast Region first team wide receiver. At the end of my three year career at college I’ve been in the record books for multiple categories. After my senior season, I had a dream to play in the NFL and take the next step. Although I posted great numbers at my two combines at Fordham University and Wagner College, I ran a 4.3 40 yard dash which got scouts eyes open wide is the past and I was still on silent. A couple hours after the draft, I received a phone call from my agent, Neil Schwartz, who told me the Jets have invited me to the rookie minicamp. I was beyond grateful appreciative, but more anxious to get there and see what the future holds. I, unfortunately, didn’t make it past rookie mini camp and tried to take another route after numerous CFL and Arena tryouts.
When did you realize you wanted to go to Europe and play football?
I got a call from Troels and Casper. At the time I had been training every day, in and out of the gym while working a full-time job in construction. After weeks of tryouts and me thinking about my future, I decided Europe what is the best fit for me. The CFL and Arena Football is very stressful and long and a longshot to make the NFL, so I decided to experience life on the other side of the globe.
Did you have any other offers?
The Gold Diggers wasn’t the first team to reach out to me. A team from Italy reached out first.
You have an Italian background. What made you go to Denmark instead of joining the Italian team?
Because they didn’t seem as interested as Troels and Casper were. The Italian team called me so often, but Troels and Casper made sure they stayed in touch and told me things i wanted to hear. These things were just like they said to me.
Before the end of the season, you extended your contract for another season. What made you extend your contract for another season? What happened since you never came back for the 2019 season?
Prior to our playoff game I resigned to come back for another year. I did so, to help recruit and for myself, Europe was such an amazing experience. Another six months they’re in a spot that I have now become comfortable. For the six months that I arrive back at home, I took the NYPD test and eventually got the call to attend the Academy. With that being said I told the Gold Diggers I will not be returning. Since I am 27 years old and will be looking even more into my future. I want to start a family and make a future with my girlfriend who has been by my side for six years and counting.
What did an average week look like for you while you were in Denmark?
When I first landed in Copenhagen, Denmark I was picked up by my roommate a.k.a. the general manager of the Gold Diggers, Casper Reinhart. Me and him had an unbelievable connection through my six months living overseas. My day consisted of waking up late watching Netflix playing Fortnite going to the gym and taking every bus and train to hang out with my friends that I’ve made on the team. On practice days, which were only on Tuesday and Thursday, by most of the time I took the train to catch a bus to get to the field. The whole transportation took about an hour and while at first it was different to me since in the United States, we usually drive our cars everywhere and public transportation is not as big as is in Europe.
On my off days I always went to the gym, grocery shop for the week and traveled around the inner city of Copenhagen. My good friends Helmer, Alex, Anton, Thomas, Emil were always there to show me new things and I love them for that. I will always have friends in Copenhagen thanks to that group. They brought me in with open arms like I have hung out with them and known them my entire life. That is true friendship and yes, we still talk at least once a week.
How was the accommodations? Did you live on your own? And how much did you have to take care of yourself?
While in Europe, my housing was amazing. I came in and lived in the living room with a nice pull out bed and a 60 inch TV where my PS4 fit perfectly.
What did SGD expect from you, now that they were paying you? Did you feel you could live up to the expectations?
Coming in as an American, you have some expectations. Personally, I don’t think I expect exceeded that with me getting hurt and I was losing in the first round of playoffs. That is not what I believe I came to the Gold Diggers for. I came here for a championship, just like any other player would when coming to a new team. Did I have big plays? Did I throw touchdowns? Of course, but at the end of the day me and my team came up short.
Can you tell a little about some of the tough times? (if any)
During the season I hurt my knee and partially tore my MCL on my left side at the rehab and wearing a brace I eventually got thrown back in when we took off and they’re playing both wide receiver and quarterback our team made it to the playoffs but lost in the first round
The hardest part of living in Europe, was that I stayed for six months straight without seeing my family. Although my family did come over for two weeks to travel around to Paris and Great Britain, once they left my heart was broke and I felt separated for my loved ones. Although it only took a couple days for me to re-grade regain my grip of everything and realize what I was there for. Being Italian, family is the most important thing to me and seeing them for a little bit and then have them leave again, was a tease but that’s what makes me stronger. Living and learning.
What is the Danish culture like, compared to the Amarican?
The Danish culture was certainly a shock at first but it grew on me over the six months that I was there the food the people the language everything was different. I was open to learning and I do love my Danish family. The way of life, the food, the culture, the trends, the style of clothes, transportation, everything was different from the life we live in America.
If you could change one thing during your time in Denmark, what would it be and why?
If I could change one thing during my time in Denmark, it would have been to travel a little bit more while in Denmark. I only hit Paris and Sweden. When you are in Europe you don’t know when you will be back, so I should’ve taken full advantage of the cheap travel from country to country.
It has been a year since you left Denmark. Have you ever felt that you could use your experiences from your time with the Gold Diggers ever since?
The experience of playing and traveling overseas and living there for six months, will forever be a part of my life. It helped me grow as a person tremendously. I also saw the world differently.
Finally, can you give some advice for young Americans, considering going to Europe and play football?
It was my best decision yet and I am truly grateful for the opportunity that the Søllerød Gold Diggers presented to me.
For my young Americans that are looking to play overseas or having second thoughts, I highly recommend it. It is a light experience that you can’t get by going for two weeks or seeing videos and pictures. First-hand experience is what it what it’s about. The people you meet, the things you do, the sites you see, it truly will blow you away. American football is not that big in Europe yet, but it is growing and you can be a part of the family that loves the sport just as much as you do.