WINNIPEG - When the Winnipeg Blue Bombers travel to Vancouver, it’s almost as if they’re going home.
Every CFL team features about 25 Canadian players, and the Bombers have their fair share of British Columbians or other Canucks with connections to the province.
There are more players from Ontario on the Bomber roster than anywhere else, but those nine players are from all over the province. All six Bombers with B.C. connections, or nearly one quarter of the team’s Canadian content, have ties to metro Vancouver.
Perhaps that’s why the Bombers have a decent record in the Lower Mainland over the years. Here’s a closer look at the Vancouver connections in the Bomber locker-room:
— Doug Brown was born in New Westminster, B.C., and played his college football at Simon Fraser University. Even though he’s hurt and didn’t play in Saturday night’s 30-17 victory over the Lions at Empire Field, he still made the trip west.
— Wide receiver Aaron Hargreaves hails from Ladner, B.C., which is a Vancouver suburb south of the city. The fourth-year pass catcher, who also played at Simon Fraser, once had an off-season apartment a few blocks from Empire Field.
— Fullback James Green was born in Langley, B.C., but he spent much of his childhood in California before moving back to B.C. when he was 14. He graduated from high school in Vernon and attended university in Calgary.
— Defensive end Deji Oduwole was born in Coquitlam, B.C., another Vancouver suburb, and was a football all-star at Pinetree Secondary School.
— Safety Brady Browne, who is out for the year with a biceps injury, was born in Burnaby, B.C., and played junior ball in the province before joining the University of Manitoba Bisons.
— Centre Obby Khan is from Ottawa, but he, too, played his college ball at Simon Fraser, where he won the J.P. Metras Trophy as the top lineman in the CIS in 2003. Khan stayed in the Lower Mainland for a couple of days after last year’s game in October.
Here’s a look at the other Canadians on the Bomber roster and their home provinces:
Ontario — Ian Logan, Waterloo; Chris Cvetkovic, Hamilton; Henoc Muamba, Mississauga; Mike Renaud, Ottawa; Chris Greaves, Toronto; Fernand Kashama, Brampton; Jason Nugent, Scarborough; Chris Kowalczuk, Brampton.
Quebec — Cory Watson, Montreal; Kito Poblah, Montreal; Carl Volny, Montreal; Pierre-Luc Labbe, Quebec City; Jerry-Ralph Jules, Montreal.
Saskatchewan — Scott McHenry, Saskatoon; Brendon LaBatte, Weyburn; Jade Etienne, Yorkton.
Nova Scotia — Justin Palardy, Truro; Steve Morley, Halifax.
Alberta — Paul Swiston, Calgary.
Manitoba — Don Oramasionwu, Winnipeg.