The Hamburg Sea Devils announced their Week 2 game vs. the Rhein Fire would be played at Volksparkstadion in Hamburg on June 11th. This regular season game will take place in the largest venue in the European League of Football history. In addition, the league has announced that 20,000 tickets have already been purchased for the league’s third championship game on September 24th in Duisburg, Germany, at Schauinsland-Reisen-Arena.
The ELF also has several players participating in preliminary CFL Global Combines, which gives those players a chance to be invited to the official CFL Global Combine in Edmonton from March 22nd to March 26th.
These events display the ELF’s growth in the world of professional football. The league is growing a more extensive fan base, resulting in more significant opportunities for the teams of the ELF. As those teams improve their visibility, the best players on those teams are gaining exposure and allowing those players to move on to better opportunities.
Let’s look at what the teams of the ELF did this week to keep this momentum growing.
The Rhein Fire announced this week that they had re-signed offensive lineman Jonathan Peppler and have also signed offensive lineman Yasir Raji. In the offensive backfield, running backs Sergej Kendus and Giacomo De Pauli will play for the Fire. The Fire also signed wide receiver Justin Schlesinger for the 2023 season. Schlesinger produced 19 catches for 195 yards and a touchdown with the Cologne Centurions during the 2022 season. Defensively, the Fire has signed defensive end Julian Volker; Volker spent the last two seasons with the Cologne Centurions.
The Barcelona Dragons re-signed 26-year-old offensive lineman Mikel Gomez. On defense, the Dragons added defensive back, Jorge Felix Velasco, Velasco has played on the Spanish national team. In addition, the Dragons have re-signed defensive line coach Chase Baker and added defensive back coach Samuel Eisenstadt.
The Cologne Centurions added strength to their offensive and defensive lines this week. On defense, the Centurions signed defensive linemen Tim Gockus and Tim Wustfeld. Offensively, they have hired Jason Tillery as their offensive line coach.
The Stuttgart Surge continues to rebuild their roster after an 0-12 season in 2022. Offensively, the Surge has signed fullback Maximilian Merwarth to add power to their backfield. On defense, they have added defensive lineman Alexander Christoph Hofer and defensive back Mitch Fettig. Fettig is the 4th American import for the Surge; he played collegiately at Eastern Washington and has professional experience playing with the Schwabisch Hall Unicorns.
The Wroclaw Panthers announced that they had named Jamaal White as their defensive back coach. White played in two games during the 2022 season against the Hamburg Sea Devils and Vienna Vikings. Also, on defense, the Panthers have signed linebacker Antoni Idziak. Offensively, the Panthers have added offensive lineman Konrad Orzechowski and tight end Dominik Niedziela.
This week the Guards announced that defensive coordinator Otis Smith and defensive line coach Bert Hill left the team for personal reasons. In response, the Helvetic Guards announced that Jim Ward would be their defensive coordinator. Ward has experience coaching for the New Yorker Lions and the Fehervar Enthroners. The Guards have also signed defensive lineman Jean Pierre Stadler. Offensively, the Guards named former NFL and NFL Europe tight end Pete Metzelaars as their special team’s coordinator and tight end coach.
The Berlin Thunder signed wide receiver Bais Kouanda, who has previously played for the Hamburg Sea Devils. In addition, thunder offensive lineman Tobias Rodlauer is one of many ELF players invited to participate in the CFL Global Combine. The Thunder are an excellent example of team success translating into opportunities for their players.
The Frankfurt Galaxy announced they had re-signed wide receiver/punter Hendrik Schwarz. They have also re-signed fullback Leon Helm; Helm produced 19 rushing yards and five touchdowns during the 2022 season. In addition, Galaxy has signed twin wide receivers Niklas Schumm and Normen Schumm for the 2023 season.
The Prague Lions continue to add to their 2023 roster. The Lions have re-signed offensive lineman David Sanek for the 2023 season. Defensively, the Lions have added 6’3″, 265-pound defensive end/linebacker Zaire Ugapo.
The Munich Ravens have signed wide receiver, Markell Castle. Castle was a German Football League All-Star in 2021, playing with the Cologne Crocodiles. He was also the receiving yards leader in the Italian Football League in 2022 while playing for the Milano Seamen.
Odds and Ends
The Tirol Raiders signed offensive lineman Robert Wittman. The back-to-back ELF runner-ups have signed 24-year-old linebacker, Tim Kroll. The Fehervar Enthroners have named Jimmy Anderson their wide receiver/tight end coach for the 2023 season.
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