“The name belongs to this league”

Düsseldorf – Normally it would have been easy to walk past the stand. But he was only inconspicuous at first glance.

For the snake could not be overlooked. The cheerleaders on the side were kept in permanent possession, they kept posing with the fans. Smile photo smile photo.

“The fire is back”

And the proverb that came with it: “The fire is back – the fire is back.”

The pun means that the new ELF series from the Rhine, the small but crowded stand at the ELF Bowl between the Frankfurt Galaxy and the Hamburg Sea Devils, was the one found in the Düsseldorf Rhine fire, and the bustle was enormous. Employees then had their hands full selling hoodies, shirts and keychains. Right in the middle: mascot Birdy.

Because Rhein Fire is back, will participate in the European League of Football from 2022 – and the fire is back immediately, the euphoria among many fans right from the start, who have dug up their old jerseys from the days of NFL Europe, is amazing.

When EFL Commissioner Patrick Esume officially and solemnly announced the good news on Sunday at the break of the final thriller between the Frankfurt Galaxy and the Hamburg Sea Devils (32:30), “Fire, Fire” song sounded through the audience in the Düsseldorf Arena. “ELF has created professional structures, and that is exactly what we want to achieve with Rhein Fire. We want to create a suitable playing and training environment for the coaches and players and an overall environment where it is possible to live football in the best possible way. , “said interim CEO Martin Wagner at” Sportstadt Düsseldorf “.

Talent factory in football

“It’s a talent factory in football. It’s great for the league. A team belongs on the pitch,” said Sea Devils coach Andreas Nommensen race. From 1994 until it disbanded in 2007, Düsseldorf played the Rhein Fire in the NFL Europe, won the World Bowl twice and reached the final three more times.

Also for Galaxy coach Thomas Kösling “this name simply belongs in this league. That is what defines this vision.” He already sees the league on the right track.

“We felt what we were hoping for from the league in the final. Who would have thought that we would hold a final like this? We would change European football, create a spirit of optimism. And if you do not believe in the ELF now – then I do not know either, “said Kösling.

Of course, both coaches know from their own experience that such a project – euphoria or not – will not be a sure success.

The Rheinbrand project was launched several months ago. A quartet (Dirk Reiner, René-Alexander Engel, Wagner and Markus Becker) will revive the football project.

Now the Düsseldorfers are doing what the other eight ELF teams have already done this year: build a powerful squad. “You form yourself, and then you see what a talent it is,” says Nommensen.

Several coaches and players have already agreed, and a preferred candidate from the United States for the position of head coach is currently being negotiated.

Fans are ready for the ELF

What can you expect from Rhein Fire? “The same as one would expect from the other teams,” said Nommensen: “But the Düsseldorf / Cologne area has always stood for good football. If we join forces, they will have a strong squad.”

Wagner is “a friend of sporting ambitions”, as he explained: “But you have to be honest. Other teams now have this one year more experience. Nevertheless, it is not our requirement just to blow your nose in the ELF to hold our breath. We will play with it right away. “

The fans are clearly ready.

Andreas Reiners

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