Two underdogs and a title aspirant

Kick-off for the American football season

Two underdogs and a title aspirant


ons 18/05/22 | 14:40 | Of Fabian Friedman

IMAGO / Matthias Koch

Sound: Antenna Brandenburg | Matthew Gindorf | Picture: IMAGO / Matthias Koch

The German football league starts the new season this weekend. While the Berlin Adler are back in the upper house and challenging their city rivals the Rebels in the start, the Potsdam Royals have a chance to reach the grand final.

GFL, the German football league, starts its new season next weekend. It is the Bundesliga in American football and chooses the German champion at the end of the season in the German Bowl. Three teams from Berlin and Brandenburg are part of the North Season of the GFL and play there in the so-called East Division, including the multiple champions Berlin Adler, Berlin Rebels and last season’s third place winners, Potsdam Royals.

After a long series of sports, Adler is back in the 1st league as a promotion team and meets the Berlin Rebels in the derby on Sunday 22 May (kickoff: 4 pm in Mommsenstadion). Before the start of the season, rbb | presents 24 players, coaches and goals for the three teams.

Berlin Adler: A traditional club is back

Six-time title holder Berlin Adler is delighted to be part of the GFL again. That the derby against the Rebels is on the schedule right from the start is of course a good start to the new season for Adler head coach Shuan Fatah. It is hoped for up to 2,000 spectators at Mommsen Stadium. “These were legendary games in the past,” said Shuan Fatah, looking forward to the kickoff next Sunday: “It’s definitely a highlight.”

How his team fits into the GFL, one of the strongest football leagues in Europe, “we have to wait and see the first matches,” explains the Adler coach. The play is the offensive around quarterback Zachary Cavanaugh, who played an exceptionally good season in GFL2 last season. In addition, you have several German national players in attack. Adler has strengthened with American Emmanuel Pelzer on the defensive. “I expect a lot from him,” said Fatah, who first returned to Germany in 2020. Before that, he worked as a coach in Austria for ten years.

Adler will play their home games at Poststadion. “We are very happy that we can be there,” Fatah says. The big goal for his team is to get into the playoffs: “That would be an exclamation point.”

Berlin Rebels: The hope for an increase in performance

The Berlin Rebels are coached by coach Josh Mandel. The American has been working for the rebels since 2010 with brief interruptions. Since 2020, Mandel, who works full-time as a sports teacher at an American school, has been the head coach of the Rebels. Last season, however, only his team managed to win one lean in ten games and missed the playoffs by a wide margin. “We had a lot of injuries, too few coaches and not enough players available,” Mandel explains of the poor performance. Many corona cases on the team contributed to the bad season.

But this year, everything will be different. Rebels could pick up some well-known players, including the experienced Norwegian Jonas Hagerup (offensive lineman) and the Polish offensive tackle Jedrzej Rudnicki. In addition, you have many young talents, such as receiver Toni Teucher. The defense is one of the team’s strengths, with Josh Mandel wanting a marked increase in offense. Last season, too much emphasis was placed on the running game, making it easy to calculate. So work needs to be done on that.

The main goal of the Rebels is to reach the playoffs. Not an easy task as you play with the Royals, Eagles and defending champions Dresden in the strong Eastern Division.

Potsdam Royals: The secret favorite for the title

Royals is the most established GFL site in the region. Last season, coach Michael Vogt’s team made it to the playoff semifinals, where they lost 28:18 to the Schwäbisch Hall Unicorns after a big match. This year in Potsdam, the big hit in the final was to succeed. The “German Bowl” takes place on October 2 in Frankfurt. To achieve this goal, they have strengthened their quarterback position with Chris Helbig. The 24-year-old last played at an American college in Utah and has strong stats. “We’re really looking forward to Chris, his qualities as a quarterback are undisputed and will give us a lot of joy. He’s a real leader and infects everyone with his extremely positive manner,” coach Michael Vogt said of his new leading player. who is one of many Americans on the Royals team.

For Potsdam, the season also starts with a bang next Saturday (kickoff at 4pm). For then no one is inferior to the reigning German champions, the Dresden Monarchs, guests of the Sportpark Luftschiffhafen. The Eastern Derby is eagerly awaited. Both teams need to meet at eye level, combined with a lot of emotion. The new Royals offensive coordinator, Randy Jackson, is already promising fans a fast and spectacular Royals offensive.

And a victory against the champions in the beginning can give the royals’ dream of the German Bowl even bigger wings.

Broadcast: Antenna Brandenburg, 18 May 2022, at 16.15

Contributed by Fabian Friedmann


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