Jared Stegman taking his Aussie style to Germany’s Kiel Baltic Hurricanes
The Kiel Baltic Hurricanes looked down under and to the far north to find the quarterback to help lead them hopefully to a German championship. Australian Jared Stegman, quarterback for the Australian national team – Team Outback – and for the past couple of years for Sweden’s Uppsala 86ers has landed in Kiel, Germany located on the Baltic Sea coast and is ready to get started.
The versatile Stegman (6’2″, 210 lb), from Brisbane, Australia, gained worldwide recognition at the IFAF World Championships in Canton, Ohio, piloting Australia to a fifth place finish, at times in spectacular fashion. In 2016, he guided the Uppsala 86ers to the Swedish championship game losing in a heartbreaker to the seven time champions Carlstad Crusaders. In 10 regular season games, Stegman threw for 1,988 yards and 28 touchdowns passes.
The Kiel Baltic Hurricanes advanced to the German semifinals in 2016 losing to the powerful Braunschweig New Yorker Lions who went on the win the German title. Kiel finished with an 11-4-1 record.
American Football International caught up with Jared not long after his arrival in Germany.
American Football International: You have had quite a football journey over the past 3-4 years. You were in Sweden for 2 seasons after the 2015 WCs. Why the move to Germany now?
Jared Stegman: The last few years have been great for me. In 2015 I really tried to branch out and experience a new challenge and I took that a step further by becoming the starter in Uppsala in 2016. I feel like I was able to compete and experience some success in the Superserien and all I really want to do is take my passion for the game to the highest level I can take it and the GFL was the next logical step. Fortunately for me, Kiel’s HC replied to my message on Europlayers and the rest is history.
AFI: How did you find out about playing in Europe and how did you end up in Uppsala?
Stegman: I can’t quite remember how I first heard about playing in Europe. I think one of the Americans who was imported to my local league in Australia had spoken about it. I knew the World Championships were coming up in 2015 in Sweden so my master plan was to gain more playing experience and already be in a European country for the tournament. That’s when I google searched all of the teams in the Superserien and found contact details for GM’s and Club Presidents. I sent away my bio as well as the all important film and a number of teams got back to me, but Uppsala was the most appealing. Little did I know that the WC was going to be relocated to Ohio and I was too late to change my plan as I’d already signed the contract.
AFI: How much has playing abroad helped you in Australia both with your club team and the Outback?
Stegman: As I alluded to earlier, getting some valuable experience in Uppsala in the lead up to the WC, not only under some great coaches and a veteran QB, but against better competition, helped me perform at a greater level in Ohio. Being able to play for different coaches and with a number of high level, knowledgeable players really affirmed what I knew and believed about the game. It was this reassurance and confidence that I was able to take with me into games for my club and into practice, preparation and general organisation.
AFI: What foods did you enjoy in Sweden?
Stegman: Fika, the coffee and sweet treat tradition, became a part of my day to day life as well as meatballs which were quite cheap and were used in a variety of my meals. I have some fond memories of all you can eat IKEA brunches and MAX hamburgers. On a related note, in the 24 hours I’ve been in Germany I’ve had a schnitzel, a pretzel and a bratwurst! I think I’m going to love the food here!
AFI: Did you get a chance to travel much and if so where to?
Stegman: I have been able to do a lot of travel in my two overseas tenures. Coming over and playing football and having a base, it’s such a great platform for traveling… I’ve been lucky enough to get to Finland, Denmark, Iceland, Italy, Greece, Germany and Estonia. Being able to see the world and travel plays a huge part in why I don’t settle down into a permanent full time job.
AFI: What are you expecting with Kiel?
Stegman: In terms of I’m expecting a new challenge. I’m expecting to be a part of a complete team and organisation. I’m expecting to carry on the winning tradition.
AFI: What do you think you bring to the team?
Stegman: I think I bring to the team a passion and a gratitude for the game similar to those that I will be playing with. I can relate to my teammates to build a better team because I’ve been that guy who pays to play, who works full-time, who lifts in between work and practice when that’s all the time you have. In terms of on the field, I bring with me the ability for the offense to be versatile and dynamic. I have some moments where I can run the ball and make plays scrambling, but I think my strength will be getting the ball out quickly to our brilliant wide receiver corps. Also, a non-American QB allows for balance on offense as we have a great import receiver and running back.
AFI: What are you looking forward to with this next big move?
Stegman: I’m really looking forward to measuring myself up against, what I’ve heard is, the best competition in Europe. I want to know what my potential is and by playing at a higher level I really hope it brings out my best.
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