Sweden’s Örebro Black Knights sporting a “new look” in 2018

By Perfect Pervis

2018 is a new year, and the Örebro Black Knights are a different team. After a great campaign last season, the Black Knights were Super Serien runner-ups. Obviously, the Aaron Fiddler-led squad has aspirations to win the title in 2018.

To accomplish this reasonable goal, the team must take an unorthodox route to get there. The Black Knights have seen some of their best players leave to play college ball in the states, and even play on other teams in Europe (Shoutout to Jonatan Gihl & Danny Wynne of the Allgäu Comets). To combat this, coach Fiddler and his team have worked hard to keep the core group of players who live in Örebro. In regards to team additions, the Black Knights are sticking to their recipe for success by adding young players that can be developed and help the team long term.

The Black Knights offensive line will be led by center Sebastian Nilsson, and looks to be a strength for the team if they can remain healthy. Running back Adam Fahlvik will not be playing this season due to an injury. Just one of the many changing parts, as the Knights signed domestic running back Timmy Göransson, previously of the Limhamn Griffins. Young receiver Johannes Lindeus is a new name to get accustomed to heading into the season. National team wide receiver Tomas Jacobsen will fill the role of playmaker for the new look offense. You can expect for the Yeldell-Jacobsen combination to be seen early and often this season.

Quarterback Raleigh Yeldell. Photo Credit: Salla Lahti

Quarterback Raleigh Yeldell will lead the offense for the Black Knights this season. A standout quarterback from Newberry College (South Carolina), Yeldell has a long list of accomplishments, records, and accolades. Yeldell is not new to the Scandinavian region, spending last season with the Tampere Saints in Finland’s Maple League. This is where I was able to witness Yeldell firsthand on the field, confirming that the Black Knights will have a dynamic offense. Despite the lack of team success in the Maple League, Raleigh individually was always the #1 priority for defenses. He is a dual threat qb with exceptional speed, quickness, and big play-making ability.

With major changes in personnel, receiver Johan Stål will be moving to the defensive side of the field this year. Last season Stål was one of the league leaders in touchdowns for the Black Knights. This is just another example of how different this team will look this season. Linebacker Eric Murphy will once again be the defensive leader the Black Knights can rely on. Middle linebacker Filip Jönsson is also a player looking to make plays for the defense this season.

Despite the Örebro Black Knights being a completely different team this year, one thing remains the same: Carlstad Crusaders are the team to beat. No matter how good or bad the Black Knights new team is, everyone will be looking for how they match up against the defending Super Serien champions.

TALKING TO THE COACH

Aaron Fiddler is a greatly respected coach in Sweden, as well as Europe. He didn’t mind answering the tough questions.

Last season your team only lost to the Carlstad Crusaders, including the Championship game. What are some changes you have made to prevent a similar situation from happening this season?

“We have studied what went right for us and what went wrong last year, and we are going to try to focus on limiting big plays we give up, and taking advantage of any chances we get. Carlstad is a great team and they don’t leave you room for error. I think with the reduction to five teams that it will be a very competitive and fun league this year, and I’m looking forward to seeing and coaching some good matchups.”

What kind of expectations does your team and players have going into this season?

As always our expectations are to play the game the “way” that we have established as being acceptable within our organization. We expect to fly to the ball, focus a lot on being really good on special teams, and being diverse on offense to stress defenses. We need to be more consistent on putting together all of those aspects for all four quarters in a game. No slow starts, and no lazy finishes.

Read the original article by Perfect Pervis in the Swedish Football Network.

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