Holland: Dutch American Football League kicks off 2019 season

The eight team Dutch American Football League kicks off its 2019 season this weekend with one game on the schedule.

The reigning champion Hilversum Hurricanes along with the Lelystad Commanders, Arnhem Falcons and Lightning Leiden will be joined this year by the 19 time champions, the Amsterdam Crusaders as well as the Utrecht Dominators who are making their first appearance in Holland’s top league since 2009, the Groningen Giants and the Flevo Phantoms.

Gone from the league are the 010 Trojans from Rotterdam.

The Groningen Giants will play host to the newly promoted Flevo Phantoms in the season’s opening game.

Amsterdam Crusaders

The Amsterdam Crusaders, the “Cru”, are winners of 19 Tulip Bowl titles, the last one in 2017. The opted to play only international games in 2018 but have returned to play in the Dutch league. With their history, they will have to be considered among the favorites to win the league championship. Head coach Hassan Alebade will rely on Dutch quarterback  Jasper Nijland and is shying away from recruiting multiple imports this year. Nevertheless, Amsterdam has scheduled three international games this season and in addition to their Dutch opponents will also play the Dusseldorf Panther, Cologne Crocodiles and Potsdam Royals from the German Football League.

Arnhem Falcons

The Falcons finished the 2018 season with a 5-3 record and were eliminated in the semifinals by eventual champions, the Hilversum Hurricanes. Since entering the top league in Holland in 2012, Arnhem has never reached the Tulip Bowl. Head coach Christian Heister has handed the starting quarterback duties to Dutch quarterback Jeroen van der Burght.

 

Hilversum Hurricanes

The reigning Netherlands Champion Hurricanes will do everything to defend the title this year. Last year,  the Hurricanes defeated the Lelystad Commanders in the Tulip Bowl 24-13.  With top rated quarterback Maurice Tielen returning, head coach Markus Zielke should have his team challenging for the title again in 2019.

Flevo Phantoms

The Phantoms are competing in the top division in Holland for the first time in their history.

 

Groningen Giants

Head coach Raymon Niewold will lead the Giants onto the field this year in the top division after a one year hiatus. Groningen played in the first division in 2016 and 2017 finishing with a 2-6 record both years.

 

Lelystad Commanders

The Commanders hope to build on their success of 2018 when they reached the Tulip Bowl championship game. They lost a tough game to the Hilversum Hurricanes after finishing first during the regular season. This was the first year Lelystad played in Holland’s top division since 2013. Returning as starting QB is current MVP of the Netherlands, Carlo van Deventer. Head coach is also the same as last year, Michiel Veerkamp.

 

Lightning Leiden

The Lightning Leiden are competing in the top division in the Netherlands for the 11th time since 2007. They reached the Tulip Bowl in 2009 and in 2018 lost a close game in the semifinals to the Commanders.

 

Utrecht Dominator

Head coach René Hollart enters the 2019 campaign with a very young roster and will be hard pressed in the team’s first season in the top division since 2009. Last season, the starting quarterback duties were shared between Jim Hollart and Bud Prongers but Coach Hollart will likely turn to the younger Hollart to lead the team in 2019.

 

AFI
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