Aarhus Tigers focusing on youth in Danish “post COVID-19 lockdown” season

The Aarhus Tigers will hit the field Sunday, August 16 to take on the defending champion and visiting Triangle Razorbacks in the final first round game of the Danish National League’s ‘post COVID-19 lockdown’ season.

This will be the second league in the world to play a season of football since the COVID-19 pandemic swept across the globe.

The National League has kicked off the season with five teams and the Danish top division is playing a shortened season with each team playing only four games with the regular season winding up September 12

The Tigers finished with a disappointing 4-6 regular season record in 2019 and were knocked out of the Wild Card playoffs by the AaB 89ers 60-34. New head coach Jonn Mathews is aiming to improve on that record but at the same time develop his young Danish players.He is aware that he is fielding a young team, but he sees this season as an opportunity to develop his domestic players:

“We are a very young team, but we compete, and that is all i can ask from the guys. In the past couple of years, we have had good imports but have not put enough focus on the younger players. We have to build a solid foundation.”

To replace last year’s starting quarterback, Isahiah Weed, he has a battle between Alexander Schwartz and Christoffer Bay Carstens. Schwartz was the quarterback for the Danish U19 national team in the 2019 European Championships. That team finished fourth in the tournament. At running back, Mathews has inserted Jakob Ringsholt while his key wideouts are Julius Bunk, Magnus Urth and Frederik Daugaard. Urth is considered to be one of the most talented young wideouts in Europe with Daugaard not far behind. The offensive line is anchored by Mads Højen.

“Magnus Urth is one of the top young wide receiver talents in Denmark and Europe as is Julius Bunk. I’m excited to see what kind of impact they will have this season.”

Defensively, defensive lineman Max Møller leads a front seven which is expected to see good improvement in 2020. Behind him is linebacker Marco Busk who Mathews has high hopes for. The secondary is led by Milos Ilic who also played on Denmark’s U19 national team.

“Marco Busk is one of my favorite players to coach. He puts the work in off the field, and on the field finds a way to get his job done no matter the circumstances. Just a great leader and teammate.”

With a coaching staff that includes offensive coordinator Troels Kjeldsen, offensive line coach Thomas Duus, wide receiver coach, Hjalte Søndergaard Jakobsen, quarterbacks coach Mathias Lilhauge, defensive coordinator Laurits Frolund Mortensen, defensive line coach Christopher Muurholm, linebacker coach Timmi Kleinnibbelink Rysgaard and defensive backs coach Christian Brødsgaard, Mathews is excited for the season to start, but still emphasizes the importance of focusing on player development.

“I know I keep saying it, but we have a chance to really work on development this season. We want our Danish players to be ready. Our top 10 players can match any other team’s top 10 players, but it’s the next 10 to 25 players that make the difference and that’s where we need to focus this season.”



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