AFI’s All-Europe Team: Linebacker – Thomas Schnurrer, Graz Giants

In 2019, a young Austrian linebacker by the name of Thomas Schnurrer led the Austrian Football League (AFL) in tackles recording 79 in 11 games.

He did it again in 2021, making 49.5 in seven games and to everyone who watches the AFL, it came as no surprise. 

Schnurrer’s ability to run downhill without hesitation has transformed him into one of the most feared defenders in the AFL and AFI’s choice as one of the linebackers on the All-Europe Team.

Thomas Schnurrer anchoring Team Austria’s defense in rout of Serbia Photo: Peter Kramberger

The 5’10”, 210-pound, 27-year-old Schnurrer, from Graz, started his career 13 years ago at the age of 14 with the Graz Giants youth team before moving up to the seniors. He has since won AFL’s Defensive MVP an astounding four times, an award usually reserved for American imports in most European leagues. He is also a key member of the Austrian national team.

Despite being one of the league’s top defenders over the years, he was never able to win the ever-elusive Austrian Bowl. Despite this, he will go down as one of the best home-grown talents Austria has produced in recent years.

With his recent signing with the latest member of the European League of Football, ELF, the Vienna Vikings, expect Schnurrer to impact an already loaded roster and feature heavily on one of the best teams in Europe.


Daniel Mackenzie is a Press Association graduate who works in journalism and communications in the third sector. Daniel began playing football for the London Warriors and Team Great Britain and has since played across Europe.