Spain’s Badalona Dracs Aiming Higher in Europe

Spain’s Badalona Dracs are heading into a busy spring of American football. With the Spanish season underway, the Dracs will now get set to play in the European Football League.

They have opened the Spanish season in outstanding form. With three lop-sided wins, they sit atop the Spanish standings with an undefeated 3-0 record. They have outscored their opponents 153-31 and will face the upstart Barbera Rookies this weekend in a key match-up.

Head coach Oscar Calatayud is also preparing the Dracs for their first European Football League game of the season on March 19 at home in Barcelona against France’s Thonon Black Panthers.

Spain - Badalona Dracs 2016 EFL poster

The Black Panthers, last year’s finalists in the French league and league champions in 2013 and 2014, are entering this competition for the first time. Both the Dracs and Black Panthers play in the same group as the Frankfurt Universe, winners of Germany’s GFL2 in 2015. The Dracs head to Frankfurt on May 29 for their second game.

The other group features the Hamburg Huskies from Germany, Holland’s Amsterdam Crusaders and Kiel Baltic Hurricanes also from Germany and defending 2015 champions.

The Dracs are no strangers to international competition. They played this tournament in 2015 finishing with a win against the Amsterdam Crusaders and a loss. But they have two runners-up trophies from the old EFAF Cup (2001 and 2014) and two EFL semi-finals berths (2002 and 2003).

The Black Panthers team they face is led by American James “Skip” Albano a seasoned veteran of American football in Europe. He has been on the bench with Italy’s Bolzano Giants, the Vienna Vikings in Austria, both the Thun Tigers and Bern Grizzlies in Switzerland as well as Austria’s national team.

Spain - Dracs v. Crusaders

Dracs defeated the Amsterdam Crusaders in 2015

However, with quarterback Mike Box in fine form this early in the season, leading the Spanish league in touchdown passes, and running back Drew Clausen also playing excellent football, Badalona hopes to take another step up in Europe and also win the Spanish championship in the same year.

AFI
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