Battle4Tirol Turns Global; Austria’s Swarco Raiders To Host US College Team & Helsinki Roosters

Austria’s Swarco Raiders added  the Battle4Tirol to their schedule last year and it was such a resounding success for the team and its fans they have brought it back with a twist this year.

This season the event has been pared down to three stand-alone games with the Elmhurst College Bluejays from Chicago joining Germany’s Stuttgart Scorpions and the reigning Finnish champions the Helsinki Roosters in facing the Raiders. The Raiders will host Elmhurst College and Helsinki at home in Innsbruck while they will travel to Stuttgart to play the Scorpions.

In 2015, the Raiders hosted Stuttgart as well as the Dusseldorf Panther from Germany, Switzerland’s Basel Gladiators and British title holders the London Warriors. Swarco won all four games.

Swarco and Austrian national team head coach Shuan Fatah:

“Our fans, sponsors and players alike were impressed by the BATTLE4TIROL 2015. We hosted four interesting opponents in Innsbruck. This season we face two definite heavyweights. Playing a US college such as Elmhurst is an enormous challenge, but also an opportunity for us to introduce ourselves to football’s homeland.  Helsinki is one of the most successful teams in Europe. In addition, for the first time we will be playing an away game as we travel to Stuttgart for the game against the Scorpions.”

The first game on March 29 will see the Raiders head to Germany to play Stuttgart. Then the Roosters arrive in Austria to play the Raiders on April 9. Finally, Elmhurst College travels to Innsbruck on June 4.

Elmhurst College Bluejays

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Elmhurst College is a Division III school from Elmhurst just outside of Chicago. The team plays in the CCIW Conference and last won the conference championship in 2012. The Bluejays are no strangers to playing in Europe. In 2013, they were in Rome to play an exhibition game.

Helsinki Roosters

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The reigning champions from Finland have won 18 Finnish titles including the last four in a row. The Roosters won the IFAF Europe Champions League title in 2014 in dramatic fashion. Although the Roosters do not start their Finnish schedule until June, they are in full offseason preparations. 

Stuttgart Scorpions

Battle4Tirol - Stuttgart action - 2pic

First up for the Raiders is the Stuttgart Scorpions on March 29. The Raiders defeated Stuttgart in 2015 34-9 but that game was in Innsbruck. The Scorpions are a much stronger home team and they finished third in the German Football League South Division in 2015 qualifying for the playoffs for the 17th time in the last 18 years. They  and went on to lose to the Dresden Monarchs in the German quarterfinals. in the last regular season game of the year. Their high-powered offense was exciting to watch.

In addition to the Battle4Tirol games, the Raiders will play in the Austrian Football League and in the Big6 tournament.

Roger Kelly is an editor and a writer for AFI. A former PR Director the B.C. Lions of the Canadian Football League for 7 years, he now lives in Sweden writing about and scouting American Football throughout the world.