Bielefeld, Germany’s Niklas Gorny scores success in Poland

Earlier this past summer, the American Football Federation of Germany was forced shut down all football due to the pandemic.

For German quarterback Niklas Gorny, playing for the Bielefeld Bulldogs in Germany’s Div. 3, the shutdown in his home country turned into a new opportunity to play the game he loves in another country.

Instead plopping on the couch and bing watching “Tiger King” like so many people, Gorny took full advantage of a chance to play for the Tychy Falcons in the Polish LFA.

“It quickly became clear to me that it would still be difficult to play in Germany. Then, when the federation canceled the German leagues, I looked around for other alternatives. Tychy’s Coach Kolek convinced me of their intentions, which is why I decided to play for the Falcons this year.”

Niklas Gorny evading a defender during action in Poland Photo: Jean-Francois Nicolett

In the pandemic shortened season, the German signal caller led the Falcons to a 3-2 regular season record and a berth in the semifinals where they were eliminated by the Bialystok Lowlanders. In six games in Poland, the 25-year-old Bielefeld native threw for 11 touchdowns.

The 6’2 quarterback often found former University of Minnesota receiver Rashad Still in the end zone. The two became one of the most dynamic receiver quarterback duos in Poland.

Gorny definitely enjoyed his experience playing in Tychy.

“For me it was an incredible experience. Practicing football in another league, in another country, and be surrounded with great athletes and people and that during such times was a blessing. The experience I had as an import player allowed me to develop myself as a person, as a sportsman and athlete.”

Before leading the Falcons to the playoff, Gorny spent the previous five seasons playing for his hometown Bielefeld Bulldogs. He had discovered American football through his neighbor who had studied in the U.S. Since then, Gorny has been glued to the game.

Photo: Jean-Francois Nicolett

Gorny has an advantage staying close to home as he has his brother helping him develop:

“With my brother and coach, Felix Gorny, I have also had someone at my side for years who has placed a lot of value on my development. Be it strength training, athletics training, technical training. With his wealth of experience from his time in America and the experience I gained from my time in football, I think we put me in a good position to take on a higher level faster.”

As a part of the Bielefeld Bulldogs, Gorny has played in various levels, the GFL2, the Regionalliga, Germany’s third division, and Poland’s LFA. Gorny has proved to be an effective quarterback at multiple levels.

“ Since I was young, I’ve put a lot of emphasis on being able to play at the best possible level. I have always been very ambitious and a hard working athlete. On top of that, I had contact with higher levels every now and then throughout my youth. Be it selection teams, national team or training against athletes who came from a D1 colleges, former NFL players or players who have been playing in the GFL for years now.”

Niklas Gorney playing for the Bielefeld Bulldogs Photo: Bielefeld Bulldogs

The Bielefeld product has ambitious football goals for his future. He looks forward to playing at the highest level available to him. Look out for him to be throwing touchdowns and making plays next season.

“I want to play football successfully at the highest possible level for the next few years. I just want to be capable to be the best player on the field, a guy you can count on, no matter which team I play for.”

Alex Malchow
Alex is a former professional American football player who is now studying in London. His goal writing for AFI is to stay involved with the game that has given him so much. Alex enjoys covering leagues and players and sharing different football stories from across the globe.
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