AaB 89ers running back Breon Allen has discovered the joys of playing in Europe

The Danish National League season unfortunately ended before the semi-finals could be played after a short four game regular season. Even though the league couldn’t finish the year, Danish football fans still had a chance to enjoy the game they love.

Aab 89ers running back Breon Allen showed in those four games that he is among the best players in northern Europe. He was voted the top running back in the Danish league after an outstanding 2020 season which saw him electrify fans and confound opponents constantly. Allen’s speed, agility, and creativity in the open field made him the most exciting player to watch in this year’s Danish season. A thrilling moment this year was the 89ers upset victory over the defending Danish champions, the Triangle Razorbacks, a game in which Allen totaled 235 yards and three touchdowns.

Allen accrued 598 yards and eight touchdowns in only four games for the Aab 89ers this season. He did this while averaging an astonishing 9.6 yards per carry. What makes this even more impressive is the fact that Allen along with other Aab players were playing both ways in many games. Defensively, Allen was no slouch. His 18 solo tackles were enough to rank him second on his team. The cancelation of the season was of course disappointing for Allen as he was an MVP candidate and his team had qualified for the semi-finals.

“The 2020 season has been very unique I’ll say, with all the uncertainty that surrounded it. I was just thankful to be able to play four games, because there were a lot of people that didn’t even get to play a single game this year. I will admit that I was pretty sad about not being able to finish. I think we were prepared and ready for our rematch with a well coached Sollerod team.”

In his second season with the AaB 89ers from Aalborg, Denmark, Allen was again a force Photo: 1st Down Photo/Mikkel Rasmussen

Before finding his way to the 89ers in 2019, Allen was a force for the Hannover Spartans in Germany’s third division. After that, he landed in Denmark, where he has been a dynamic player the last two seasons.

“I had just finished my first year ever playing in Europe back in 2018 for a GFL 3 team by the name of Hannover Spartans down in Germany, I had no idea where I was going to play next but I just knew I wanted to try somewhere in Europe again at a higher level. So I got on the Europlayers website and just started writing any team that said they were looking for players from anywhere. AaB was one of the many teams I had reached out to and the rest is history.”

Allen has shown his commitment to the 89ers organization by coming back in 2020 during a very uncertain year. His play on the field along with his attitude towards teaching the game has made him a huge asset for the 89ers club. Allen on his favorite part of being a import players for Aab:

“For me it’s teaching the youth, that’s my favorite. I have been playing this game for such a long time and it has given me so much. So to be able to take my experience and knowledge of the game and share it with the kids and then to watch them apply it to their game after I have taught it is a very rewarding feeling for me.”

Before finding out about football in Europe, Allen was a standout high school player in Daytona, Florida for Warner Christian Academy. The two way star earned all state honors in high school before signing to play for Snow College, a junior college program. At Snow, Allen carried his Badgers squad to a 10-1 record in 2012, and left as the schools all time leader rusher. After completing in junior college career Allen committed to division one East Carolina University.

“I chose ECU for two reasons. First because of the family atmosphere vibes I received on my visit, Coach Ruffin McNeil  and Lincoln Riley where straight forward about things when we met and I loved that. Secondly they were the only Division 1 program to offer me a scholarship, I was offered by ECU 3 days after national signing day.

Breon Allen playing for the Hannover Spartans in Germany Photo: Maike Lobback

In two years at Eastern Carolina Allen had 1,743 all purpose yards and 12 touchdowns. His best game statistically came against North Carolina where he ran for 211 yards and two touchdowns. The Florida native also earned academic honor roll in the classroom. After a stellar collegiate career Allen hoped to play in the NFL but didn’t get the opportunity he hoped for.

“ I didn’t get an opportunity to go to a mini camp or anything out of college and that hurt me really bad, because I thought I had done enough my senior year to at least make a mini camp and then CFL was almost a reality but I didn’t have a passport at the time.”

Making the most of the situation Allen shifted his focus and played in the Indoor football league, suiting up for the Colorado Crush and Salt Lake Screaming Eagles. After an injury  limited his action in 2017, Allen was convinced by Hannover Spartans coach Willie Robinson to join him in Germany for the 2018 season.

“I knew nothing about football in Europe, had I knew about it I would have came over this way right out of college back in 2015 when NFL & CFL had sort of flew out the window for me. I was craving to be back outside playing so I was like why not go and try it, and it turned out to be a great decision.”

Photo: James Guillory, USA TODAY Sports

Allen has enjoyed living abroad and the opportunity it has given him to expand his world view and see different lifestyle. Playing football in Europe since 2018 has opened his eyes to the differences between cultures all over the world.

“The biggest difference for me has been the use of the travel system compared to how we use it back home in Daytona Beach where I’m from. It’s the norm here to walk somewhere, ride a bike, or even take the city bus. That’s the opposite of how we do it back home. I really enjoy that while I’m here.”

Allen says his current goals are to continue to play the game he loves, enjoy winning, and prove himself at whatever level he is playing.

“My goal has always been the same since I was coming out of high school, and it’s a personal goal. I always wanted to just prove to myself that I belong wherever I am, that i’m supposed to be here and it isn’t a fluke.  My goals are to win and to play as hard as I can for as long as God blesses me to play this great game.”

We’ll see what Allen has in store for us in 2021!

 

 

 

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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