Calanda Broncos HC Geoff Buffum gives his insights as he prepares for Swiss Bowl XXXIV

The Calanda Broncos will be looking to win their third straight Swiss title Saturday when they play the Geneva Seahawks in Swiss Bowl XXXIV.

This year the game will be held in the Broncos home park in Chur, Switzerland.

This is the second year in a row these two teams have faced each other in the Swiss championship game. Calanda defeated the Seahawks 44-12 to win their ninth overall title in 2018.

Geoff Buffum has been the architect of three of those championships. American Football International asked him about how this feels and preparations for the game.

AFI: You have won the Swiss title three times since taking over as head coach of the Broncos in 2015. Does this game feel any different?

Buffum: Every opportunity to play for a championship is special and each title game takes on it’s own personality.  This time around, we will be playing the game on our home field, so it will be the opportunity to make a great memory for our players

AFI: Geneva accounted for your only loss this season although you returned the favor in the second game. What problems do they give you?

Buffum: Geneva is simply the best team on our Swiss league schedule.  They are a complete team, well-coached in all 3 phases and they don’t make silly mistakes.

AFI: You defeated the Seahawks in last year’s game fairly handily. You must be expecting a tougher game this year.

Buffum: The 2018 Swiss Bowl really offers no insight into this game.  Since then we’ve played 2 very competitive games with Geneva in the 2019 regular season and each team has won 1 of them.

AFI: Are you healthy?

Buffum: Considering that we have played 16 games in 17 weeks and still have a strong majority of our roster able to play in this last game, yes, we are healthy.

AFI: You have again placed Calanda on the international map with a win over the Wroclaw Panthers and the narrowest of losses to the Swarco Raiders. What kind of confidence does this give your players going into this game?

Buffum: Next to the two teams you mentioned, Geneva might be the best team we have played in 2019.  We have played some great games in 2019, but we have also played below our standard at times.  Nothing we did in the CEFL games carries over into this Saturday, it is all about how well we can perform this one last time for 2019.

AFI: Conner Manning has been outstanding all season and he has a number of weapons including Max Gray, Adrian Sünderhauf, Lukas Lütscher and Tino Muggwyler Geneva’s defense has quickness and one of the best corners in the league in Idemudia along with speed and physicality in their linebackers. How will you attack it?

Buffum: Geneva has the #1 Defense in the Swiss League, they have shut down virtually every team they have played.   One of our strengths on offense has been not having to rely on 1-2 key players.  We have multiple players at RB, TE, and WR who can execute their roles and of course Conner Manning has been excellent for us as a QB and leader.  The one thing you did not ask about was the key to our offensive success which is our Offensive Line.   They have been a very consistent group as many of our key skill players have missed multiple games over the course of the season.  To be at nearly full strength on Saturday is really a nice situation to be in.

AFI: What will you be expecting from their offense?

Buffum: Their offense relies on the dual-threat capabilities of QB Kyle Graves and the hard running of RB Morgan Nkule.  When those two guys are on, they are difficult to stop.  They also have a very complete WR group, you can’t really key on just one guy.  Making sure we have all those receivers covered and still keeping Graves and Nkule from killing us with their legs is going to be a real challenge.

AFI: Anything else you would like to add?

Buffum: Our club has a lot of respect for Geneva, what they have accomplished in the past few years, and the way they approach the game.  We know that to grow the sport, we need to have rivals like Geneva in our league.  I firmly believe that early season loss to the Seahawks made us a better team over the long haul.  Both teams have improved over the course of the season and fans can expect an exciting final chapter.

Swiss Bowl XXXIV is scheduled for Saturday, July 13 at Stadion Ringstrasse Chur in Chur, Switzerland. The game will be livestreamed and carried on AFI.

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