Curtain Up for Europe’s Best: Preview – Berlin Adler v. Calanda Broncos

“It is something special to play at this level”

By Björn Hesse via Berlin Adler

The Berlin Adler are the third German team to enter play and finally  get into the  EFAF BIG6 tournament action when they face the Swiss Calanda Broncos this weekend. “It is something special to play at this level. It will demand a lot from us coaches and the players”, said Adler Head Coach Kim Kuci in his Twitter Q&A (#FragKim).

On the first weekend of May the Dresden Monarchs and New Yorker Lions met in Group A – a rematch of last year’s German Bowl – resulting with the Lion winning once again. The reigning Austrian champion Raiffeisen Vikings from Vienna rounds out the clubs in Group A. The Adler are located in Group B and have to compete with the Swarco Raiders from Austria and the reigning Swiss champion Calanda Broncos.


Talib Wise, RB, Berlin Alder

Even before the game, the team from Chur was causing major headlines: The Broncos fired Head Coach Adam Rita on Wednesday. The contract with the Canadian was terminated, due to personal reasons despite success on the gridiron. Until the end of the season the two US imports Cedric Townsend and Stacey Thomas will take over coaching duties.

The Calanda Broncos are not to be underrated in the BIG6, even though they had showed some disappointing results in April. They lost their first BIG6 game on April 12th against Shuan Fatah’s Swarco Raiders 17 to 40. On Easter Monday their 52 game winning streak in the Swiss National League A (NLA) came to an end with a tough 17-19 loss against the Bern Grizzlies.

In both of their two German Football League (GFL) away games this season the Berlin Adler were playing lights out. They followed up their landslide 44-7 opening day win with a 42-22 victory against the Düsseldorf Panther two weeks ago. Two games in a row with 40+ points offensively are a clear exclamation mark.

This season, Adler Fans have to get familiar with many new faces. But one of them is an old friend, football all-rounder Talib Wise, who won the Eurobowl with the Berlin Adler in 2010. “He gives us the necessary explosiveness, because he had not only played running back and wide receiver, but also safety in college”, said Coach Kuci. “Talib is one of the most impressive Kick Returners in Europe and is one of, if not the most dangerous European import.“

Cedric Townsend, QB, Calanda Broncos

The Adler offense will be led by experienced U.S. import quarterback Darius Outlaw. The former playmaker of city rival Berlin Rebels transferred in the off-season together with 11 former Rebels teammates over to the Adler. On defense, National team Linebacker Mario Nowak will be supported by Rory Johnson as well as Mamadou Sy (21), nickname “L’Animal/the animal“, a French national team player from Flash de la Courneuve. From the Danish national team, 24-year-old linebacker Lars Ringgaard Peterson and 23-year-old Kicker Phillip Andersen, also playing wide receiver, will put on the black & yellow
jersey. In the past season Andersen completed a 58 yard field goal for his former team, the Danish Herlev Rebels!

In their previous games RB Orlando Frehner and WR Christian Steffani were the offensive go-to-guys for the Swiss. Usually the Broncos offense is led by U.S. quarterback Cedric Townsend. In case he is injured, as he was at the end of April in the NLA game against the Basel Gladiators, then 19 year old Dea Baumann will step in. The backup quarterback threw for for five touchdown passes against Basel, scoring 6 PATs and 3 Field Goals!

We’re excited to see a competitive BIG6 game. On June 14th the Adler will travel to Innsbruck for their second and last preliminary game against the Swarco Raiders. Both group winners will play against each other on July 19th in Eurobowl XXVIII!

John McKeon is a former professional and collegiate American Football player and coach now living and working in New York. His goal is to spread news, information, and opinion on the global growth of the sport he loves.