ELF: Switzerland’s Helvetic Guards host first Combine

This past weekend, one of the European League of Football’s expansion teams for the 2023 season, the Helvetic Guards, hosted their first combine in Emmen, Switzerland. 

Head coach Norm Chow and his staff tested dozens of aspiring players, including many from Switzerland and some others from countries such as the United States, the United Kingdom, and Japan.  In particular, there were a large quantity of players from American football teams all over Switzerland who were trying out in the hopes of playing for what will become Switzerland’s team in the biggest and most expansive league in Europe.  These players took part in a series of NFL combine-esque events that tested their physical attributes such as speed, agility, and strength.  After going through these tests in an indoor facility, the players hit the field to take part in position-related tests which featured various individual and one-on-one drills.

Fans were invited to watch the combine to cheer on the players and enjoy a Helvetic Guards event for the first time.  There was a merchandise stand on site where fans could purchase some Guards gear to wear around Switzerland ahead of the team’s debut season.  Overall, it was a huge day for the franchise as a whole. 

A team representative was happy with the event:

“With an incredible atmosphere provided by the hopeful athletes showcasing their abilities and the already growing fan base for the Guards, the combine was an opportunity for the Swiss team to not only show how much excitement there is for the franchise, but that they truly belong in the European League of Football.”

Otis Smith instructing one of the 150+ players who attended the Combine

Coach Chow was impressed by what he saw over the weekend. 

“We saw great athletes here and got the chance to meet great people,” he said.  “What the players showed was extremely impressive!” 

The next step that Chow and his team will have to take involves figuring out which players impressed enough to earn a roster spot.  It is definitely an exciting, and perhaps nerve wracking, process for all involved.


A current student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Carter played football in high school and has been a lifelong avid football fan.