ELF: Northern Conference offseason preview

The European League of Football (ELF) offseason officially begins November 1st.  With plenty of time before the 2023 season gets going next May, let’s take a look at what each team – that existed in 2022 – should try to do this offseason before next season kicks off.

Hamburg Sea Devils

Following another successful regular season in 2022, the Sea Devils featured in their second straight Championship Game, and again, they lost. 

It is hard to fault the front office staff in Hamburg as they brought in arguably the best defense in the league and the pieces necessary for an absolute monster running game. But one area they overlooked, or rather overestimated, was their passing game. 

German quarterback Salieu Ceesay struggled this year leading to the team becoming even more one dimensional as the season progressed. An obvious choice for the team will be to pursue an American quarterback this offseason and balance the offense out which would allow for more malleability.

Berlin Thunder

In a surprising move the Thunder parted ways with their star running back, Jocques Crawford, shortly after the season ended. He ranked second in the league with 1,088 yards but only scored nine touchdowns. As one of the best backs in the league, this does perhaps indicate the direction in which they wish to go, an American wideout.

The Thunder finished fourth from last in both turnovers and touchdowns in 2022, which did seem odd as on paper they had a solid roster. To fix this the team may need to go after some playmakers at wideout and in the defensive secondary. If they start to win the turnover battle and create some big plays through the air, it may just take them from chasing a playoff spot to competing for a championship.

Wroclaw Panthers

The Panthers had the makings of a good team before the 2022 season, but injuries hit the team hard and in the worst place, quarterback. Their quarterback carousel did not go well and led to the team ending the season having thrown 19 interceptions, tied second in the league.

If they can keep the anchor of their defense, Goran Zec, who will likely be the most sought after European in the league this offseason and add another EU in the front seven, they will again be in good stead with a stable of solid Polish talent. For now though, the Panthers will need to work on getting a quarterback and pray that he is not made of glass.

Leipzig Kings

After another disappointing season and ending up in the bottom of the stats in nearly every category it’s hard to figure out where to begin with the Kings.

With a number of star receivers such as Anthony Dable-Wolf, Anton Jallai and Seantavius Jones, it was obvious that they would lean heavily on the passing game, and it was somewhat productive. However, the Kings were often behind and therefore chasing fast points through the air. It is also why the team threw 19 interceptions, tied second in the league.

Moving forward they will need to diversify their offense with a strong running game. This will begin with the offensive line. It is no coincidence that the team went through three different quarterbacks this year with two falling to injury. 

The Kings were not short of big names this year on both sides of the ball. But if they wish to compete in a league that appears to only be getting better, they will also need to secure domestic talent which has been an issue in the past due to the team’s location and the import rules.

Daniel Mackenzie is a Press Association graduate who works in journalism and communications in the third sector. Daniel began playing football for the London Warriors and Team Great Britain and has since played across Europe.