ELF: Stuttgart Surge sign Finnish defensive end Ville Valasti

The Stuttgart Surge have announced the return of Finnish defensive end Ville Valasti to the European League of Football (ELF) for the 2023 season.

The 6 ’5″, 260-pound Valasti spent the last year with his hometown team, the Helsinki Wolverines, in Finland’s Maple League but missed the majority of the season due to injury.

Valasti spent the 2021 season with ELF champions, the Frankfurt Galaxy, helping them capture the first ever title as part of a defense that held opponents to a league-best 14 points a game. 

The veteran Finn was a key member of the Wolverines defense during the 2020 pandemic-shortened season. He anchored a defense that reached the Finnish title game recording 33 tackles and seven sacks during the seven-game span. He was unanimously named to the AFI All-Pandemic Team for his performance during the 2020 season.

Valasti played college football in the United States, beginning with Diablo Valley Community College where he earned All-State Honors before accepting a scholarship to Eastern Michigan (NCAA D1), where he spent the final two years of his collegiate career. As a member of the Eagles, he played in 17 games tallying 13 tackles.

Valasti signed with the German Football League’s Frankfurt Universe in 2020 before the pandemic canceled the season. As a young player, Valasti was a member of the Finnish national team, and played for both the Helsinki Roosters and Helsinki Wolverines.

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.