Finland: Seinäjoki Crocodiles 2023 title favorites after several heartbreaking championship losses

After several heartbreaking championship losses in the title game over the year, the Seinäjoki Crocodiles seem to be the team to beat this year in Finland’s Maple League.

Last year, was more of the same as the Crocodiles nearly upset the Kuopio Steelers before losing 21-14 in the championship game. Seinäjoki also lost the title game in 2015, and 2016. Now they hope to break the streak nail biting losses and finally hoist the Maple League trophy for the first time since 2001.

So far, the Crocodiles have been the talk of the Finland’s top league sitting at 9-0 for the season. The Crocodiles have had several close games escaping Lohja with a 42-35 win against the Crusaders, and Porvoo with a one-touchdown victory, but remain unscathed at the moment. They do face a tough Kuopio Steelers team again at home to finish out the season as well as the Helsinki Roosters and Wasa Royals.

Crocodiles veteran RB Christian Powell is having another outstanding season Photo: @Crocodiles

Offensively, veteran running back Chrisitan Powell is leading the league in rushing yet again, averaging 128 yards a game. Powell has been a force in Finland since entering the league in 2018. The former Colorado Buffalo recently moved into third all-time in the league’s touchdown scorers list.  At quarterback Zachary Whitehead is back for his third season with the club managing the game while throwing only two inceptions compared to 17 touchdowns through 10 games. Finnish talent is also leading the way as Jannes Sarkela has racked up 28 catches for 448 yards and 11 touchdowns proving to be a menace in the red zone.

Defensively, the Crocodiles boast the league’s top defense giving up an average of 15 points and 237 yards a game. Veteran defensive back Eric Irvin and young linebacker Aatu Tuokko make for a dynamic duo for the Crocodiles. At the line of scrimmage, American imports Seth Zins and Elijah Watson make this a tough from-four to run against.


One player rejoining the Crocodiles recently is talented German offensive lineman Mattias Stockamp. Stockamp was part of the 2016 team that lost the Maple Bowl and is now back to help finish what he started. The Crocodiles will look to hold onto their undefeated record as they have three more regular season games scheduled before the preseason.

Photos: Seinäjoki Crocodiles

Alex is a former NCAA and semi-pro American football player who is now located in London, where he works in digital marketing. His goal in writing for AFI is to stay involved with the game that has given him so much. Alex enjoys covering leagues and