Germany: Braunschweig New Yorker Lions HC Troy Tomlin looks ahead after tough couple of years

The Braunschweig New Yorker Lions have gone through a couple of transitional years during the COVID pandemic.

After the cancellation of the 2020 season, the Lions went through an unusual (for them) season in 2021. After a decade of pure dominance and coming off a narrow 10-7 victory over the Schwäbisch Hall Unicorns to win the 2019 German Bowl, Braunschweig found themselves getting bounced from the quarterfinals in 2021 by the very same Unicorns team following a middling 5-5 season.

The reasons were fairly obvious though. The powerhouse of the German Football League over the past decade was hit by player departures more than most due to the pandemic and also to the emergence of the European League of Football.

Head coach Troy Tomlin, who has guided the Lions since 2013, at the time turning them back into the dominant force they had been previously, is not fazed though.

“We lost a few players to the ELF, ” he says, “but we have gained some as well. I really haven’t noticed a big difference.  COVID has had a far greater influence on our program.”

Braunschweig has looked like a far different team in 2022 and in fact only suffered their first loss just before the break. According to Tomlin, this has been a true team effort and he is reluctant to point to any one or two players who have made a difference although a new player is on the horizon:

“I think all the new players have done a great job.  We will be making an announcement soon of one more player.”

Naturally, there has been talk of the attraction and influence of ELF and the impact it has had on the football landscape in Europe. A number of players and coaches have made the jump and it would be surprising if the most successful head coach of the past decade in Germany had not also been approached. Tomlin admits he was contacted but was adamant about not moving:

“Yes, I was talked to by a couple teams. But my home is here in Braunschweig.  My family is here and why would I leave the best American Football Fans in Europe?”

With the GFL heading into the home stretch of the 2022 season, and his team back in the hunt, Tomlin states that for his team to return to the German Bowl they simply have to follow three simple rules:

“Do Right, Do your Best, and Win.  The pillars of TST.”

Watch the Braunschweig New Yorker Lions take on the Cologne Crocodiles Sunday, August 14 at 15:00 CET (3 pm, 09:00 am ET).

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