Germany’s Most Feared Returner – Patrick Donahue

Patrick Donahue has been a key player for the Schwäbisch Hall Unicorns for the past two years.

Dominate split out wide and plain dangerous back deep reciving punts and kick-offs, the American made his impact known during the 2016 German Football League (GFL) season. 

After a tryout with the Green Bay Packers, Donahue returned to the Unicorns and proceeded help the club to another German Bowl appearance, thanks in part to his incredible kick and punt return abilities. Opposition kickers were instructed to kick away from Donahue. He still led the German league in return yards and touchdowns. Donahue spoke with American Football International about his 2016 season in Schwabisch Hall.

American Football International: You led the German Football League (GFL) in return yards and return touchdowns. What made this possible?

Patrick Donahue: It was amazing to be on a team with an offensive set up that puts all players on offense in positions to make plays. Every player on our offense was a threat to the opposing defenses which opened up more opportunities for 1-on-1 match-ups. As for return yards , it was simple. Our guys take special teams seriously. Sometimes people forget that special teams makes up a third of the game.

I make sure I show my teammates I take special teams seriously by also running down on punt and making tackles.

AFI: What are a few great things about the Schwabish Hall organization?

PD: Well the biggest things that stand out to me about the Schwäbisch Hall organization are the people and the things that they do in the background. Birgit Brown is the team manager and she goes well and beyond the call of duty. From players to coaches, from hotels to bus bus rides, from doctors appointments to opening her home to the team. She is one of Schwäbisch Hall’s gems.

Jordan Neuman is also a huge part of what makes this organization great. Coach Neuman has an eye for talent and is an offensive genius. His work ethic and hours he puts into game planning is out of this world. Lastly , the soul of the team and organization are the players , coaches , staffs in the stadium that grew up in Hall and bleed Green. With out these ppl this team would not be what it is today.

AFI: Great! What are your thoughts on the Unicorns German quarterback Marco Ehrenfried?
PD: Marco is one of those Quarterbacks that has all the talent and coaching to continue to be the standard of quarterbacks in the GFL. Marco is continually evolving his game. When he has reached his peak potential, we will all know it all the GFL will be able to feel it.

AFI: What can you say about the German Bowl XXXVIII outcome against the New Yorker Lions?

PD: As for the German Bowl this year, they (New Yorker Lions) beat us again. It was still disappointing but no more or less than a loss in general. We have no excuses as to how or why we lost. We lost and I guarantee the Unicorns will be back , just depends on who they will be facing in the German Bowl next year!

AFI: What are your plans for 2017?

PD: Plans for 2017 ? I guess I will say this, …. haha only time will tell. But wherever or whatever I am doing in 2017 , I promise to strive to be the best at it!

John McKeon is a former professional and collegiate American Football player and coach now living and working in New York. His goal is to spread news, information, and opinion on the global growth of the sport he loves.