Holland: Amsterdam Crusaders return to Dutch American Football League

After a year away from Holland’s top American Football League (AFBN Eredivisie), the Amsterdam Crusaders have returned and open their 2019 season this Sunday against the Lightning Leiden in the Dutch first division.

In 2018, the Crusaders, winners of 19 Dutch titles, the last one in 2017, played only international contests. This year, in addition to playing a 10 game regular season schedule in the AFBN, Amsterdam will play three international games against the Dusseldorf Panther, Potsdam Royals and Cologne Crocodiles, all three German Football League teams.

When the Crusaders made the highly unorthodox decision late in 2017 to opt out of the Dutch American Football league and instead play only against international competition.they were met with skepticism and resistance, initially, from their own federation and many others in the Netherlands.

After settling with the AFBN, the Dutch federation, the Crusaders then set about forming their own schedule consisting only of non-Dutch teams.  They played against some of the top teams in Europe including the Cologne Crocodiles (Germany) Braunschweig New Yorker Lions (Germany), Frankfurt Universe (Germany), Graz Giants (Austria), Wasa Royals (Finland)Wroclaw Panthers (Poland) and Ostend Pirates (Belgium) compiling a 2-6 record.

The return to domestic play is welcomed by head coach Hassan Alebade:

“There is no better place for us than the AFBN Eredivisie, where our roots lie. We are looking at what this season will bring for each game. “

In addition to the Cru’s matchup with Leiden, there are two other games on tap in Holland this Sunday. The Utrecht Dominators will play host to the reigning champion Hilversum Hurricanes while the Arnhem Falcons travel to face the Lelystad Commanders. 2018 finalists.

American Football International is your source for news and updates about American Football outside the United States!