Holland’s Amdsterdam Crusaders Ready For Season Opener

The defending Dutch champions and EFL finalists, the Amsterdam Crusaders open their 2017 campaign in Holland Sunday facing the Groningen Giants. The Crusaders won their 18th Dutch title in 2016 in a year which saw them sign import players for the first time in 20 years.

The Crusaders dominated the Dutch league in 2016 outscoring opponents by an average of 56-6 per game. Amsterdam went on to defeat Germany’s Kiel Baltic Hurricanes (German semifinalists) and Hamburg Huskies before losing to the Frankfurt Universe in the European Football League final.

Although the Crusaders open against the Giants in the Dutch league, they will face Germany’s Langenfeld Longhorns from the German second division in an international friendly next weekend. Although a number of signings have been announced, more are to come apparently. All the pieces are expected to be in place for the huge matchup April 22 when Amsterdam takes on Europe’s best team, the Braunschweig New Yorker Lions in Big6 action.

OC Alonzo Johnson will bring intensity to the Amsterdam offense

New additions to the club include Leo Watkins and Janawski Davis along with offensive coordinator and former NFL player Alonzo Johnson, a Florida State alumnus. The team has yet to announce a quarterback other Dutch native Jasper Nijland although that may change as more news is promised.

The Crusaders lost a few key players but young players like Rashan Harris, Djengiz Bakker and Denzel Oosterwolde will be able to fill the gaps. Veteran running back Miguel Castelen, one of the best running backs in the Netherlands will continue to give the Crusaders a solid ground game.

Other opening weekend action

Other opening weekend action in Holland saw the Arnhem Falcons blank the Spijkenisse Scouts 25-0 while the 2016 finalist, the 010 Trojans doubled the Leiden Lightning 44-22.




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