PREVIEW: IFAF Europe Champions League – Carlstad Crusaders v. Copenhagen Towers

[tps_title]Carlstad Crusaders at the Copenhagen Towers – Gentofte Sportspark stadium[/tps_title]

The Carlstad Crusaders head to Copenhagen to face the Copenhagen Towers on April 18 at 1p CET at Gentofte Sportspark Stadium.

This is the opening game in the IFAF Europe Champions League North division and a rematch of last year’s opener.

Champions League - Towers at Carlstad  - photo jeppe toustrup

The Crusaders head into this game, their first game of the season, with 14 practices behind them. New head coach Duke Iverson has taken over a team that has won five straight Swedish championships and is more or less intact from last season’s runaway title winner.

The leading quarterback in Sweden – Anders Hermodsson – has returned despite considerable interest from teams throughout Europe in the off-season, as has running back Brett Koepp who led the league in rushing last year. The departure of wide receiver Fredrik Isaksson has left a gap but it has been ably filled by  Markus Stinger from Denmark, a member of the Danish national team.

Sweden - Anders Hermodsson

New defensive coordinator Malik Jackson has installed an aggressive defense anchored by Christian Kuylenstjerna.

Last year’s game was fairly even. The Towers held a narrow lead late in the second quarter, but the Crusaders slowly took over and won the game 34-24.

The Towers roster has undergone significant changes over last year. Several stalwarts have retired, while new players have joined the team. Perhaps most significant is the addition of lightning fast US running back B.J. Lee.

Champions League - Seamen - Pioners posterLong-time quarterback JR Artozqui, is no longer with the team, so two former Towers quarterbacks – Kasper Skyum and Christian Lisbyhave  – will share the duties. Head coach Peter Herbild has taken over from the departed Artozqui as offensive coordinator while former Towers safety Victor Andersen is the new defensive coordinator.

The game will not be streamed but fans can follow on @CPHTowersLive and also at this link. 

Other Champions League games on tap this weekend include the Milano Seamen hosting Spain’s L’Hospitalet Pioners, the Vukovi Belgrade of Serbia welcoming Slovenia’s Ljubljana Silverhawks and the Aix Argonautes of France hosting Madrid’s Osos Rivas.

Roger Kelly is an editor and a writer for AFI. A former PR Director the B.C. Lions of the Canadian Football League for 7 years, he now lives in Sweden writing about and scouting American Football throughout the world.