Italy’s Milano Seamen Set To Play Big6 in 2017

Two time Italian champions and Italian semifinalists in 2016 the Milano Seamen, will play in Europe’s top club tournament in 2017, the Big 6.

The Seamen reached the final of the IFAF Europe Champions League tournament in 2016, losing to the Wroclaw Panthers.

After resurrecting the American football program in 2009, the Seamen have advanced through the Italian league reaching the final in 2013 before winning it in both 2014 and 2015. In 2016, the Seamen lost to eventual champions the Milano Rhinos in the semifinals.

So the Seamen consider this move as a natural stepping stone to return Italy to elite status in Europe.

Regarded as the premier club tournament in Europe, the Big6 has featured six of the top teams in Austria, Germany and France since its inception in 2014. The AFI Europe #1 and German champion Braunschweig New Yorker Lions won the tournament in 2016 defeating the Swarco Raiders, Austrian champions in the Eurobowl final.

The last Italian team to appear in a European club championship tournament involving German teams was the Bergamo Lions in 2009. Ironically that was the year of the return to football of the Seamen.

Milano will join the Amsterdam Crusaders and four other elite teams in Europe in a tournament which will culminate in the Eurobowl final. The Seamen are scheduled to play their round robin games on April 8, April 22 and May 6.

The last time an Italian team won the Eurobowl championship was 2002 when the Bergamo Lions completed a hat trick after winning in 2000 and 2001 as well.

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.