LIVESTREAM CEFL: Milano Seamen @ Swarco Raiders, May 15, 18:00 CET (6 pm, 12:00 pm ET)

The defending Austrian Bowl and Central European Football League champion Swarco Raiders (3-1) will host the defending Italian champions in the Milano Seamen (4-1) Saturday, May 15 in this CEFL matchup.

Two years ago, the last time the CEFL tournament was held, the Raiders captured the title while Milano suffered two losses, one to the Raiders, and were eliminated from the competition.

Both of these teams had early season losses in their respective leagues but have responded well. Look for these players and coaches to be fired up to play at the international level again.

The Swarco Raiders won last week at home against a winless Mödling Rangers squad 35-21. Currently, the Raiders have a litany of injuries forcing some unfamiliar faces into the otherwise veteran lineup. One constant has been quarterback Sean Shelton who has taken matters into his own hands often this season, choosing to use his legs in the redzone as he has run for three touchdowns so far this season. When choosing to pass, Shelton has been able to find sure-handed Marco Schneider often this season. Schneider has proven himself to be one of the premiere offensive weapons in Austria and is sure make an impact on this international matchup.

Milano Seamen @ Swarco Raiders, May 15, 18:00 CET (6 pm, 12:00 pm ET)

Schneider commented on the Raiders season so far.

“I mean our defense is really helping us. They are leaving everything out on the field. That really motivates our offense, and you know trying to execute well. Getting the ball out quick and letting the running backs and wide receivers make some plays.”

Defensively, the Raiders secondary is led by cornerback Thomas Kugler and safety Vincent Müller. The two defensive backs will need to play well as the Seamen come to town with a potent passing attack. In the middle of the field linebacker AJ Wentland will be a key factor in slowing down the Seamen’s dangerous offense. The former leading tackler of the German Football League will be up against one of Italy’s best offenses.

Wentland on the chance to play an excellent Italian team in this unique tournament:

“The team is fired up for the opportunity to play a great opponent from another country, the CEFL tournament is very exciting and I’m thankful to be a part of this experience.”

 For Italy’s defending champs, finding success in the CEFL has been a key part the construction of their current roster. Head coach Michael Wood used the off-season to sign Serbian offensive lineman Stefan Drecun away from the Raiders. Drecun is part of a dynamic Milano offense lead by veteran quarterback in Luke Zahradka.  Zahradka has big time weapons around him this year in former CFL receiver Jordan Bouah and Italian national team wideout Stefano de Tunisi. On the ground, the Seamen feature bruising power back William Petrone who adds some physicality to the Seamen’s pass-heavy offense.

Drecun the former Swarco Raider on facing his old team.

“The game with Swarco will definitely awaken different fire and more emotions, given the great and unforgettable experience I have had with the team in 2019. However, there will be time to reminisce and talk after the game because on the field it’s all business and we are in an aggressive business.”

On defense, Milano recently added safety Jeremiah Johnson, a former Jacksonville University (NCAA D1 FCS) starter. Johnson joins a defense that has impact players at all three levels. On the defensive line, veteran Simone Perego brings experience and toughness to the trenches, while speedy linebacker Enzo Mensah has also been an impact player for the Seamen this season. Last week, Mensah made 11 tackles and blocked a punt as the Seamen blew out their cross-town rivals the Milano Rhinos 55-30.

Mensah and Milano are eager to prove themselves against the best in the CEFL tournament:

“So, we start with the mentality of going to Austria and bringing all of Italy with us, keeping the Italian name high. We know that we will meet one of the strongest teams in Europe but this does not scare us, indeed it gives us even more desire to fight and prove that we have earned this place.”

Two national champions facing off against each other is exactly what the Central European Football League is all about. The Swarco Raiders look to cement themselves as one of the continent’s top teams this season. On the other hand, the Seamen are eager to prove themselves against the illustrious Raiders program. The winner of this game advances to the CEFL semi-finals to face either the Dacia Vienna Vikings or the reigning Serbian champion Kragujevac Wild Boars.

Watch the game live here. Milano Seamen @ Swarco Raiders, May 15, 18:00 CET (6 pm, 12:00 pm ET)

Swarco Raiders roster

Milano Seamen roster

 

Alex is a former professional American football player who is now studying in London. His goal writing for AFI is to stay involved with the game that has given him so much. Alex enjoys covering leagues and players and sharing different football