The Dresden Monarchs will open the 2019 season at home when they play host to the newcomers to the German Football League in 2019, the Dusseldorf Panther on Saturday, May 4.
This maybe the most intriguing matchup of the busy GFL opening weekend with former Dresden head coach John Leijten returning for the first time on the opposing sideline. Leijten, who is also head coach for the Australian National team has taken over the reins of the Panther.
In his four seasons with the Monarchs (2014, 2015, 2016, 2017), Leijten compiled a 38-12-2 record reaching the GFL semifinals four times and the quarterfinals once. While he was head coach in Dresden, the team was constantly ranked among the top six teams in Europe.
Dresden challenged for the North conference title in 2018 and came oh so close, playing Braunschweig to a tie in the final regular season game of the year. They lost a tough semifinal game to the Unicorns. Head coach Ullrich Däuber has signed QB Zack Greenlee (University of Texas at El Paso). He also brought in impressive Belgian WR Martin Emos who was one of the top receivers in the GFL last year and has also brought back the team’s leading rusher in British RB Glen Toonga.The Monarchs have reinforced the defensive secondary with DB Omari Williams who was a three year starter at Samford (NCAA Div. I, FCS).
Dusseldorf could well surprise this year, their first back in the GFL since 2016. Leijten has brought in Christian Strong from Seton Hill as his QB while adding standout DB Jacob Edelman and RB Khris Francis (North Carolina) who rushed for 784 yards with Kiel in 2018.