The Bialystok Lowlanders and Silesia Rebels face each other Saturday, September 5 in the first game of a historic season in Poland’s Liga Futbolu Amerykańskiego, LFA.
This will be the very first meeting between these two teams in top division play in Poland.
The Lowlanders have been one of the top four teams in Poland over the past five years winning the title in 2018 and coming second last season.
They have assembled an impressive roster including quarterback Jon Mullin from Wesley College (NCAA Div. III) and running back Glen Toonga who played for the Dresden Monarchs of the German Football League. He was the fourth leading rusher in 2019 in the GFL and sixth in 2018 amassing a total of 1,886 yards rushing over the two years, scoring 11 touchdowns, averaging 6.8 yards a carry. Mullin’s receiving crops will include homegrown product wide receiver Eryk Mąkowski as well as wide receiver Antoni Podgórski from the Warsaw Mets.
On defense, German linebacker David Muller and Lithuanian defensive lineman Laurynas Orlovicius, both from the GFL champion Braunschweig New Yorker Lions, anchor an impressive front seven. Another NY Lions product is Polish lineman Adam Roszkowski.
Head coach John Booker will join the team once the Maple League season in Finland ends. He is also offensive coordinator of the Wasa Royals.
Piotr Morko, president of the Lowlanders:
“We are highly motivated and we are looking forward to face Silesia Rebels in a first game on Saturday. The pandemic situation was difficult for everyone, but the most important thing was that we are healthy and we were able to prepare the team to fight for the Polish Championship.”
The Rebels enter their first game in Poland’s top division with British quarterback Ashley Bailey who played for the Prague Lions in the Czech League of American Football in 2019, helping the team win the Czech title. At running back, the Rebels have another British product, Courtney Ettiene, a championship winning running back/linebacker from the Coventry Jets university team. Ukrainian receiver Ihor Lysenko along with Jan Korkuc are key targets for Bailey.
The secondary boasts veteran Devion Young (Jacksonville State University) who is in his second season with the Rebels. Another addition from the Ukraine is defensive end Timur Litvinov.
Rebels head coach Tim Bishop:
“Our first game of this one of a kind season will definitely be an interesting experience for everyone. I arrived to Silesia in late March at the very beginning of the pandemic and immediately went to work implementing my philosophy and schematics. Practices started at the end of May and have gone on to this point. During that time we really worked hard developing our current players and recruiting quite a few new players. We have brought in 12+ Polish/Domestic players along with five foreign imports.”
This has been the longest offseason on record for all the teams and Bishop is excited to finally get his team on the field and face an opponent:
“We are more then excited to finally get on the field with the Lowlanders on Saturday afternoon after such a long wait. We have many new faces that have never played together before so we are eager to see how we all gel together. We anticipate a strong showing from our opponent, but we feel more then ready to meet those challenges and compete.”
Watch the game live here. Silesia Rebels @ Bialystok Lowlanders, 12:00 CET (06:00 ET)
Bialystok Lowlanders roster (Click to enlarge)
Silesia Rebels roster (Click to enlarge)