PREVIEW: Austrian Football League (AFL) Gets Underway

[tps_title]Vienna Vikings[/tps_title]

Vienna Vikings 4

Austria - Vikings logo

A champion looks to the future

The defending champion Vienna Vikings will have an exciting season, although they will be less dominant than in previous years. With the loss of nine starters from last year’s championship squad, head coach Chris Calaycay will be looking to his younger players to fill the gaps. However, the backups are considered among Austria’s best players.

The team announced that one of the nine starting players not returning is the natural leader of the team and the national team quarterback Christoph Gross. He will be replaced by 20 year old Alexander Thury. It is a sign of confidence by the coaches, deciding to use their import at another position. Calaycay on his new quarterback;

“I expect a lot from Alexander. He has potential and is physically and mentally strong. But he is still young and will make his mistakes.”

Losing stalwarts like Laurhinho Walch, who has gone to Frankfurt, and national team offensive lineman Valentin Gruber will hurt as they both have been well known faces in the Vikings organization. Calaycay ready to take this on as a challenge;

“Although we have lost nine starters compared to 2014, we still remain true to our philosophy. This year is a big step in our development.”

But the team from the Austrian capital is the three-time defending champions and it is always difficult for other teams to play at Hohe Warte Stadium in Vienna where the crowd acts as one to support their team.

The first regular season game could be the most important for the Vikings against sworn enemies, the Swarco Raiders.

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