PREVIEW: Austrian Football League (AFL) Gets Underway

[tps_title]Swarco Raiders[/tps_title]

Austria - Talib Wise2

The ambition of a European champion

There is no question about it. The Swarco Raiders from Innsbruck want to win it all this year. They are so determined that head coach Shuan Fatah and his staff have decided to add another competition to their busy schedule: the ‘Battle 4 Tirol.’ There are even whispers that they could play a national team.

Austria - Swarco Raiders logoThe Raiders board decided this year to build a massive football machine. Imports will not only be found on the field but on the sideline too. Head coach Shuan Fatah comments on the Raiders top rival, the Vienna Vikings.

“The Vikings may be hurting right now, but that’s what makes them dangerous. After three league titles, they are already the favorite.”

Offensive coordinator Lee Rowland will rely on quarterback Sean Shelton who most recently helped guide the Helsinki Roosters to the Finnish and IFAF Champions League titles. Also a veteran of the French league, Shelton will quarterback a team who has lost Austria’s best running back as Andreas Hofbauer left for Kiel in the German league. His will be replaced by mercurial Talib Wise in the backfield, while former CFL linebacker Wendell Brown helps shore up the defense. However, only one import is allowed on the game day roster in Austrian league play this year so Coach Fatah will be doing some juggling as the year progresses.

Nevertheless, the Raiders will be dangerous for any team to face, especially with the arrival of import coaches Tony Allen (from British champion London Warriors), Richard Yancy and the return of Wade Smith in charge of the 2nd team program.

On Sunday the 22nd, the defending champion the Vienna Vikings will host the Swarco Tirol Raiders.

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