QB Collin DiGalbo and Ancona Dolphins look to climb back up the leaderboard in Italy

This weekend, the Ancona Dolphins, led by QB Collin Thomas DiGalbo, will head up to Parma, Italy to take on the last remaining undefeated team in the league, the Parma Panthers.

DiGalbo grew up in Pennsylvania where he attended Kutztown University and earned himself Honorable Mention for the All-American D2 QB after an impressive career. DiGalbo’s paternal grandparents are Italian – giving him dual citizenship – and were a main factor in his decision to play football in Ancona for the 2021 season.

The football community in Ancona is very close knit together. It may not be the biggest fan base in the world, but we have some great fans who cheer us on no matter what. Some of the nicest people I’ve ever met, and everybody knows everybody. With that being said it’s one of the best experiences to share the game of American football all around Ancona and make some great friends on the way. Sharing the greatest game in the world with the people of Ancona is the best decision I’ve ever made.

After pounding the Lazio Ducks 35 – 0 in the opening week of Italian Division 1 football, the Dolphins went into game two of the season, against a strong Milano Rhinos squad, confident but were down big 26 – 7 by halftime. An exhilarating come-from-behind win ended the game 29 – 26, leaving the Dolphins and Parma as the only two undefeated teams in the league. 

The Dolphins and starting QB DiGalbo went into week three looking to slay the top dog Milano Seamen. After DiGalbo had amassed an impressive 522 all-purpose yards and eight touchdowns in just two games he felt he could take on the 2 – 1 reigning national champions. But in this game the elements were against both sides and a superior ground and screen game got the better of Ancona resulting in a 31 – 0 blowout, ending their unbeaten record.

 I think with the Seamen’s game, we started out too slow and just could never get any momentum going, we were playing from behind the whole game. They’re a great team, they did some great things, but we put ourselves in a hole early, and just couldn’t seem to get out of it.

This Sunday, the Dolphins will go up against new league favorites Parma Panthers who have shown week in and week out that under the leadership of Reilly Hennessey and a talented Italian supporting cast that they may go undefeated this season.

DiGalbo is aware of the challenge:

 Parma has been a great team so far this year, and we’re going to need to be focused on all sides of the ball this week, starting with special teams all the way to offense and defense. We have to start fast, and build from the beginning of the game. This season so far we’ve struggled in the first half of games, but if we’re going to have any chance, we need to come out swinging from the opening play. 

This season has definitely been a great learning experience for our young team, and we are getting better as we go, we have a lot of heart and going forward we seem to get better and better each and everyday

If the young Ancona side hope to succeed in their away game this weekend they should look to import Hugo Dyrendahl as well as the domestic talent to play a bigger role as DiGalbo alone will have a tough time containing an explosive Parma team which features the likes of Simone Alinovi and Nick Diaco who have proved nigh-on unstoppable this season.

Make sure to watch the game this coming Sunday on AFI.tv.

Daniel Mackenzie is a Press Association graduate who works in journalism and communications in the third sector. Daniel began playing football for the London Warriors and Team Great Britain and has since played across Europe.