Randall Schroeder back in purple with the Copenhagen Towers

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They say time apart makes the heart grow fonder. For Copenhagen Towers quarterback Randall Schroeder a return to Copenhagen was the perfect way to get back on the field doing he loves in a city that has special meaning to him.

Last weekend, Schroeder was back in action with the Towers helping them kick off their season with a 38-13 home victory against the Aalborg 89ers. The 26-year-old threw for two touchdowns and commanded a powerful offense that helped his team cruise to victory.  In that game, Schroeder had to shake off some considerable rust, having last played football over two years ago. His last time in a helmet he was leading the Towers down the field in a championship game.

Schroeder’s thoughts on playing in Copenhagen again after more than two years away.

“It was awesome, it was such a cool feeling to run back on that field. It was exactly how it was when I left it. The moment it really hit was after the game when we won and everyone celebrated with the fans. That’s when it hit me, I’m back here and its awesome!”

Back in 2018, Schroeder’s accuracy and leadership helped the Towers on a last minute game winning touchdown drive in the Mermaid Bowl (Danish Championship) giving Copenhagen the razor thin 23-22 victory. Schroeder’s championship game winning drive was part of a magical season in Copenhagen that included a NEFL championship along with the Danish National League Mermaid Bowl victory.

“It was the perfect way to end a season. I loved watching all of the guys hold up the trophy and celebrating with my teammates. That feeling of winning the Mermaid Bowl is why you play football. And when you win a game like that with your teammates you create bonds for life”

Photo: Mikkel Bo Rasmussen / 1st Down Photo

The clutch drive was an incredible cap to a wild season where Schroeder joined the Towers in May after the club had been relying on Danish quarterbacks Kasper Skyum and Patrick Hargett for the early part of the season. Head coach Peter Herbild decided to bring in Schroeder in order to push the Towers forward in their international play that summer. The late arrival didn’t leave Schroeder much time to prepare as he landed with little more than a week to prepare for his first European action:

“I came in during a bye week and had to play the next week. So, it was kind of crazy getting everything ready to go and learning the playbook and all that. But we ended up winning the NEFL championship three weeks later.”

Despite the adversity, Schroeder was the field general of an efficient offense, producing an exciting brand of football that helped elevate the Towers as a key player in Europe’s football scene. The dream season ended with only one loss to the Swarco Raiders and an abundance of trophies and memories alike.

Schroeder on his favorite part of the sensational 2018 Copenhagen Towers season.

“The relationships with the guys, I had never been to Europe or really out of the country. I came over here and I just loved it because the guys on the team made it such an easy transition. I met some of my best friends over here, I just love the city, the culture, and the country.”

After the championship season, Schroeder’s international football career went differently than he had imagined. The former Ave Maria and Truman State University quarterback signed with the Ostrava Steelers in the Czech Republic but was forced to leave because of visa issues. Soon thereafter, Schroeder and his wife moved to Germany to join the Neu-Ulm Spartans, where Schroeder had been hired as the quarterback and head youth coach. Due to the pandemic however, Schroeder and his wife Caroline headed back home to North Carolina. The former Scandinavian football star soon found a job, starting coaching, and contemplated giving up his European football dreams.

“My wife and I were settling down, we were both working full time. We decided in the fall of 2020 I would hang up the cleats and retire.”

Photo: Nini Foto

After discussing things with his wife Caroline, the two decided it would be best to move on from the game with one key exception, a reunion with the beautiful city of Copenhagen and the powerhouse Towers program. Schroeder, quotes his wife Caroline, who had loved her time in Denmark’s capital:

“The only thing that would change my mind is if the Copenhagen Towers called”

The European homecoming seemed unlikely at the time, as the uncertainty around the pandemic and roster moves slowed down the recruiting process across Europe. Later that winter the Towers reached out and brought back their championship quarterback. Finally landing in Copenhagen for a second time felt therapeutic for Schroeder.

“It just felt like I was in my second home, there was no transition time. As soon as I landed I was ready to roll.”

This Saturday night, Schroeder and the Towers will line up against the same team he defeated back in 2018 for the championship. The Towers will look to keep their positive momentum going on the road against a Triangle Razorbacks team with new talent and championship experience.

Watch Schroeder and the Copenhagen Towers visit the Triangle Razorbacks Saturday night at 19:00 CET on AFI.tv

Alex is a former professional American football player who is now studying in London. His goal writing for AFI is to stay involved with the game that has given him so much. Alex enjoys covering leagues and players and sharing different football stories from across the globe.