Sean Shelton and Munich Ravens set to take on Raiders Tirol

Today, the Munich Ravens and General Manager Sean Shelton will host the team he called his own for the six years, the Raiders Tirol. This will be the Ravens first game in the European League of Football (ELF) since joining late last year.

The Raiders, quarterbacked by Sean Shelton, began their 2022 ELF rockily as they dropped their first two games. They improved though and won eight of their last 10 games, managing to narrowly make the playoffs. However, a tough first-round loss to the Hamburg Sea Devils sent the Raiders home. Still, Shelton was named MVP of the league and then announced his retirement.

This year, the Raiders have replaced Shelton with Canadian quarterback Christian Strong who spent the last two years dicing up the GFL with the Cologne Crocodiles. Over two years, Strong was able to amass 6,840 passing yards and 70 passing touchdowns. 

Strong’s overwhelming success, however, was in part due to one of the best receiving duos in the league. And one of those receivers, Jarvis McClam, will be joining Strong and an already loaded receiver room in Innsbruck. If this wasn’t enough, the Raiders also managed to acquire former New York Giants’ running back Sandro Platzgummer in the offseason.

The Raiders have a strong foundation that has been playing together for years. This has been backed up by some outstanding American imports in former XFL cornerback Divine Buckrham and Colorado State (NCAA, DI) alumnus Gregory Laday. 

Conversely, the Ravens are about as fresh-faced as it gets. Their roster has been the amalgamation of the various GFL teams that existed in the Munich area and are for the most part, unknowns. How the domestic players fare is anyone’s guess.

On the upside, the Ravens have managed to secure two of the most talented skill-position players Europe has seen in years in cornerback Darius Robinson and receiver Markell Castle. These two should be able to provide a bumper for the Ravens until they find their feet.

From what we know about both teams, it is hard to imagine a scenario where the Raiders don’t win this game. But if the Ravens can keep the game close, it will give them some much needed playing time to gel as a team and also some confidence going into the rest of the season.

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.