Stuttgart Surge HC Jordan Neuman continues to aim for improvement in his 2nd season

Stuttgart Surge head coach Jordan Neuman is heading into the second half of the 2024 European League of Football season, his second in the league, with an unbeaten record – again.

This is not an unusual situation for the 40-year-old Neuman, who was undefeated in his first seven games with the Surge in 2023. The team finished with a 10-2 record and went on to the championship game where they fell to the Rhein Fire. He had moved to the Surge in 2023 from the Schwäbisch Hall Unicorns in the German Football League where his teams routinely ran through the regular season without a loss on their way to winning three German Bowl titles and two Central European Football League crowns after he took over as head coach. In fact, from the time he took over in 2016 until German Bowl XLI in 2019, his team managed a winning streak of 50 consecutive games in the GFL (regular season and playoffs). This streak was longer than that of THW Kiel in the Handball Bundesliga (40 wins from 2011 to 2013) and FC Bayern München in the Football Bundesliga (19 wins in 2013 and 2014).

However, this does not in any way suggest he would become complacent. Far from it. He is fully aware of the caliber of coaches and teams he faces week in and week out in the ELF. In  his second season in the league, he sees an enormous improvement in the quality of play in the ELF and is aware of the work required to stay competitive.

AFI: This is your second season in the ELF and you have again started strong. How do you feel compared to this time last year?

Neuman: We have found more of a rhythm and are more experienced with how things work in the ELF this year. Last year everything was so new that some things took more time then needed just based off learning what the process was. But most importantly we are working with a foundation to build off of and this is the main difference

AFI: What improvements would you like to see in your team heading into the second half of the season?

Neuman: There is not an area of what we are doing that we don’t want to get better and see constant improvements. We are not in a situation where we will see a dramatic jump from one day to the next. So it takes stacking a lot of great weeks of work together in order to improve as a football team

AFI: What other rule changes would you like to see like the kickoff rule?

Neuman: I do have to say that I am very much in favor of the new Kick Off Rule. This is much safer for the players and still has big play potential which we are seeing on a weekly basis. In terms of other rule changes, I think it would be great to get microphones in the helmets of the quarterbacks and defensive captains. Now, we do have to be realistic about costs and logistics to making something like this happen. So, I’m not sure how far away we are to something like this but if I’m talking about future rule changes this could be a great one.

AFI: How far do you think the league has progressed since its inception in terms of quality of play?

Neuman: This is a topic I could (and would) greatly expand on but for now I will focus on the on field competition level in the ELF which is not even comparable to 2021 with how much better the on field product has become. I believe there are two main factors for this. The first is European players are investing a lot of work year round to improving as football players which can be seen in their on field performance, Second is many more European college football players are coming back to play in the ELF when often times in the past they just would have retired. This is all due to the ELFs attractiveness and experience offered to all who are involved in the league which is what is bringing these players back to Europe


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