The Swedish Superserien kicks off Saturday with four teams battling for the title.
The defending champion Stockholm Mean Machines, along with the Carlstad Crusaders, Uppsala 86ers and Örebro Black Knights, who have been the top four teams in the league for the past two years will be vying for the title.
Carlstad Crusaders (2018: 9-1, Finalists)
The Crusaders have undergone a facelift of sorts since losing their first Swedish championship game in almost a decade last year to the Stockholm Mean Machines. BD Kennedy has stepped in as the new head coach with Tracey Gere moving over to the defensive coordinator’s spot. One of Kennedy’s first moves was to sign Shazzon Murphy at quarterback. Murphy led the Hildesheim Invaders in the German Football League in 2018. Defensive lineman James King is another key addition along with the return of Olof Flemström.
Carlstad will definitely be a contender in 2019.
Stockholm Mean Machines (2018: 6-4, Champions)
The Mean Machines surprised everyone by winning the Swedish title for the first time since 2009 after having a 4-4 regular season. Since then, the club has also undergone somewhat of a facelift as well with several new faces added to head coach Fredrik Pilback’s squad including to the coaching staff. In at quarterback is Austrian national team quarterback Alexander Thury and he is joined by former (2017) Crusader Alpha Jalloh. Jalloh is a defensive back who can basically play a multitude of positions and is a difference. The running back spot is now occupied by Joshua Akena. National team DB Philip Minja has also now joined the Mean Machines who look poised to defend their title.
Örebro Black Knights (2018: 4-5, Semifinalists)
New head coach Matt Hamme, who had been defensive coordinator has signed former Black Knights quarterback John Knox, who led the team in 2016 until suffering an injury late in the season. The return of Knox will be a huge spark for the offense. The club has also re-signed one of Sweden’s best running backs, Timmy Göransson.
Uppsala 86ers (2018: 2-7, Semifinalists)
The third new head coach in Sweden is Uppsala’s Acke Grünewald who has decided to opt for a Swede at quarterback, with both Gustav Bowall and Olle Hesselgren behind center. The team has also signed LB/RB Luis Rosado (Florida International University) along with Canadian WR/DB Ryan Hector (Bishops University) and Australian DL Tim Clulow.
The 86ers surprised many by coming within seconds of knocking off Carlstad in the 2018 semifinals. In other words, they are definitely a dark horse.