Team Portugal – The First Step

In late August we found out that the Portuguese Association of American Football (APFA) intended to organize the first ever national try out to find the best American football players in Portugal to build the first Team Portugal.

The first thing that had to be done was to find someone with the leadership ability and organizational skills to organize something that until this date had never existed. The choice fell to coach Sebastian Serrano, someone who has had extensive experience both in playing and coaching in Europe. With him came coach Rafael Montes, who also has international coaching experience and is able to get results done.

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Coaches Andre Amorim and Paulo Terrinca

After that it was necessary to invite national coaches to take part of this project and to help in the evaluation of the best players available from throughout Portugal. The following list is the coaches list that were invited for this first camp:

Assistant OC – Paulo Terrinca (HC at Crusaders CFA)

Assistant DC – André Amorim (HC at Lisboa Devils)

Offensive Line Coach – Rui Abreu (HC for Paredes Lumberjacks), Filipe Brandão (Maia Renegades Coach) & Eduardo David

Running backs Coach – Marco Madeira & Daniel Silva (Both were coaches for Lisboa Navigators in the past)

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Defensive backs coaches André Monteiro and Luís Leão

Wide Receivers Coach – Michael Andrzejewski (HC for Black Knights) & Sérgio Dinis (ST coach at Lisboa Devils)

Quarterbacks Coach – Joey Bradley (OC for the Lisboa Devils) & Mário Teixeira (QB coach for Algarve Sharks)

Defensive Line Coach – Bruno Panta (HC for Braga Warriors) & Pedro Viana (HC for Algarve Sharks)

Linebackers Coach – Guilherme Morgado & João Ferreira

Defensive Backs Coach – André Monteiro (Coach for Lisboa Navigators), Luís Leão (Coach for Paredes Lumberjacks) & Nuno Félix

So after the coaches invitation it was time to invite 100 players to take part of this national camp. And the following logic was applied: 45 players were selected by head coach Sebastian Serrano. And 55 players were sent by their respective teams. This made it possible for the best possible players in all of Portugal to take part of this try out.

During the weekend Team Portugal had three sessions and one scrimmage during which all players were evaluated by their positional coaches , by coordinators and obviously by the head coach. Now, during the following weeks the coaching staff will have the hard job of select the best available to move forward for the next camp that is scheduled to happen in December.

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Rafael Montes

Personally and since I (André Amorim) am also part of this project and I took part of this camp I’ve felt that we really had a great environment around us. Both players and coaches were all on the same page and we were able to have an amazing weekend that will stay in the history books of this sport in Portugal.

Coach Paulo Terrinca:

“I feel like this will have a huge impact in the Portuguese community of players. These 100 that were here will be (for now) the main information vehicle about what happened this weekend. The goals that we have set, the philosophy that we want on this team and that will be truly representing our country and flag. All of that was implemented during these two days and the players really understood the message. All of them represent their teams intensively but what happened here was also the beginning of something equally intense. Portuguese world of sports just got richer.”

As it was said before, we will determine the final list of 55 players who will move on to the next camp but until that is made public, Sebastian Serrano had this to say about the first camp:

“The outcome of this tryout will be the beginning of the project. We will analyze in the next weeks all the info and film generated and soon we will have the best 55 players that will come to the next national team camp. Players worked really hard during the tryout and I am proud of every one of them, especially I want to mention our player “Bigga” who suffered an injury during practice, we all hope he recovers soon. My mindset is now focused on the future, there are still many things to be done, I am really impressed with the talent of the players. American Football in Portugal is growing rapidly and I am sure that the national team will bring more popularity and more growth.”

Andre Amorim
André Amorim has been involved in American Football in Portugal for over 9 years, having played and coached in the only two teams that have won championships in that country. From 2007 to 2013 he played and coached with the Lisboa Navigators the most entitled team in all Portugal that also participated in international matches on the Spanish Second Division. For the past 4 years has been the head coach of the Lisboa Devils, current title holders in Portugal. Besides coaching, Amorim also works in the human resources field with personal development, team building and training. You can follow is coaching trip in IG @coachamorim.“
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