Team Portugal names Lisboa Devils HC André Amorim to lead the team

The Portuguese Association of American Football (APFA) has announced that André Amorim, head coach of the two-time Portuguese champion Lisboa Devils, will be the new head coach of the Portuguese national team, Team Portugal.

Amorim will step away from his duties as head coach of the Devils while in charge of Team Portugal.

This will be the second time the APFA has assembled a national team. Two years ago, tryouts were held but ultimately a team was not formed. According to Amorim, this time it will be different.

AFI: Congratulations on being picked the head coach of Team Portugal. How long have you been a head coach in Portugal?

Amorim: Thank you AFI! I’ve been coaching for six years and have been the Lisboa Devils Head Coach for the past five years.

AFI: Tell us a little about your background in American football.

Amorim: Football has been a big part of my life and growth as a man. I’ve first met this sport as a teenager and I’ve had the opportunity to compete two years in Spain under the LNFA2 and after that in the LPFA (Portuguese League) for nine years. In 2012 I had my first coaching role and one year after I was invited to be the Head Coach for a new team in Lisbon, the Devils. In the last five years I coached over 150 players and had the opportunity to learn with several national and international coaches and compete not only in the Portuguese league but also on the IFAF Champions League. In that five year span we won 39 games, lost 14 and captured 2 league titles. I look forward to keep learning and in the process keep on developing football in Portugal.

AFI: What are your plans for the team over the next two years?

Amorim: There are a couple of things I want to establish in the near future. I will be inviting a couple of coaches to join me in this project to help out establishing the future. Our goal has to be in engaging national players (that play in Portugal and outside) and start building a national database of the players we want to keep track moving forward. This will be an ongoing project.

As a future goal for 2019 I want us to have our first international game. But, let’s take it step by step.

AFI: How much has American football developed in Portugal over the past five years?

Amorim: This is kinda of a complicated question to deliver a clear answer. I think we had a lot of ups and downs to be honest.

In the last five years we are going into our third different president leading the future of the Portuguese Association of American Football (APFA). For the most part, clubs have been working for themselves and not really together and there has been a lack of overall communication between everyone involved.

We need to find a common ground, find a way to establish ourselves (as a football country) for the future and find stability and consistency for the clubs.

I think the new board in the APFA is working hard to provide that. This year we are going to have two different competitions. The LPFA (Liga Portuguesa Futebol Americano) has been our main league and will go into the 10th year of existence. But, we are also going to have a new league that will be called CNFA (Campeonato Nacional Futebol Americano) and this league will be 9×9 football for teams that have less human resources but want to engage and start/keep competing. This will not be a case of first and second division. But instead, two different competitions and providing the opportunity to get every team involved and competing. However, all of this will only work if everyone gets on track and works together.

We need to stop with the birth of new teams for only in the year that follows, we see that same team disappearing from the map. And instead focusing on helping teams establishing themselves for the future. Focus on youth football, developing structures, communication and getting sponsorships.

In the next weeks we are going to have a clear picture of which teams we are going to have competing in 2018/2019 but right now the teams that applied were:

Lisboa Navigators, Cascais Crusaders, Algarve Sharks, Paredes Lumberjacks, Évora Eagles, Braga Warriors, Lisboa Devils, Braga Black Knights and Porto Renegades.

From last year the Portuscale Dragons (current National Champions) have stepped down from competing and the team was dissolved. The Porto Mutts (current vice champions) are going through some issues but I hope we can find a solution to get them involved and competing.

So, I hope in the next years we are able to find the stability and consistency that we have been lacking. The clubs need it and the players deserve it.

AFI: You have won two Portuguese championships in the last three years with the Lisboa Devils. Do you think you can help players from other teams improve like the Devils players have?

Amorim: Winning is great. Championships are what we all strive for. But reality is that the memories you build and the experiences you exchange along the way is what really stay with you. I had a great run with the Devils and we built something special. I hope I can translate that to the National Team. But I know I can’t due it alone. I will need a great supporting cast and every player devoted and with the will to work for this to become a reality. I am eager to make that a reality in the upcoming months

On another note, if anyone involved with National Teams in Europe are interested in sharing experiences or providing some help I would be eager to have some conversations. My direct contact will be [email protected] .

And also, thanks again for reaching out and the amazing work that American Football International does for Football in the World.

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