Top 5 Players I Expect to be in the 2024 European League of Football

The 2024 European League of Football season has already started its preparations, players and coaches have been signed, teams are being built and stadium deals have been formed. On the topic of signings, nearly all of the international leagues have also come to a close, bringing us to the biggest period of free agency in the European calendar. From now until January we will be seeing many players moving into different countries and wearing different uniforms for the new year. Today, we will be looking at some of the many players that could be making the jump to the premier league of Europe. Let’s get straight into it.

Simon Føns – Wide Receiver – Potsdam Royals

Føns is an obvious pick for this list. He was the leading European receiver in all the major leagues in Europe with 1,541 yards and 15 touchdowns. His standout factors are the length and deep threat ability that is very present with the Nordic receivers. The blocking aspect is also a skill that doesn’t show up on the stat sheet but is a tool that he is capable of using. As a Danish national, he will not be able to be a homegrown player but does possess the dexterity that is imperative for a European Import receiver. The fact he is also a younger athlete gives even more reason for him to step into the ELF as a premier player, he is very comparable to Theodor Landström out in Barcelona in ability and stature. He would be a great fit on nearly every team in the league, it’s expected he has a lot of attention in free agency.

Nico Barrow – Running Back – Dresden Monarchs

Photo: Leo Ziems

Barrow has been featured heavily on previous entrees throughout the 2023 season. During his rookie season in the GFL, he thoroughly proved that he can be a stable running back in the ELF (1,151 rushing yards, 10 touchdowns. 608 receiving yards, 7 touchdowns). The Finnish back has very little mileage on his body and is the prototypical One-Cut-Back who can also be a huge part of the passing offense, as both a receiver and a blocker. The burst and quickness are reminiscent of Glen Toonga in Rhein but with receiver value that only Silas Nacita (Helvetic Guards), Tomiwa Oyewo (Munich Ravens) and Ali Khalifa (Milano Seamen) produced last season. The European running back has become an extremely popular tactic in building the rosters in this era of the ELF, Barrow could and should be the next player to step into that role.

Laurits Lund Tvilling Vinther – Offensive Line – Ravensburg Razorbacks

Laurits Vinther #52

My first introduction to Vinther’s quality was through a teammate of his, once the tape was turned on it was evident that he was at the level where he needed to be to play ELF competition. He is comfortable at all five offensive line positions, but he stands out best in the interior where he can utilize his speed and athleticism. His hands are quick and strong, he has a great understanding of leverage and is among the top linemen in open space. He has the capability to play in either a run or pass-heavy scheme, and combined with the aforementioned positional flexibility he can slide into any team at any position. This is understandably an invaluable asset to any team, not to mention he has and can play fullback. The only real comparison to be made is Yasir Raji at the Rhein Fire due to the versatility. The Danish athlete will be a hot commodity extremely soon.

Jason Matthew-Sharsh – Wide Receiver – UWE Bullets

Jason Matthew-Sharsh is a former Hawaii University receiver who has also spent time with the Milano Rhinos. This year he is expected to be a massive part of the UWE Bullets offense alongside a plethora of other American and European talent. Matthew-Sharsh is a receiver who can create separation extremely effectively and has some of the best hands and route-running in the continent, he also has schematic flexibility with a diverse route tree. He will benefit tenfold from the acquisition of Jadrian Clark’s ability at quarterback, not only in the eyes that will undoubtedly be on him this season but also in showing he can be compared to players in the ELF. Many teams struggled to find a lock at receiver during 2023, nearly every team should be looking into Matthew-Sharsh this season.

Alberto Adduci – Offensive Line – Guelfi Firenze

The Guelfi Firenze team fell short in the IFL this season, losing to the Parma Panthers in the Italian championship game. This could be a catalyst for a handful of players to pursue options within the ELF. Adduci would be the pick of the bunch of players who didn’t go into the league after the Italian season, even more so when you factor in the overwhelming need for offensive linemen from last year. Adduci is aggressive, polished, and experienced, there isn’t much a defensive lineman can throw at him that he hasn’t seen before. The natural landing spot to assume is the Milano Seamen, he has a history with the team and was heavily linked to them before the start of the season. However, he could see many more options open up to him now that more teams have acknowledged that European Import spots need to be spent on the offensive line if the homegrown quality isn’t up to scratch.

In summary…

There are so many players that could also be included in a second part of this, understandably a lot will be from the Nordic and northern countries. This coming season could be the best, every season has seen improvement from 2021 to 2023 and I for one, am super excited for the off-season and 2024 kick-off! Until next time.