EFAF competitions help top clubs to excel

Category: EFL - published 2011-10-27 by EFAF

The 2011 season in European american football has been a remarkable one in many aspects. While the exceptional World Cup tournament the Austrian federation AFBÖ staged last summer for eight national teams from around the world attracted a lot of attention not only in Europe, for most of the top clubs on the continent still EFAF's various club competitions were the key events on the agenda. Culminating in an 8,000 attendance Eurobowl final game at Innsbruck the EFL again was a fierce competition, in which the Tirol Raiders returned to the European throne and this time were able to hold off the German challenge by the Berlin Adler. With that win Austria again equalled archrival Germany in respect to all-time Eurobowl victories, one of the major indications Austrian american football uses to measure its progress in its quest to become Europe's top american football nation.

Of course it was not only the hard-fought final game that had its special flavour. Already the early stages saw a Swedish champion from Carlstad surprisingly beat the German champion at Kiel in overtime or the Landquart Broncos from Switzerland dominating sides from much bigger nations Spain and Italy. The Broncos, 2010 EFAF Cup winners, for some years in a row are somewhat too „big“ to only play their national competition and gratefully accepted the international challenge. The Broncos have risen their major goals from a national to an international level - an attitude almost guaranteed to propel the level of play not only for the team itself but also for their national rivals. The Broncos' narrow loss in the quarterfinals at Vienna certainly was not their last word on Europe.

Some of the most major developments however were witnessed in other EFAF club competitions. As EFL with a starting field comprised of elite clubs from Germany, Austria and other big European american football nations only in case of exceptional circumstances an EFL entry would be a good idea for a lot of clubs. Landquart and even the Berlin Adler in recent years therefore wisely chose another route into European competition - winning the EFAF Cup helped both to finally emerge as true EFL powerhouses. In 2010 the London Blitz and the Kragujevac Wild Boars from Serbia were rewarded with their appearances in the EFAF Cup final for following the steps of Berlin and Landquart. For the British it was a little bit a return to the glory days of British american football in the 90's. Winning the final game at home and attracting the biggest attendance in any of their 2011 games, marked London's return into the European american football picture. For the first time a team from Serbia made it to an European final, remarkably early as league play in Serbia did commence in 2004. In total nine nations were represented in the 2011 EFAF Cup, the experience gathered by these teams will certainly enhance the level of play in future national seasons in all these countries.

While the EFAF Atlantic Cup was held for a third time and won by the Lelystad Commanders from the Netherlands who will host the competition in the upcoming season. The Central Europe Interleague competition was organised in close cooperation with the Hungarian federation. In all the concept to provide a variety of regional competitions has been very much endorsed by the clubs. Accordingly EFAF plans to add more of these competitions. Eastern Cup and CEI will be held in 2012 and should be complemented by a Challenge Cup with a new regional layout, targeted at Turkey, Bulgaria and Romania. To accomodate specific needs in respect to travel burdens and common historic roots EFAF is also considering to set up a special competition for the Nordic countries.

In preparing the 2012 season, club representatives from all over Europe will gather at Thonon-les-Bains in France on November 5. EFL and EFAF Cup groupings and fixtures will be on the agenda, The dates for the final games already have been scheduled: The EFL final for Eurobowl will be played on July 21/22, the EFAF Cup final on July 14/15.

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