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18.03.2011 EFAF

More club trophies on stake

(c) EFAF

Scheduling for EFAF's second European-wide club competition is in its final stages. Eleven teams from nine countries will compete for the EFAF Cup this season. The EFAF Cup brings together national champions of „smaller“ countries in regard to American Football tradition and runner-ups who failed to earn one of their country's EFL starting spots. By its design - in regional preliminary groups and a continental approach for the semifinals and final game - EFAF Cup is an excellent opportunity for clubs willing to set special goals for their players and coaches.

Last year's EFAF Cup champion Calanda Broncos from Switzerland is another fine example for such a project, growing with its international challenges. The Broncos surprised Sweden's Carlstad Crusaders in the final game like they surprised everybody else before in their perfect season and turned out to be the first-ever European trophy winners in American Football for Switzerland. After dominating Swiss American Football for some years it was time for the Broncos to add some more challenge to their season, and they found exactly this in a tournament like EFAF Cup. Like all EFAF Cup winners of recent years they now head on to test themselves in EFL competition

Their international experience undoubtedly will help them in this competition, but the importance of such experience not only for the winner is of priceless value. Comparing your skills - athletic and administrative abilities alike - with opponents/partners across borders enhances your own capabilites in all aspects and strengthens a club organisation in a whole.

To further assist all European clubs willing to excel by taking such challenges EFAF has set up more club competitions in recent years, primarily targeted at a regional level and to nations, in which American Football still needs some development. A major factor in enabling clubs to develop is the opportunity of international competition, even when an entry into EFAF Cup or EFL might not be possible yet. EFAF's concepts have been welcomed by the top clubs in most all of the nations, in which the possibility to compete in Atlantic Cup (Northwestern Europe), Challenge Cup (Southeastern Europe) or Eastern Cup (Eastern Europe) was created.

The Atlantic Cup this year will have its third appearance on the ever-growing calendar of European American Football. And the turn to host the event this year went to Luxembourg's Dudelange Dragons, who will be visited teams from Ireland, Belgium and the Netherlands on June 25/26. To complete the turn of the hosting rights between the four nations preparations for Atlantic Cup 2012 in the Netherlands are already underway.

For the second time 2011 EFAF will stage the Eastern Cup, which is scheduled for July 10/11. Teams from Russia, Belarus, the Ukraine and possibly for the first time from the Baltic countries are supposed to gather in this regional competition, which not only sets a highlight for the participating teams but heads an event, in which a number of „grass-roots“ projects are staged by EFAF for the development in the countries of the most Eastern part of Europe. Officiating or coaching clinics are scheduled on the same site at the same time, experienced EFAF personnel will be on spot to help the local experts to run these clinics. The Challenge Cup will see some restructuring this year, thus preparations for this tournament will be fixed at a later date.

Since the regional EFAF tournaments not only propel international competition, but as well may add an incentive to the competitions for the national championships, awarding the winners with the qualification for international games, EFAF club tournaments have effects for the development of the national competitions as well. Atlantic Cup, Eastern Cup and the Challenge Cup are part of an ongoing long-term initiative of the European Federation of American Football to help establish American Football in more European countries.

European Federation of American Football