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Big6 EFL teams named for 2017
The European top teams in American football to compete in the Big6 European Football League 2017 and determine the continent’s top club team in the Eurobowl final have been named. Defending Eurobowl champion and German champions New Yorker Lions from Braunschweig in its quest for another title will face competition not only from strong German Football League foes from Frankfurt and Berlin, but also from the reigning Dutch and Spanish champions and an Italian top team.
40 years after the first steps for American football in Europe had been taken, the season 2017 in Big6 EFL has a lot of European American football heritage to show. Remarkably it still marks the first time ever that a club from Frankfurt, where the „founding fathers“ threw their first footballs, competes for Eurobowl, Europe's most prestigious trophy in club American football. Samsung Frankfurt Universe won last year’s EFL Bowl and now stretches out for the Big6 EFL.
As does last year’s runner-up in the EFL Bowl, the Amsterdam Crusaders. For them it is a return to the elite ranks of European American football. Amsterdam has made its mark in Eurobowl history by hosting the first-ever Eurobowl back in 1986. A few years earlier, it was in the Milano region in Northern Italy, another European metropolis represented in Big6 EFL 2017 with the Milano Seamen, where the first international friendly games between European national teams in American football took place, which soon led to the installation of European Championships, hosted by Italy on the first two occasions. From then on it only took a decade until European Junior Championships were also incorporated - for the first time at Berlin, which will be represented by the Berlin Rebels in their Big6 EFL debut in 2017.
All past merits however will not help to win the Eurobowl trophy in 2017 - the current top team in European American football is on a quest to write history in its very own style: The New Yorker Lions have won the last two and thus four Eurobowl titles overall, which puts them in reach to tie the Vienna Vikings record of five Eurobowl championships this season. In Germany the team from Braunschweig has won the last four German Bowls and overall eleven national championships, which of course will again make the Lions the team to beat in the Big6 EFL.
Big6 EFL was launched in 2014 by major European clubs in American football with support of national associations. The cooperation of clubs is aimed to stretch beyond the playing field in terms of joint marketing initiatives to promote the growth of the game in Europe.
Participants for 2017 are:
Amsterdam Crusaders: defending and 18 time Dutch national champions, won a total of two Eurobowls in 1991 and 1992, runner-up in last year’s EFL Bowl
Badalona Dracs: defending and seven time Spanish national champions, first Spanish team to reach an European final in 2002 (EFAF Cup), Big6 debut marks a highlight in the club’s 30-year-jubilee in 2017
Berlin Rebels: for close to 30 years the Rebels aimed to establish themselves as the top American football team in Germany’s capital and accomplished this in recent years, in 2016 were the only team to beat the New Yorker Lions
Milano Seamen: originally founded in the early 80’s the Milano Seamen were re-established in 2009 and only one year later took Italy’s U19 championship, consecutive Italian national champions in 2014 and 2015, in 2016 lost their semifinal by just a single point
New Yorker Lions: defending and eleven time German national champion from Braunschweig, Eurobowl champion of last year, won a total of four Eurobowls in 1999, 2003, 2015 and 2016
Samsung Frankfurt Universe: the „hot“ team from the German Football League, widely seen as major future contender for Braunschweig, finished second in its GFL South debut in 2016 and won the EFL Bowl