By Alex McLachlan
Europe’s Elite is proud to present its Mid year European U19 top 10 list. This list is based of the results of the 2018 season so far.
The Panthers are currently undefeated in GFLJ West, one of Europe’s toughest divisions including the reigning nation champions, the Paderborn Dolphins, and emerging powerhouse the Cologne Crocodiles. As such, their place at the top is unquestionable.
|2. Graz Giants:
The strength of Austrian football propels the Giants into second place, despite the difficulty in projecting the team going forward, given the change of format from U17s to U19s. Our confidence in the team stems from the Austrians’ perpetual domination over other nations in international U19 competitions, and so they will likely adjust handily to the new format.
|3. Stockholm Mean Machines:
The Swedish champions slot in as our third placed team. The Mean Machines are so high on our list thanks to their 2017 Championship run in which they defeated several internationally renowned programmes including the Carlstad Crusaders to claim the title.
|4. Stuttgart Scorpions:
An uncharacteristic fall for a German team (though ‘fall’ is a relative term, with 4th in Europe hardly being a position to sniff at), our second GFLJ entrant comes from an unconventional source - the Stuttgart Scorpions. Sitting at atop the GFLJ South with a 8-1-1 record, the Scorpions have had to overcome the Schwäbisch Hall Unicorns to claim their standing, which puts them amongst the elite teams in Europe.
|5. Pessac Kagourous:
The Pessac Kangourous recently claimed the 2018 French Championship after an emphatic season which showed offensive prowess and defensive flair in equal measure. In their final they put 20 points past the La Courneuve Flash: a team which had conceded a mere three touchdowns all season up to that point!
|6. Helsinki Roosters:
Finland has developed a fantastic reputation for producing talent, and so winning their league - and in a convincing fashion at that - shows the clear prowess of the Roosters. One need look no further than our recent article on Martin Veinberg ( Martin Veinberg) to see the immense talent that the Roosters have, and can produce.
|7. Vålerenga Trolls:
The champions of Norway round out our Scandinavian trifecta in the top 10, due to their unrivalled domination of their league over recent years. The Trolls have created a dynasty in the purest sense of the word, with a 39-1 record since 2013, and a current 25 game unbeaten streak. This has led them to five National titles in the last five years under Head Coach Scott Boer, and they don’t look like slowing down any time soon!
|8. LG OLED Black Demons:
The 2018 Spanish Champions, the Black Demons decimated their opposition throughout the season. This continued in the postseason, where they won their semi-final 56-0, and even won the final by a massive 25 points. This is the Black Demon’s third title in a row, truly establishing a dominance over their competition.
|9. Geneva Seahawks:
The Seahawks are the Swiss front runners going into the playoffs, with a comprehensive 35-6 victory in their most recent game vs the reigning champions, the Bern Grizzlies. Whilst their silverware perhaps doesn’t match other members of this list, the current season has them on track to address this concern!
|10. East Kilbride Pirates:
Despite the 9v9 format the Pirates’ domination of the British season this season justifies their position in this list. The 2017 British Runners-Up are currently undefeated, and winners in each of their games by minimum four scores. Their receiving corps has been particularly impressive, with two receivers on 5 touchdowns after three games! This level of offensive strength would be difficult for anyone to handle: even some of Europe’s best.
Just missed out:
Paderborn Dolphins: The reigning GFL champs will be disappointed to miss out on the top 10. However, a 5-1-1 start, including a comprehensive 44-14 defeat at the hands of the Cologne Crocodiles, has led to their slip.
La Courneuve Flash: The French runners up, who boast one of the toughest defences in Europe. They conceded only three touchdowns ahead of the final, showing incredible toughness and physicality.