By: Europe's Elite
The Düsseldorf Panther are one of the oldest and largest football clubs in Germany. This north Germany club is made up of several teams ranging from the U10 level all the way up to the GFL2. Over the past decade, the Panthers have built up a respected program that has encouraged many young athletes to remain local and stay true to the Panther rather than going to another team. Although Panthers have not had a winning appearance in the GFL Junior bowl since 2010, the club has still been able to maintain a reputation as a well-respected program. The Panthers have been seen in the GFL Junior Bowl 5 total times in the past decade. But with the 2020 season slowly approaching, the Panthers have big plans to rise up and shock the country.
As we got a chance to sit down with the coaching in Dusseldorf, we got to learn more about the clubs goals for 2020. One thing that sets this club apart from many others is the fact that the coaching staff for this club sets goals for their plays both on and off the field. Of course, the Panthers have a goal to be a dominant force on the field throughout Germany. The club has recently built up a new practice facility and revamped their entire coaching/volunteer staff. But the leaders of this club have also placed a strong emphasis on their player’s success off the field.
“We want our athletes to succeed not only in one sport but growing up to be good individuals of the society and to become a part of our Panther family.” – ( Marvin Damm – Head U19 Coach Dusseldorf Panthers Football Coach)
Playing the game of football tends to give athletes a second place to call home outside of their own family. Whenever a club can create a family atmosphere around teams, special things tend to happen. The Panthers are currently focused on building up that family culture within their club and creating stronger bonds amongst their players. The staff here in Dusseldorf made it clear to us that they believe creating a healthy family atmosphere will ensure that athletes will have a positive place to grow as young adults. Knowing that the Panthers have such a strong passion for the development of their young athletes as people, one must ask who are some of the big names this club has produced.
In total, the Dusseldorf Panthers currently have 5 kids playing in high schools or JuCo’s in the US. Three of them are playing high school football in the state of Pennsylvania, similar to Penn State athlete Joseph Appiah Darkwa. Joseph is the test latest NCAA Player from the Düsseldorf Panthers, and this club couldn’t be more proud of him. In 2018 Joseph was named GFL Junior Bowl MVP and had racked up offers from major universities such as Georgia Tech and Rutgers. But Joseph is not the only talented Panthers product to sign a college scholarship. Tim Burgatz will be the next athlete to join Joseph at the college ranks as he has just signed a scholarship to play for the University of Maine in 2020. In the past num, various other athletes from this club have signed D1 scholarships. Yannick Rohschneider ( Eastern Michigan Univesity), Robin Luna (Abilene Christian University) and Aaron Donkor (Arkansas State University) are all products of the Dusseldorf Panthers.
The amount of elite talent that is still within this program is amazing. When we asked the coaching staff here about some names scouts should keep their eyes on in the future, the list was never ending. Coaches spoke highly of Tight End Julien Minuth whom has already received a scholarship offer from one college this off season. Aaron Villaverde-Zimmermann is another talented DT and whom competed in the 2018 Premier Players International all-star game. His strength as a freshman was outstanding. Moussa Keita is stud wide receiver whom coaches described to be the “X-factor” in the NRW state all-star game.Lastly, Farradj Titikpina and Samuel Owuso are two athletes that have been said to be a big part of the Panthers current defense. But when speaking about Iconic players that are associated with the Dusseldorf Panthers, no one could ever forget Sebastian Vollmer . Sebastian spent most of his career with the New England Patriots where he also won two Super Bowl Championships.
On the Panther’s climb back to the top, they are not only seeking to be competitive within Germany but internationally as well. In the past the clubs youth program use to compete in international games against the Amsterdam Crusaders, the Amsterdam Panthers, Flash De La Courneuve of France and, a few Polish teams. The Panthers current coaching staff is very open to competing in international competition again. But their club and the entire GFLJ have faced several issues with conflicting schedules in-between the countries. But it should be known that the Düsseldorf Panthers mens team is currently looking for international players participating in some kind of student exchange. Germany has one of the best school educations in Europe, the city of Düsseldorf is amazing, and this club offers a good practice facilities, good coaches and a top tear environment for all athletes.
The most dominant series of the youth team was between the years 2002–2008, with 7 straight championship wins. To our knowledge, no other youth team in Germany has done this. With 15 total GFLJ wins in total, the Dusseldorf Panthers are arguably the most successful youth team in all of Germany. Every coach and community member associated with this club is dedicated to leading this program back to an ELITE level. A time in which numerous athletes go overseas to compete at the high school or NCAA level. All the while the Dusseldorf Panthers continue their rise to be an elite program within Germany.
Europe’s Elite is the best news source covering rising athletes within and from Europe.ELITE ATHLETES. ELITE TEAMS. ELITE STORIES.