The European League of American Football begins Sunday. For the first time ever, the Czech Republic will be represented.
The third edition of the European equivalent of the overseas National Football League (NFL) starts this Sunday, June 4th. Since last year, 6 teams have joined the league meaning 17 teams will compete in the 2023 season.
A Netflix crew is following the action and a documentary is in the works.
The popularity of American football in Europe is growing every year, as evidenced by the creation of the European Professional Football League (ELF).
The ELF has a worldwide reach of over half a billion households who are anxiously watching to see which team will be this year’s winner. “This is a great opportunity for our players to play at the highest European level and show that we have what it takes,” says Prague Lions head coach Zach Harrod.
In the first year of the league, only 8 teams participated – six from Germany and one each from Poland and Spain. But in two years, the eight teams have grown to seventeen, each vying for the European Championship title.
The Prague Lions aim to move American football to a professional level in the Czech Republic
Their impressive record includes winning six Czech Bowls which led to their September 2022 decision that their travels would no longer lead only “to the Highlands and back.” Now the Prague Lions will face competition from the whole of Europe.
“We felt we needed a new challenge, in all areas – on and off the field. We have assembled a talented team and we will do everything we can to make the playoffs. And anything is possible in the playoffs,” comments Harrod on joining the ELF.
The talent to do so is here in the Czech Republic, according to Harrod. It just needs to develop more. The Czech Republic must build a culture of the sport and get more kids involved. Football has a tradition here and it’s been around since the end of World War II. “American football has been played in the Czech Republic for years. We have many successful players and even two D-1 coaches who have helped many of them make it to the NFL,” says Harrod.
You’ll be able to watch ELF both on the field and behind the scenes Plus, all the important moments and emotions will be documented through an upcoming behind-the-scenes series that will run every 14 days on YouTube. The series will chart everything from the arrival of the first international players and joint training sessions, to open problem solving and play-making.
A collaboration for Netflix is also in the works, so all footage is already being processed on certified Netflix cameras.
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