7 Spieler. 1 Tag. Knapp 1000 Kilo. Heute stellt der amtierende Meister der European League of Football die Line of Scrimmage in den Fokus und verkündet – im wahrsten Sinn des Wortes – einen immens ‚starken‘ Roster-Zuwachs.
Mit den erfahrenen Nationalteamspielern Benjamin Rab und David Rauter, der Mid-Season nach seinem Austrian Bowl Sieg mit den Vienna Dragons verpflichtet wurde, verlängern zwei wichtige Säulen der erfolgreichen Wiener O-Line um jeweils ein Jahr mit den Vikings. Mit Center Clemens Walz, der mit einem 2-Jahresvertrag ausgestattet wird, und dem deutschen Offensive Guard Matthias Stockamp freuen sich zwei starke Athleten auf ihre erste aktive Saison in der European League of Football. Season Ending Injuries hatten beide O-Linemen 2022 zum Zuschauen an der Sideline verurteilt. Kurioses Fakt am Rande: Die Knie-Verletzungen beider passierten just beim selben Teamtraining in der Saisonvorbereitung.
Auf der defensiven Seite des Balls verkünden die Vikings die Signings wahrer Schwergewichte. Die ‘Styrian Force of Nature’ Florian Sudi hat in Wien sein zweites, sportliches Zuhause gefunden und kanns kaum erwarten mit seinen Teammates die Mission ‚Titelverteidigung‘ on Angriff zu nehmen. Und Apropos Angriff: Auch als Fullback eingesetzt, machte Sudi 2022 eine tolle, ja unübersehbar gute Figur und war kaum zu stoppen.
Defensive Tackle Maxi Müllner verlängert seinen Vertrag gleich um drei Jahre. Der Vikings Eigenbau-Spieler und Absolvent der Vikings Football Academy ist in ‚Comeback Season Mode‘. Bis zu seiner Achillessehnenverletzung in Week 8 brachte der Starting Tackle der Wiener eine tadellose Leistung dar, was auch das Interesse eines NFL IPPP Scouts auf ihn lenkte. Nun will Müllner dort anschließen, wo er beim Sieg gegen die Raiders in Wien vergangenen Sommer aufgehört hat.
Nach diesen sechs Contract Extensions fehlt nur mehr ein Spieler, um die heutigen ‚glorreichen‘ Sieben komplett zu machen: Die Neuverpflichtung auf Seiten der regierenden ELF Champions heißt Kelechi Dyke. Der 31jährige Österreicher, der nun viele Jahre in Großbritannien gelebt hat, kehrt in seine Wiener Heimat zurück, um seine zwei Meter und 124 Kilo in den Dienst der Vikings Defense zu stellen. „Ein Rohdiamant,“ so Head Coach Chris Calaycay, der sich aber augenscheinlich aus Schleifen des ebensolchen angesichts der Physis und Athletik von Kelz – wie Kelechi von allen genannt wird – freut.
„We all know that the men in the trenches define a Football Team. Having dominated Lines helped bring a championship to Vienna, and we didn’t stop there. We have gotten deeper and better and adding a literally ton to our O and D Lines today proves our commitment to controlling the line of scrimmage, “fasst HC Calaycay die aktuellsten Roster-Zuwächse der Vikings zusammen.
#79 Benjamin Rab (190cm, 137kg): “I extended with the Vikings because I love to be part of this vamily. Our goals are the same as last year. 1-0 every week, playing Vikings football. My personal expectations for 2023 are winning it all and being the best version of myself for this team.
HC Chris Calaycay on Ben: “Benjamin has been a veteran strength for us inside and I can’t say how great it is having him back for one more run at the title. You just can’t teach size and his experience bring so much to this unit.”
#64 David Rauter (195cm, 140kg): “I am happy to extend my contract with the Vikings for another year because it is great to be part of such a special group. We will show Europe once more what Vienna Football looks like and of course, we want to go 1:0 every week. Personally, I want to help achieve these goals with everything I got.
HC Chris Calaycay on David: “David Rauter is one of the top Offensive Tackles in Austria. Period. He joined us last year mid-season after having won an Austrian Championship at the club level. Having him now for a full season bolsters our offensive line immensely.”
#51 Clemens Walz (183cm, 125kg): “Last season was cut short for me due to a knee injury in pre-season and now, being healthy, I want to help my teammates fight for the championship. So, it was a no-brainer to extend with the Vikings for two more years. Our goals are the same as last season: Go 1-0 every week and ultimately go all the way and defend the title. My personal expectations are to show everyone what I can do on the field, staying healthy and fighting with my brothers for every win.”
HC Chris Calaycay: “Clemens is a guy that I have had the chance to coach for a long time. He is back after a Pre-Season injury that forced him to miss the entire year. Getting back a National Team player gives us another piece to our big men up front.”
#73 Matthias Stockamp (191cm, 150kg): „I extended with the Vikings because from the moment I met the players, coaches and staff I felt like home. The drive, passion and work attitude everyone brings to the table is unmatched and I’m proud to be a part of it. Our goals for the upcoming season are to start where we left last year, getting better day by day and be on the hunt for the trophy. Personally, my expectations for 2023 are to be part of the best offensive line in this league, have fun and dominate the line of scrimmage.“
HC Chris Calaycay: “Matthias sustained a week 1 season ending injury but he is back and stronger than ever. This Guy is a gym warrior and that got him back to being even better than he was last year. The 150kg Big Man is back in Vienna. I can’t wait to finally watch him perform in the European League of Football.”
#75 Florian Sudi (197cm, 143kg): “I am excited to announce that I have decided to continue my journey with the Vienna Vikings. I extended with the Vikings because the team, the people in the office and the fans made me feel like I have a second home here in Vienna. Our goals are very easy: We want to be the best team on and off the field that we could be, and for sure, we want to go 2 and 0 in championship games.
HC Chris Calaycay: “Sudi is just one of those freaks. He has incredible size, and his athleticism is just rare. Setting a 145kg man catch the ball on offense, stuffing the run on defense is just awesome. In his first year in the European League of Football, we saw incredible steps in his technique and trust me, we are just seeing the beginning of his talent.”
#99 Maxi Müllner (185cm, 130kg): “I extended with the Vikings because it is the best organization and the best Team in Europe. I have been part of the Vikings for like 10 years now, and that ‘s why I committed to play with my Family here in Vienna. I am proud to announce that I signed a three-year deal with the reigning Champs in Europe. Our goals for the season are simple, be 1-0 every week and Win the Championship again. Last year was just a warmup for us. My personal expectations for 2023 are to come back stronger from my injury than ever before and show the league what I‘m capable to do.”
HC Chris Calaycay: “Maxi Müllner is one of, if not the best interior DTs in the European League of Football. His injury cut short his first season but Max is on track and look out for him this season to be as disruptive as ever.”
DE Kelechi Dyke (200cm, 124kg): “All my childhood memories are in Vienna, so the city hold a special part in my heart. I am excited to return home and join the best team in Europe. I want to be an asset to Vikings and help this incredible team win more trophies. Coach Calaycay has a put a lot of faith in me and I won’t let him down. I am ready to work hard and do whatever it takes to help the team.”
HC Chris Calaycay: “Kelz is one of those rare athletes that will get his chance to showcase his rare blend of size and speed. At 6‘6“ and 275 lbs we get a player that has the chance to make his rookie season one to watch. We can’t wait to see what he will do at this level.”
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