The host of the CEFL Bowl XVII has been selected. This very exciting season will conclude on Saturday, 24 June in La Courneuve at the Géo André stadium. The kickoff will be at 18:00 CET with a live stream available open for viewing worldwide. CEFL Bowl XVII will also be broadcast on Sportklub TV in the area under its coverage.
CEFL Bowl XVII
Saturday, 24 June, 18:00 CET
Flash de La Courneuve — Thonon Black Panthers
Live stream: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=If1RzmBRGJk
Opponents will be very well known to each other. The Flash, as the host, will welcome Thonon Black Panthers, their rival from the same conference of the French national league. These teams have already played each other twice there this season. The first duel was undecided at 14-all and the second took place less than 3 weeks ago when the Black Panthers won by a touchdown, 21-14.
In the CEFL Championship, the Flash, as the French 2022 champions, had an easier job, skipping the first round as one of the seeded teams. They were playing at home in the quarterfinals, beating the new Spanish national trophy winners, LG OLED Las Rozas Black Demons, 25-14. The semifinal game, when they greeted E-R Parma Panthers was much tougher for them, but they won it in the last minute 26-21.
The Black Panthers had a longer journey to the CEFL Bowl XVII, playing on the road in all three rounds. In a very competitive clash they outlasted Calanda Broncos first with 38-35. Italian champions, Otel Guelfi Florence, stood in their way next and the French earned their spot in the semifinals in a defensive game that ended 27-14 in their favor. The semifinal matchup was when they shocked the football world by whipping the heavily favored last year’s CEFL Bowl title-holders and the German champions, Schwäbisch Hall Unicorns, 42-14.
Looking back to this CEFL Championship it’s important to note that it was the best season yet. Champion teams of Germany, Italy, France, Spain, Serbia were joined by new national trophy defenders. Swedish and Finnish unbeaten teams from 2022, Stockholm Mean Machines and Kuopio Steelers have appeared in CEFL for the first time. The lineup was completed by some of the other best European teams, Swiss vice-champions, Calanda Broncos, Spanish champions from 2022 and another CEFL newbie, Madrid Osos Rivas, Hungarian runners-up, Budapest Wolves, and CEFL Bowl XVI finalists, E-R Parma Panthers.
As a result of that, the games were more competitive than ever before. These thrilling contests have produced scores that were closest so far, a true testament to the strength and developing parity among the Europe’s non-pro elite. All matchups were live-streamed free of charge globally, to the delight of the fans who had the pleasure to see them, chewing on their fingernails while watching.
Another fact which should be mentioned is the emergence of domestic homegrown starting quarterbacks in CEFL. This season has brought more of them to the big scene than any one before it. Youngsters from Madrid Osos Rivas – Sergio Barbero (20), Kuopio Steelers – Ambro Urjansson (21), Flash de La Courneuve – Léo Cremades (22), and Schwäbisch Hall Unicorns – Ian Gehrke (25), have come together with the already established talent, Budapest Wolves’ QB, Bencsics Márk (34) and CEFL Cup’s Vysočina Gladiators’ Czech national legend, Jan Dundáček (37).
All on all, it was a sensational season and there’s no doubt that the CEFL Bowl XVII will crown it with the best amateur European team of 2023.