From AFL through CEFL to NFL?

The National Football League (NFL) has organized an invitational combine for young players in Germany this October. The event was a part of their “International Player Pathway” (IPP) program established in 2017 with the goal to offer a shot at the NFL to the best international talent. Athletes from 18 countries have shared the experience this year.

The scouts have now spoken and the results from the combine are in. Nine players from 8 countries were selected to further develop their skills in Florida in January. They will have a chance to impress NFL coaches in March, who will then make a shortlist for the NFL.

Each year 4 IPP players are selected to be added to practice rosters of teams in one NFL division if they are not signed as free agents before that. Two of the players selected in previous years, UK-raised Efe Obada and German Jakob Johnson, were the first of the IPP participants to be promoted to active rosters and play NFL games. Obada is a defensive end for the Carolina Panthers and Johnson a fullback for the New England Patriots.

Out of 8 players selected this year, 2 are hailing from Austrian Football League (AFL) and they’re the alumni of CEFL teams, a mainstay and a new adition. Sandro Platzgummer is a running back for the 3-time champion Swarco Raiders Tirol and Bernhard Seikovits a wide receiver for the CEFL newcomers Dacia Vienna Vikings.

Fans of CEFL surely remember Platzgummer’s exciting goal-to-goal kick and punt returns. He is one of the most electric players who’ve ever taken the field in CEFL competitions. Meanwhile, Seikovits is one of the linchpins of the Vikings’ offense and is instrumental in their current success. This is the Viennese team’s first season in CEFL, so we haven’t seen him play on our scene.

We’ll be sad not to see them display their skills in CEFL next season but we wish both Sandro and Bernhard all the best. We hope the world audience will get a chance to admire their game on the big stage.