Football Analytics: More franchises make the next step in Scouting

The European League of Football is evolving from season to season.

February 22, 2023
Chris Hahn
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Football Analytics: More franchises make the next step in Scouting
Heiko Pawils is the new Head of Scouting & Analytics for Berlin Thunder. © Gunnar Rosenow

Franchises sign their coaches as full-time employees, also coordinators and other staff. More time into analytics, scouting and coaching results in a better level of play – and franchises did a great job in hiring talented and meticulous personnel. A trend that could become a habit is investing in your analytics department. Whether it's quality control, analytics or scouting - meaning scouting the other team, yourself or even new players. Teams realize, it’s worth investing in numbers and staff behind the scenes.

Berlin Thunder being pioneers

Berlin Thunder made an early start. With Henry Schlegel, the current offensive coordinator, they introduced the league's first "Head of Scouting & Quality Control" coach for the 2022 season. While Schlegel has been promoted to offensive coordinator, the Berlin team has secured the services of Heiko Pawils. Pawils takes on the role of Head of Scouting & Analytics and is thus responsible for the scouting of the opponent, reporting to the coordinators. Pawils strengthened the Schwäbisch Hall Unicorns over the past three seasons as Head of Analysis. He previously worked - along with defensive coordinator Christopher Kuhfeldt, among others - for the Rostock Griffins as assistant special teams coordinator and defensive line coach. Thunder invests heavily in the background of their organzation.

Henry Schlegel is the new offensive coordinator, former Head of Scouting & Quality Control, in Berlin. © Eric Mühle

Sea Devils build a strong connection

The Sea Devils are also expanding their coaching staff this year. Patrik Asén and Devin Pettenger, both already active in the years before for the new offensive coordinator Brett Morgan, will lead the unit "Quality Control" in the offense. This also means the Sea Devils will be investing in a dedicated position to analyze their own play in the future. "Devin is one of the brightest young coaches in Europe. He works extremely hard and is tireless in his efforts. He is detailed, creative and places a high value on his craft. Furthermore, he will serve in a variety of roles in design, personnel and other offensive projects," Brett Morgan said of Pettenger. Both Pettenger and Asén work for Morgan's project "All22", a network that focuses on player scouting for the European League of Football, CFL, or college.

Another name working in player scouting is Euro scout Matt Bressington. The Brit is working for the Milano Seamen, Europe's Elite and others, helping in the recruitment process. Other names coming up in player scouting are Immo Osterkamp, from Germany, or Steve Calhoun, the father of Miami Dolphins quarterback Nik Needham.

Hees is joing the Stuttgart Surge in 2023. © Carsten Götze

No Hees, no party

A lot of change is coming for the Stuttgart Surge, as well. In addition to a new coaching staff, new analytics leaders are coming in. Jens Buchmann comes from the Wiesbaden Phantoms, where he was active since 2019. With Friedemann Hees, he has another skilled coach at his side. Hees was active for the Unicorns in the GFL, just like new head coach Jordan Neuman. He won the German Bowl twice with the Unicorns. A coaching staff without Hees? Not under the management of Neuman.

The European League of Football and its franchises get ready for the future.

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