Why some Sea Devils‘ players chose to play for the Leipzig Kings

Lars Bardenhagen is one of now three players who previously played for the Hamburg Sea Devils now playing for the Leipzig Kings.

March 31, 2023
Chris Hahn
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Why some Sea Devils‘ players chose to play for the Leipzig Kings
Lars Bardenhagen is looking for more playing time in Leipzig. © Jonas Wicker

While the Leipzig Kings off-season moves slow and steady, something special catches your eye: Players from different teams are joining the Kings. Athletes who went under the radar or were not yet productive find themselves in a comfortable environment in East Germany. As a whole, five local Hamburg guys joined the Kings for the 2023 season. Three of them, who previously, were active for the Sea Devils in 2021 and 2022.

Great run blocker and even more?

One of the first guys to sign in Leipzig was offensive lineman Dominik Behrens. The great run blocker has played a minor role in the Sea Devils’ success last season, now wants to be more than a backup tackle. In Leipzig, Behrens will likely be the starter at tackle – either on the right or left side, while the offense might focus on developing a strong running attack with Steve McShane in the backfield.

Dominik Behrens at the Leipzig Kings preseason event. © Simon Braun

Joining the lineman shortly after were fullback Niklas Ritter and linebacker Felix Delgado, also both originally from Hamburg. Followed by defensive back Dominic Yaw Aboagye-Duah. The 28-year-old Aboagye-Duah started at free safety for the Kiel Baltic Hurricanes in the GFL last year. In the premier season of the European League of Football in 2021, the DB showed up in seven games for the Sea Devils, but mainly on special teams. He could get a chance for some playing time in Leipzig this year, as well.

Aboagye-Duah against the Panthers in season 2021. © Michael Freitag

New chances for some football players

Just days ago, the Eastern Conference team signed another former player of the Sea Devils: Linebacker Lars Bardenhagen. Head coach John Booker praised the 23-year-old in his introduction: "Lars is a promising young player. He brings American experience that he gained in junior college and at the Division 2 level. He is very hungry to prove himself in this league, and we are excited he has chosen to take up that cause with our team. We are looking forward to seeing how he fits in with our experienced LB core."


Having played for William Jewell College in 2020 and 2021, Bardenhagen is still seen as a great talent in the German football scene, despite not getting a shot in the Sea Devils’ defense last year. In seven games, he gathered just three tackles on special teams. He gets his second shot in Leipzig next to AJ Wentland or Niels Schroedter.

This connection from Hamburg to Leipzig could as well involve Moritz Heisler. The co-owner of the Leipzig Kings worked as a game day manager for the Sea Devils in 2021, having a great connection not just with the players but also with the Hanseatic franchise. In Leipzig, a lot of players might see more playing time than before. But are those players ready to step up their game?


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