Mar 11th 16:00, by ELF Network

Championship Game coming to Schalke - Marius Kensy: "Gelsenkirchen will always be my home"

Marius Kensy plays for the Düsseldorf team Rhein Fire and is hoping to reach the final.

Justin Derondeau

Mar 11th 16:00, by ELF Network

Championship Game coming to Schalke - Marius Kensy: "Gelsenkirchen will always be my home"

Marius Kensy plays for the Düsseldorf team Rhein Fire and is hoping to reach the final.

A must for all football enthusiasts: The Championship Game 2024 is coming to the VELTINS-Arena on September 22. The two best European American football teams will meet in Gelsenkirchen and bring the Schalke stadium to life.

After stops such as Düsseldorf (2021), Klagenfurt am Wörthersee in Austria (2022) and Duisburg (2023), Europe's biggest football party is now coming to Schalke. With the football fans in Gelsenkirchen and the entire Ruhr region behind it, the Championship Game promises to make the hearts of all sports fans beat faster.

A record attendance is even possible at Schalke: the highest attendance in European football to date was set in 2007 at the NFL Europe final between the Frankfurt Galaxy and the Hamburg Sea Devils. If there are more than 48,125 spectators in Gelsenkirchen on September 22, history could be made that afternoon.

Interview with Marius Kensy from Rhein Fire

Even a native of Gelsenkirchen could be there live: Marius Kensy plays for the Düsseldorf team Rhein Fire and is hoping to reach the final. In an interview with the European League of Football, the 25-year-old middle linebacker talks about his hometown and the chance to make it to the Championship Game in September.

ELF: Marius, you've been active in the European League of Football for three years now. First with the Cologne Centurions, then with Rhein Fire. You started your journey with the Gelsenkirchen Devils in 2009. Take us with you.

Marius Kensy: I started my football career with the Gelsenkirchen Devils in 2009. I played there until 2014 before moving to the Düsseldorf Panther. With the men's team, we made it into the first league. I then went to the Crocodiles and, shortly before the coronavirus pandemic, to the Canadian Football League Combine in Frankfurt. Further tryouts couldn't take place because of the pandemic. I had to concentrate on training until I got the call from Centurions General Manager David Drane and started my ELF career. I've been with Rhein Fire since 2023.

You probably won your biggest trophy with the 2023 Championship Game. How did you experience the past season?

2023 was a special year for me. After two years in Cologne, I moved to a new franchise. Although I was able to work with well-known players and coaches, the pressure of being the favorite definitely brought challenges. Despite the many hours of hard work, we didn't expect the perfect season. We won everything we needed to win. It's still such a surreal feeling for me, because writing such a special story doesn't happen often.

It seems like you've found a great home at Rhein Fire. You're also returning to the team in 2024. What are your goals this year?

For 2024, it's clear: ever since it was announced that the final would take place in the VELTINS-Arena, it's been a must for me as a Gelsenkirchen native to be there. We will prepare ourselves in such a way that we dominate this year just as we did last season. We will not rest on our laurels. Accordingly, the goal is clear: to be in the final in 2024 and ultimately bring the trophy back to Düsseldorf.

You grew up and were born in Gelsenkirchen. What makes the city special for you?

Gelsenkirchen is a small city, unlike Cologne or Düsseldorf. But that's not so bad, because it's quieter here and you can still experience something. Many friends and my family live here. No matter where the journey takes me - Gelsenkirchen will always be my home.

What was your youth like in this city?

I was born and grew up in Gelsenkirchen and spent my entire youth here. I still live in Gelsenkirchen, where I also have my twin sister by my side. Although I started playing soccer, I soon realized that I was better off somewhere else. Nevertheless, FC Schalke 04 is something you are born with. Of course, I've been to the VELTINS-Arena many times. So, I'm even more pleased to have the opportunity to stand on the field there as a player.

The final at Schalke - your home ground - is the goal for all teams this year. Why do you think Rhein Fire will make it to the final again?

We will prepare as well as we can for the season - with training sessions, camps, meetings, new players, old players, our coaches. For us, it means preparing in such a way that we can make a statement on the first matchday against Cologne so that we can play at the top again. Back-to-back championships? Why not?

Get your tickets now: Tickets for the Championship Game 2024 on September 22 at the VELTINS-Arena in Gelsenkirchen are available here.

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