Nov 25th, 2023 13:00, by Eleni Frommann

Milano Seamen President Paolo Mutti: “We need to be more confident”

Five-time Italian champions set sail for a more competitive Season in 2024.

Luciano Bisi

Nov 25th, 2023 13:00, by Eleni Frommann

Milano Seamen President Paolo Mutti: “We need to be more confident”

Five-time Italian champions set sail for a more competitive Season in 2024.

The Milano Seamen have just concluded their inaugural season in the ELF. The five-time Italian champions had a challenging start to their first season against harsh ELF competition. Finishing in last place in the Central Conference with a 2-10 standing, they certainly fell below expectations – also parting ways with head coach Stefan Pokorny. Nevertheless, the Seamen are planning for a strong performance in the upcoming season. Some exciting announcements, such as the re-signing of the Rookie of the Year Award Winner Juan Flores Calderon and the signings of the new head coach Jim Ward (former defensive coordinator of the Helvetic Guards) and offensive coordinator Malik Hoskinks, sound promising.

In an interview with Paolo Mutti, President of the Milano Seamen, we gained insights into the assessments of the 2023 season and a preview of the goals for the upcoming 2024 season:

Paolo, as this marks the Milano Seamen's debut season in the ELF, how would you assess your team's performance over the past season and which aspects do you consider noteworthy in both positive and negative terms?

"Our first season had two faces: In terms of team results, we are not happy; we could have had a better record, and 2-10 does not represent the strength of our team. However, we are convinced that we can compete in the ELF: we have many good players, and we need to be more confident about what we can achieve with our players. We won three […] awards. We need time to build a better roster."

How would you describe the competition in the ELF compared to the IFL?

"It is a completely different league; the level of the teams and the organizations is much higher than any competition in Europe. In Italy, we have only a few teams at that level, and our goal is to push all the Italian teams and players to raise their standards."

What changes or improvements are you planning for the upcoming season to enhance the team's development?

"After the first year, we conducted an internal review and analyzed where we need to improve in terms of organization and roster. Our goal is to have the best Italian players on our team and recruit outstanding imports. Additionally, we aim to increase our brand awareness and fan base by attracting more people to our games. We gained many insights during our first season and are actively working to enhance every aspect of our franchise. This includes bringing in new coaching staff (both Americans and Italians), establishing a new scouting department, and strengthening our marketing and communication efforts."

Is there any player transfer or contract extension that you find particularly exciting and anticipate will greatly influence the team?

We are thrilled that our top young Italian players have chosen to stay with us and declined offers from other European teams.This is very important for us because it means they believe in our project."

We just talked about the competitiveness in the ELF. Which teams do you think will be your toughest competition next year?

The competition is very high, the level is increasing year by year and the German and Austrian teams in my opinion are a larger step ahead of all the other teams."

What does Milano Seamen aim to accomplish as the primary goal in the upcoming season?

"The main goal is to have a better roster, to be competitive and to increase interest in American Football in Milan, thereby growing the fan base. We have a young team, and we aim to become more competitive each year."


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