Jan 30th 09:00, by Tim Hanswillemenke

State of the Franchise – Are the Helvetic Guards improving?

Are the Helvetic Guards on the right track?

© Rico Doninelli

Jan 30th 09:00, by Tim Hanswillemenke

State of the Franchise – Are the Helvetic Guards improving?

Are the Helvetic Guards on the right track?

The 2024 season could be a game-changer for the Helvetic Guards in the European League of Football (ELF). With the team making significant moves in the offseason, the burning question is: Are the Guards ramping up their game? Let's take a deep dive into their offseason strategies, key signings, and the challenging path ahead in the Central Conference.

Offseason Strategy - A Masterstroke of Moves

The Guards have made some striking moves in the offseason, signalling their intent to climb the ranks. The marquee signing? Quarterback Carlton Aiken, a talent poached from the Barcelona Dragons. Aiken is a force to be reckoned with, boasting an impressive college career and a knack for both passing and rushing – a dual-threat that could revitalize the Guards' offensive play​​.

The Guards have also signed former Wroclaw Panthers and Stuttgart Surge running back Phileas Pasqualini. The 28-year-old offensive weapon will certainly be an upgrade for the Guards compared to their rushing attack in 2023.

But the Guards didn't stop there. They also brought in Dominik Liechti and American defensive back Ken Hike Jr., adding muscle and strategy to their defense. These signings are a clear indication that the Helvetic Guards are not just playing the game; they're playing to win​​.

Eyeing Free Agents - Potential Game Changers

In a league as dynamic as the ELF, keeping an eye on the free-agent market is crucial. Players like Maceo Beard, last year’s Defensive Player of the Year, leave glaring holes that need to be filled. As already mentioned, Ken Hike Jr. was already re-signed by the Guards for the 2024 season. But they need to find someone that can step into the role of Maceo Beard and form a dangerous duo with Hike Jr. to stop opposing passing attacks.

Another player that will leave probably the biggest hole to fill is running back, wide receiver, and quarterback Silas Nacita. The former Division I running back was responsible for most of the Guards offensive success last season. However, the American Swiss Army Knife retired just after the season. So, it will be interesting to see if the Guards continue to roll the dice on a new American running back or will invest their second American offensive spot in a wide receiver like most other teams. 

The Central Conference - A Battleground of Giants

The Helvetic Guards find themselves in the Central Conference – a melting pot of high-caliber teams. They'll be facing off against formidable opponents like the Barcelona Dragons, Milano Seamen, Raiders Tirol, Munich Ravens, and Stuttgart Surge. It's a lineup that guarantees high-octane clashes and edge-of-your-seat action.

Key Matchups - Dates You Don't Want to Miss

Mark these dates on your calendar – they promise fireworks:

Week 1: The Guards kick off against the Barcelona Dragons. A high-stakes start to the season! They should win this and be 1-0 to kick off the season on the right note!

Week 5 and 6: The Guards battle it out with the Raiders Tirol and then the Stuttgart Surge – back-to-back thrillers. These games will most probably decide the further trajectory of the Guard’s season.

The Verdict - On the Rise?

So, are the Helvetic Guards shaping up for a better season? All signs point to yes. With a bolstered squad, fresh strategic minds, and a hunger for victory, the Guards seem set for a season of breakthroughs. However, as every sports aficionado knows, the true test is on the field. Additionally, the Guards have still a lot of spots left to be filled. So, we can only wait and see how the Swiss franchise continues this offseason.

A Season Laden with Promise

The 2024 season is more than just a series of games for the Helvetic Guards: it's about making a statement. With fresh talent like Carlton Aiken on board and a commitment to strengthening both their offense and defense, the Guards are not just participating in the ELF; they aim to let other teams know what Swiss football is about.

As the season unfolds, all eyes will be on the Helvetic Guards. Will they rise to the occasion and rewrite their story? Only time will tell. But one thing is for sure – this season is going to be a rollercoaster ride of football excitement!

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