Swarco Raiders Tirol
|Swarco Raiders Tirol|
|League||Austrian Football League|
|Based in||Innsbruck, Austria|
|Colors||Black and Silver
|Head coach||Shuan Fatah|
|Championships||2004, 2006, 2011|
The Swarco Raiders Tirol, is an American football club based in Innsbruck, Austria. Founded in 1992, the Raiders since have become one of Austria's and Europe's most dominant American Football clubs, winning the Eurobowl title three times (2008, 2009 & 2011) and the EFAF Cup once (2004). Playing in the Austrian Football League (AFL), the team has won the league championship twice, in 2004 and 2006, while the have lost the bowl game multiple times to their main competitors, the Vienna Vikings and Graz Giants.
The Swarco Raiders was founded by a small number of volunteers back in 1992, starting in Austria's 3rd division in the spring of 1993, the team went unbeaten with an overall score of 158:11. After being promoted to the 2nd division, the team failed to continue its run of 1993, and posted a record of 2-14 in 1994 and 1995. After two mediocre seasons, the team was promoted to Austria's top division, the AFL, in 1998. In 2000 the young club played its first championship game, losing to the then-Chrysler Vikings Vienna.
After losing both regular season games against its rival the Vienna Vikings, the team fared much better in post season, beating the Vikings 28:20 in a thrilling game, hosted in Salzburg, Austria and it clinched the club's first national championship. Also in 2004, the team won the EFAF-Cup becoming the first tyrolean team to win an international tite, shutting out the P.A Farnham Knight of Great Britain 45:00.
After losing to the Vikings 43:14 in the bowl game of 2005, the two teams faced each other again in the final of 2006, but this time the team from Innsbruck beat its rival from Austria's capital in a lopsided game with an overall score of 43:19. Again the game was played on neutral ground, as the game was held in Maria Enzersdorf, Lower Austria.
In another thrilling game against the Vikings, the Swarco Raiders claimed its first Eurobowl-title, as it won 28:24. Three of the last four teams in the EFL contest were Austrian, underlining the country's dominance in European football. Ironically, neither of the teams who faced in the final was able to claim the Austrian title, as the bowl went to the Graz Giants.
After the Raiders went unbeaten in regular season, it let the semi-final game of the AFL slip, as it gave away a comfortable 21:00 halftime lead and lost the game 22:21 to the Raiffeisen Vienna Vikings. One week later, the team redeemed itself, by winning its second EFL title, beating the French top club Flash de la Courneuve in front of 6.500 spectators (at that time a record attendance for an American Football game in Austria) in the Tivoli Neu stadium of Innsbruck.
In 2014 the club will take part in a new European competition, the BIG6 European Football League, which will consist of three teams from Germany, two from Austria and one from Switzerland, the clubs being Berlin Adler, New Yorker Lions, Dresden Monarchs, Raiffeisen Vikings Vienna, Swarco Raiders Tirol and the Calanda Broncos. The two best teams of this competition will advance to the Eurobowl XXVIII.
- Official site (German), (English)