Local talent ready to shine on European stage in American Football league

Experienced Barcelona Dragons linebacker Alex Posito tells of “huge difference” in quality of homegrown players

Barcelona Dragons running back Toni Montón in action during the team's European League of Football week 1 clash against the Helvetic Mercenaries
Barcelona Dragons running back Toni Montón in action during the team's European League of Football week 1 clash against the Helvetic Mercenaries / Barcelona Dragons
Cillian Shields

Cillian Shields | @pile_of_eggs | Barcelona

June 7, 2024 05:40 PM

The Barcelona Dragons American Football team play their first home game of the season on Saturday, June 8, and Alex Posito, Barcelona born and raised, is one of the many Catalans in the team excited to be playing again in front of a home crowd. 

After moving from Terrassa to Badalona for this year, the Dragons will be playing much closer to the city of Barcelona than any other season in the European League of Football (ELF), the continental competition that was inaugurated in 2021. 

The European League of Football has a strong emphasis on homegrown players, with the majority of teams’ squads being comprised of local players, with caps being placed on the number of American and other European players in rosters. 

Toni Montón, brothers Jordi and Cesare Brugnani, and Daniel Franco are among some of the team’s other key players all hailing from Spain and Catalonia.  

Posito is a linebacker with years of experience of playing American football in Catalonia, including winning the Spanish domestic title five times in a row with the Badalona Dracs. One of the star players on the Barcelona Dragons ELF team, he tells Catalan News that he has seen a “huge difference” in the quality of local talent between when he started and now, after spending more than a decade playing American Football in Catalonia.

“Thanks to the ELF, people can go, for example to Germany to play. When I went to Mexico, that was tough to get in there. We were like four people, max, going outside of Spain to play American football, and now we have the opportunity to go abroad,” Posito tells Catalan News. He adds that having two teams in Spain playing at the highest level in Europe is going to “help us to teach the guys developing to the highest level.”

Postio has been eagerly awaiting the 2024 season to begin after a string of difficulties last term, but he says that this season there are “less worries outside of football” for the Dragons to deal with, letting the players concentrate on the sport. “We had worries about apartments, we moved outside, we were a lot of people living in the same building or the same flat. Things that obviously were difficult for all of us, But this year, thanks to the owners and staff, they are managing much better.”

New Managing Director Jason Robinson arrived at the Barcelona Dragons last summer, just at the beginning of the 2023 season, which started well for the Catalan side with two wins from their first two games but ended disastrously with ten losses thereon. Robinson also told Catalan News of his excitement to right the wrongs of last season on the eve of the 2024 season. “It’s great to just be focusing on learning the playbook,” Posito summarizes. “That is the biggest thing that changed from last year.” 

As for his hopes and expectations for the season, the Catalan linebacker wants to take it one game at a time, but with a winning mentality: "1-0 every week," as he puts it. "Every week we're going to try to get this victory and this win. Give all the effort that we have, give all to the fans. If we win, great, but if we lose, we have to lose in the best way. People won’t be able to say that we're not giving all our best effort on the field.”

Fan initiatives

For the Dragons to be successful this year, they will have to find a way of engaging the public.

The move to Badalona will go a long way to that end. The Dragons’ home opener against Raiders Tirol takes place on Saturday at 6pm at the Badalona Municipal Stadium, with tickets available here.

After the Raiders, the Dragons have two more home games against the Helvetic Mercenaries on June 15 and Seamen Milano one week later, on June 22. Tickets for all Barcelona Dragons games are available on Ticketmaster here.

Robinson is also particularly excited about the new ‘Dragon Pass’ option for fans, giving them behind-the-scenes access to practices, press conferences, and more. The Managing Director is also keen to embed his players more into the community, as some have done community work at the American School of Barcelona, as well as an upcoming ‘Run The Rambla’ campaign ahead of the first home game, engaging with supporters on a jog around the city. 

“Our worst days are behind us and our best days are ahead of us, for sure.”