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Eight NFLEL national players earn places on NFL practice squads for 2005 season

June 13, 2005 - National Football League Europa (NFLE) News Release

THE NFL Europe League’s national players have an opportunity to make an increased impact in the NFL following the announcement that eight have won practice squad places at NFL teams for the upcoming 2005 season.

Last season, four national players were placed with teams in the NFC West division in the inaugural year of the NFL International Development Practice Squad program. For 2005, teams in the NFC South and AFC West divisions will each carry a national player on their practice squad roster for the duration of the campaign.

The players selected for the program are: PETER HEYER (G, Germany – Kansas City Chiefs); RICHARD YANCY (S, Germany – San Diego Chargers); KLAUS ALINEN (TE, Finland – Atlanta Falcons); MICHAEL QUARSHIE (DT, Finland – Oakland Raiders); ANDERS AKERSTROM (DE, Norway – New Orleans Saints); CLAUDIUS OSEI (S, Germany – Tampa Bay Buccaneers); PATRICE MAJONDO-MWAMBA (DT, Belgium – Denver Broncos); ADEN DURDE (LB, United Kingdom – Carolina Panthers).

NFLEL Director of Football Operations MIKE CHAN said: “The quality of our national players continues to increase every year. This can be seen by the contributions they are making on the field in Europe and the fact that we been able to identify eight players for the second year of this program.

“The players who returned to NFL Europe after spending last year in this program have demonstrated how beneficial it has been to their development. They get the chance to experience the speed of the NFL, to develop their skills and to face physical and mental challenges in an NFL environment.”

Two of the four players who were in the program last year, Mexican offensive lineman ROLANDO CANTU, who was with the Arizona Cardinals, and German defensive end CHRISTIAN MOHR, who went to the Seattle Seahawks, have already been signed by those teams, so will not be part of the program. Mohr returned to the Berlin Thunder to rank second on the team with four sacks, helping his team to a place in Yello Strom World Bowl XIII in Düsseldorf on Saturday.

The other two players on last year’s program are back for a second year – Yancy, who was with the San Francisco 49ers, and Heyer, who was at the St Louis Rams.

TONY ALLEN, the NFLEL’s Director of International Football and Player Development, said: “I am proud, delighted and very excited that, in only the second year of this program, we are able to send eight players to NFL teams. We are confident that this group of players will more than match up to the achievements of last year’s group and that their experience will drive our international player programs to a higher level.”

Details of the eight players selected for the program this year are:

Peter Heyer, G, Rhein Fire (Germany) – Kansas City Chiefs

Started every game at the right guard position for the Rhein Fire in 2005, helping Joe Smith become the third back in NFLEL history to rush for 1,000 yards in a season. Spent the entire 2004 NFL season on the practice squad of the St. Louis Rams.

Richard Yancy, S, Rhein Fire (Germany) – San Diego Chargers

Started every game for the Fire and registered a national player-high 42 tackles to rank fourth on Rhein’s defense.

Klaus Alinen, TE, Berlin Thunder (Finland) – Atlanta Falcons

Played in every game for the Thunder en route to Yello Strom World Bowl XIII. Caught 8 passes for 33 yards and a touchdown in his second NFLEL season, finding the end zone for the first time in Week 10. Also handled long-snapping duties for Berlin.

Michael Quarshie, DT, Frankfurt Galaxy (Finland) – Oakland Raiders

Joined the Galaxy in Week 5 and made an immediate impact on the club’s defensive line, recording 11 tackles and 1 sack. He began his American adventure at St. Peter’s College in Jersey City, New Jersey, before transferring to Columbia. He was named team captain prior to his senior season and recorded 59 tackles – including an Ivy League-leading 16 for a loss – 1.5 sacks and a forced fumble, earning All-Ivy League honors.

Anders Akerstrom, DE, Frankfurt Galaxy (Norway) – New Orleans Saints

Joined the Galaxy in Week 5. Akerstrom, who hails from Oslo, was a walk-on kicker at the University of Arkansas who got bigger and stronger with each passing season and became a valued member of the school’s football team at the defensive end position.

Claudius Osei, S, Hamburg Sea Devils (Germany) – Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Joined the Sea Devils ahead of Week 5 and saw action on defense and on special teams, starting one game in the defensive secondary against Amsterdam in Week 7. Ended NFLEL season with 2 tackles and 2 special teams stops. Former Team Europe standout Osei, played in 48 games at Florida State from 2001-2004. recording 117 tackles, 1 interception, 2 pass defenses and 2 forced fumbles.

Patrice Majondo-Mwamba, DT, Rhein Fire (Belgium) – Denver Broncos

Joined the Fire in Week 5 and played in four games on defense and special teams. Majondo-Mwamba, cousin of Cologne Centurions running back Loliki Bongo-Wanga, spent two seasons (2003-04) at Texas Tech after transferring from Hartnell Community College. In his final college football game, the native of Brussels recorded a sack while helping Texas Tech defeat ninth-ranked California in January’s Holiday Bowl.

Aden Durde, LB, Hamburg Sea Devils (UK) – Carolina Panthers

Played in opening four games of season before suffering a broken ankle. Recorded 6 tackles, 1 pass defended and 1 special teams tackle. Played for the Scottish Claymores in 2003 and 2004.

The eight players will be on their team’s practice squad roster for the duration of the season. They cannot be cut and are not eligible to be activated.

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