30+: Ryan Newell

There are many domestic athletes in Europe that will play into their thirties, and possibly forties. But as import players are concerned, this is a feet that is few and far between. Imports already come over to Europe with wear and tear on their body as almost all have started playing the game at a young age. The common import has played in some level in college and has gone through rigorous training and punishing blows through collegiate contact. So you can see how playing into your thirties as an American is no easy task.

Then there are those that defy the test of time and exceed all expectations when age is concerned. A careful balance of nutrition and proper training will aid in an athlete’s long term wellness. A balance that Ryan Newell of the Munich Cowboys knows how to handle and maintain, especially since being a personal trainer on the side. The battle tested and hard nose tackler, Newell, is as experienced, and well trained as they come. Born and raised in Lincoln, Nebraska, the 31 year old linebacker played collegiately at Peru State (NAIA), a small school in southeastern Nebraska. After college, Newell attempted the arena circuit and played a season in Iowa before coming to Europe. One season overseas hooked the young linebacker, and now eight seasons later he’s still racking up tackles in Europe’s toughest league. Newell has spent most his career in Germany (Munich Cowboys & Kiel Baltic Hurricanes), with one season being played in Austria for the Cineplexx Blue Devils. Newell reflected on his time spent overseas.


Do you have a favorite team you played on or a particular season you played in?

• Winning the EFL Bowl when I was in Kiel was a blast, and that organization is one of the best in Europe with the best fans. The Cowboys have helped me out a lot and I owe a lot of thanks to them as well.

Is there a negative experience with a team or season you had?

• Yes I had a very bad experience one season but out of professionalism I’ll just keep it to myself.

What has aided in your longevity in football?

• I try to eat pretty healthy and workout consistently to keep my body in as best shape as possible. Being a personal trainer has definitely been an advantage in prolonging my career.

What do you feel are your greatest attributes in football?

• I feel my greatest attribute is my knowledge of the game. I can be a coach on the field to help guys out.

What are some football accolades you are most proud of?

• Led the GFL in tackles from 2012-2014. Nominated for GFL player of the year in 2013. EFL Bowl Champion in 2015 with the Kiel Baltic Hurricanes.

Your Journey

How many countries have you traveled to while playing overseas?

• I’ve been to 9 different countries while playing overseas

Do you have a favorite country you have visited while overseas?

• I really love Spain, nothing better then sun and the beach!

Do you have a country that you have visited that is your least favorite?

• I wouldn’t say I have a least favorite country but I have definitely been to some cities that weren’t the best.

Best memory outside of football while playing overseas?

• There’s almost too much to even talk about! The countless friends I’ve made and trips I’ve gone on are memories that will last for a lifetime. But if I had to pick one memory it would probably be my wedding.

Any regrets or things you wish you would have done different?

• I always think about that question. Of course there are things you would want to go back and change but then you have to realize you wouldn’t be where you are today if you wouldn’t have made some of those decisions in your past. I’m happy where I am now!

Your future plans once your playing career has finished?

• The plan for now is to stay active in coaching and continue my personal training. Hopefully one day have a gym that is mine!

The one thing you will take away from playing overseas?

• It has definitely been a humbling experience at times. I’ve grown a lot as a person and I am so much more open to things then I was when I first got over here. Playing football in Europe was the best decision I have ever made, I met my wife and made a lot of lifelong friends from all cultures and backgrounds! Amazing how sports can bring everybody together in a time when hate is pushed on us.

Advice for future generations that would like to play as long as you have?

• Stay consistent and take care of yourself! Understand the older you get the harder
you have to work to stay at the top!

Brian Casey