Aaron Ellis Signs with Nordmen; Bedwell to Pursue Coaching Opportunities in USA

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The Rovaniemi Nordmen plugged a big hole left by Stan Bedwell’s decision to stay in the USA, following his successful season in The Spring League, with St. Francis University alum, Aaron Ellis.

After the Rovaniemi Nordmen were dealt a season-opening defeat at the hands of the Pori Bears on June 19th, the feeling was that things were still going to be ok because QB Stan Bedwell would be joining the team before the mid-summer holiday. Bedwell also had a big game that day, playing the role of backup QB as a part of the TSL Linemen, as they came from behind late to win the Mega Bowl in Houston, TX. Their season began much like the the Nordmen’s, with a season-opening loss, the Linemen then proceeded to go undefeated; exceptionally executing Head Coach Hal Mumme’s “Air Raid Offense”, en route to a championship and new possibilities for several players, including Bedwell. It’s like they say, “when opportunity knocks, you open the door,” and that’s what Bedwell is doing.

Stan Bedwell celebrates after winning the 2021 Mega Bowl.

“This was my first time being on a team as a backup and it taught me a lot. It also proved to me that maybe I am ready to make the move out of the spotlight and pursue other options. With the season we had, and with some of the conversations that have taken place since the Mega Bowl, I felt like it was in my best interests to pursue the next phase of my career. I called the Nordmen and explained the situation early this week and they expressed some disappointment, but have been thrilled for the opportunities that lay before me. We’ve built a strong relationship from a distance and I’m still going to be involved with helping connect them with the folks that I’ve built relationships with over the last decade plus in Europe,” said Bedwell, adding, “I felt really bad about the position that I put the club in with this, and even prior to calling them, I put out some feelers and found out about Aaron’s situation. I quickly connected everyone together and we were able to work out a deal to get him in Rovaniemi, as quickly as possible.”

“We were naturally a bit upset when we got the news, but we are personally thrilled for Stan and the opportunities that he has before him in the US. He’s been instrumental in helping us connect with players and providing insight into the rebuilding of a club here in Rovaniemi, and we wish him all the best in whatever may lay before him,” commented Nordmen board member and Marketing/Communications head, Rob Patterson. “I’d be lying if I said that we didn’t go into panic mode, initially, but once Stan gave us the heads-up on a few guys that he knew and could give us some insight on, we took the ball and ran with it. Aaron’s situation in Denmark worked out as pure dumb luck for us, but we’re stoked to have him joining us for the 2021 season,” Patterson said, adding, “we got a chance to jump on a call with him and Stan and we loved what we heard. It was a huge win-win situation for both parties involved.”

Ellis started 5 games from the Frederikssund Oaks in 2019, before they were forced to withdraw from the National Ligaen due to too few players.

Aaron Ellis comes to Rovaniemi after being abruptly released from his contract by the Søllerød Gold Diggers of the Danish National Ligaen. Ellis led the Gold Diggers to an underdog victory over Danish power-house the Copenhagen Towers, just prior to his untimely departure from Søllerød. Having led the Gold Diggers to a 2-0 record, the victory over Copenhagen was made even sweeter being that it was the Towers’ first regular season loss in 4 years. Eager to keep playing, Ellis was all too pleased to be approached by Bedwell and the Nordmen about continuing his summer in Europe. Although he may be new to Finland and Rovaniemi, Ellis will not be joining the Nordmen without knowing anyone. Both he and Czech WR, Ondrej Chmela played with the Ostrava Steelers in 2020, up until their season was cut short by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“I was excited to hear that I would be playing with Ondrej again. We had a great bond in Ostrava and I’m looking forward to making that even stronger. We had been trying to get Jens Ole Kaae in Søllerød prior to the start of the season, so I was also familiar with him. I had heard about Alfonso Ikäheimo and the kind of receiver he is before, so I saw this as a great fit for me and the club,” commented Ellis.

Next on the to-do list for Ellis is to get into the mix and start prepping for the Nordmen’s showdown with the Tampere Saints on July 10th. With about two weeks to prepare, the Nordmen are confident that Ellis will be able to step in and take the reigns at QB.

Aaron has been in Europe since January. He’s been training like a mad-man and is in great shape. It’s not like we picked up some guy that has been working a 9-5 job or has been sitting on his butt all spring. Aaron is ready and we can’t wait to see what he can do.

Rob Patterson commenting on Aaron’s preparedness for the 2021 season
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