From the assembly line to top-level sport

Somebody from our Krones ranks will soon be playing on the football team of an American college. Exciting, wouldn’t you say? I agree. Which is why I immediately got in touch with Julius Welschof, and was promptly talking to him on the phone.

Who exactly is Julius Welschof?

Originally, the 20-year-old comes from Miesbach, and is currently working for us at the plant in Raubling in the assembly shop. But soon, unfortunately, Krones will have to say goodbye to him, because Julius is off to the USA. He will be playing in the University of Michigan’s football team, the Wolverines, and be studying business engineering. “The Wolverines are one of the best college teams in the USA. They’re always in contention for the top spot in the USA’s College League. Roughly equivalent to our Bayern Munich,” explains Julius.

And how did he come to playing football?

American football is not really a major sport in Germany – even though in recent years it has been gaining in popularity. Julius came across it when he spent six weeks with a host family in the USA. “My host father threw a few balls with me, and said I was pretty fast and athletic, and would I perhaps like to play American football in Germany,” relates Julius. When he returned from his time abroad, he then gave it a try. First he spent a year playing for the Rosenheim Rebels, followed by two years with the Munich Cowboys. “At the Football Combine event I was then the best, and someone asked me if I would like to go to America.” And since playing in the USA became a real possibility, Julius has been pursuing this goal. The 20-year-old is still grateful to his managers and colleagues at Krones for enabling him to pursue this dream in parallel to his job.

 Tour through the USA

After the Football Combine, Julius then found Brandon Collier on Facebook – with his “Premier Players International“ organisation, he helps Germans to obtain a college scholarship in the USA. Julius seized the opportunity, and wrote to him straight away. “Without contacts, it’s pretty difficult, you see,” he admits. Together with Brandon, Julius then travelled through America. “We were a group of twelve Europeans, and were taken on a two-week tour, during which we stopped over at eight football camps,” relates Julius. There, the players had to do sprints, long jumps, and 1-to-1 duels. The trainers of some American teams were watching, and rated Julius as very good – so he received quite a few offers. To be more precise, out of 14 offers, he opted for the University of Michigan and the Wolverines.

It’s not a journey into the unknown

His new university is not a totally unknown quantity for Julius: one of the football camps he visited was held there. Which is why he knows: “The University of Michigan has a huge campus with a large stadium.” And he’s already met a few of his teammates, who were at the camps. “I’m already acquainted with my team a bit, and my trainer visited me at the weekend. He flew over here to meet my parents,” relates Julius.

Football is the main attraction

 “I shall certainly miss my colleagues here at Krones, all of them are really nice people,” says Julius. “And I shall miss my family and my friends as well.” But otherwise he’s already looking forward to America. “I’ve always been attracted to the USA. But mainly I’m looking forward to playing football.” He doesn’t know yet exactly when he’ll be flying, but most probably we’ll be saying goodbye to him in April. After all, he wants to do a bit more training, so he’ll be able to keep up with the others. But Julius is already something special. Because he’s going to be the first European in the Wolverines’ team.

After graduating, the 20-year-old then aims to join the exalted ranks of the professional league. We wish him all the luck in the world. And I would like to thank him for this interesting interview!