7 Sept 2022
From: Vicenza, Italy
Gabriele Battistella, rookie in the 2021/22 season, had no previous experience in the sport, but quick feet, quick reaction times and a good tackling form along with a natural instinct for picking up routes and picking off passes, helped him get on the field as early as game week 2 against the Reading Knights. In his second defensive drive of the game, he got himself an interception.
In preparation for Cuda's game against the Exeter Demons, the coaches saw fit to start their number 10, Battistella. Although this was his first experience in a full game, he outperformed expectations. Exeter's #10, a team GB wide receiver, was the only player able to get a single catch on him in the whole game. For the rest, Battistella got himself an interception and allowed 0 rushing yards - where if he wasn’t breaking up passes, he was making crucial tackles.
After his first season with Cuda, he sent his film over to the coaches of British Premiership side, the Bristol Academy Aztecs, who asked him to join the team in preparation for the upcoming season. Under the coaching of Defensive Coordinator James Wilf, his technique and understanding of the game improved immensely, training against some of the best wide receivers in the nation and BUCS national champion QB, Ivan Niyomugabo. In light of the 2022/23 season, both the University of Bristol and Battistella are excited to work together again.
"I'm more than excited to show what both myself and the whole team are able to do this year. Last season was a good way to introduce ourselves to Division 1, this year we want to top our conference, but that will be everyone's aim in the southwest, so I'm looking forward to a very competitive season."