Team USA’s Drew Donlin off to Good Start with Spain’s Ademar Leon

Team USA and Ademar Leon circle runner, Drew Donlin.

Team USA’s Drew Donlin has moved to Leon, Spain where he’s now playing for one of Spain’s top clubs, Ademar Leon.  It’s a significant step up from his last club, Dormagen, where he played for their 2nd team in the Oberliga, Germany’s 4th level of play.  Now with Ademar Leon, he’s practicing and playing with their 1st team which participated in the EHF Champions League last year.  And, making some significant contributions so far in the very early season.

This past weekend Leon played in the Viseu pre-season tournament in Portugal, where Donlin got playing time vs HBC Nantes and scored 3 goals and played solid defense vs Portugal’s SL Benfica.  Even getting a mention in the local paper for a surprise performance.

Donlin is not the only player from Pan America, with Chile’s Erwin Feuchtmann, and Argentina’s Gonzalo Carou and Federico Vierya also on the roster.  It’s probably not a coincidence that Argentina’s head coach, Manolo Cadena is also Leon’s head coach.  One might even assess that the PANAM Games served as a pseudo tryout for Donlin.

It’s early yet, but so far so good for Donlin in terms of his progression as a handball player.  At age 27, he might seem behind in terms of development, but he didn’t take up the sport until he was 18.  He played for Air Force for four years in college, but after graduation he didn’t have regular, consistent training until he joined Dormagen last year.  One could argue that experience wise he might be roughly the equivalent of a typical 20 year old circle runner in Europe.

It certainly will be interesting to track his play this season with Leon.  Leon had a disappointing season last year, placing 5th in the Liga ASOBAL, so they’ve dropped down from the Champions League to the EHF Cup.  Assuming Leon makes it to Group Play several of their matches should be on ehfTV.  And, several of Leon’s matches will also be on Andebol TV, including this past weekend’s matches.

Leon Noticas: Drew Donlin, reinforcement for the pivot of Abanca Ademar: Link

Ademar Website:  American Talent for Ademar Leon: Link

Video:  Leon vs HBC Nantes: Link

Video:  Leon vs SL Benfica: Link