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TeamSG Floorballers tipped to be cream of the crop at upcoming AOFC Cup

14 June 2018
Nicolette Mok

 

They feature regularly at the World Floorball Championships, a prestigious tournament with only 16 qualification spots. They hold their own against stronger, faster, and physically bigger European teams, putting up close fights each time.

 

Team Singapore floorballersTeamSG women’s floorballers. Photo: Sport Singapore

 

This month, our TeamSG women’s floorballers, now ranked 15th in the world, are about to establish their dominance in the Asia-Oceania region – right here on home soil.

Ahead of the Asia-Oceania Floorball Confederation (AOFC) Cup Women’s 2018, held in Singapore from 18-23 June, the squad and their coaches share a little more about their plans to keep raising their standards and, ultimately, show the nation just what they are capable of.

“This AOFC Cup is the first edition held in Singapore, and it’s a way for us to showcase the professional level of floorball here,” shared team captain Amanda Yeap.

Amid busy schedules – most of the team either hold full-time jobs or are currently in school – they train four to five days a week, with physical training, court drills, and gameplay making up their sessions.

“Because they come from several different clubs, it’s also about having good chemistry, so we implement fun games like dodgeball as part of their warm-up. It helps communication and lightens the mood of training,” head coach Louise Khng said.

After all, the recent national team selection trials were challenging and competitive, and only three or four of the best upcoming stars were chosen to join the side.

“We started off with around 50 players and went through a series of cuts, based on our gameplay and fitness ability. It was competitive and we had to fight with some other experienced players for the spots too,” revealed newcomer Siti Nurhaliza.

 

Team Singapore floorballersTeam Singapore floorballers (from left) Amanda, Louise, Siti and Hui Hui. Photo: Sport Singapore

 

And this current batch could certainly be considered talented, as Amanda expressed: “The newer players bring a fresh new perspective. Siti, for instance, is really good with manoeuvring the ball and keeping possession of it. That’s something that we learn from her.”

The squad also seek lessons from external sources, garnering competition experience and working on improving their speed and reaction time through friendly matches with men’s teams.

Veteran member Ong Hui Hui elaborated: “We’re supposed to be the best female players around, so we need to go up against the guys. The guys in the club teams are very fast, so we take a different approach, instead of competing in that aspect. We stick to our game plan, [and] cut passes.”

Besides this, the squad has been benefitting from foreign expertise for the past six weeks, with accomplished Finnish coach Timo Suonpää helping to oversee their training sessions. Assistant coach of the women’s world number two side Finland, Markus Huhtimo, also joined them recently in preparation for the AOFC Cup.

Timo remarked: “The level is much higher than what others think. Louise asked me what sort of new training sessions I would introduce, and I said that the current one was fine!”

“They have the potential to be top in this tournament [AOFC Cup] and the people will see it. On the world level, I’d say that [becoming] best 10 is possible. As long as they put in the hard work, they’re going to get there,” he continued.

 

Team Singapore floorballersTraining in progress. Photo: Sport Singapore
 

While the team did not reveal any official goals for the AOFC Cup, they cited Japan and Thailand as their strongest competitors, emphasising that they would give their all against these opponents.

Naturally, they also hope that this upcoming tournament would spur the sport’s high performance development locally, as Louise, a former player herself, noted: “For a long while, we were unknown. When we went to the World Champs early on, we were just a small article in the sports section. But now, we’re gaining popularity!”

“This AOFC Cup will help us to raise more awareness. We hope that, moving forward, we will have more opportunities to organise regional competitions here,” she said.

Our floorballers will be fighting for top honours at the Asia-Oceania Floorball Confederation Cup Women’s 2018 at Our Tampines Hub from 18 to 23 June – admission is free! Cheer them on live and follow our TeamSG Facebook page for more updates.

 

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