Swiss Street Hockey Association (SSHA)
Switzerland Men's Ball Hockey Profile:
The big goal of the Swiss Streethockey Association is the home WC 2015 in Zug. On our way to this event, the WC 2013 is a very important step. It will tell us where we stand and allows us to see how our playing system works and where it can be improved. Even with this approach, WC2013 is for us much more than just a test. After two WCs where we staid clearly behind our expectations, we want a classification that is better than in Pilsen or in Bratislava.
One interesting detail about ball hockey in Switzerland: The Swiss league is one of the most "international" of the world. In the season 2012/13 four actual Czech national team players, one US national team player, on former Czech National team player and one former Canadian U20 national team player plaid for different club in the highest division.
With Tibor Kapanek we have one of the best coaches of the world on the bench and he will take care that the team will be as ready as it can be. After the problems we had in Bratislava to mortify players to come and play, we will arrive in St. John's with almost all our top players.
Even if the Swiss national team hasn't been very successful on international level, it has to be mentioned, that on club level, things look very different. In 2011 and 2012 the Swiss champion, the Oberwil Rebells have won the Euro-Cup (for our Canadian readers: the Euro-Cup is something like the European Nationals) and is therefore one of the top contenders for the first world cup that will take place in September 2013.
Mr. Tibor Kapanek, head Coach from Switzerland's national men´s team did the following interview on preparation of the team with regards to upcoming 2013 ISBHF World Championships in St. John´s, Canada.
Switzerland about their preparation for ISBHF World Championships in St. John´s:
- 1. At what stage of preparation is your team with regards to next year’s the world championships in St. John’s?
During January 2013, our team had 2 training weekends and a international ball hockey tournament in Pilsen. This was the main phase of our preparation for the 2013 World Championships in St. John's and an opportunity for nomination of the players to the national team heading to St. John's. As the 2013 WC in St. John's are costly and a considerable part of the financial budget paid by players, we do not see a chance to have another training camp or other preparation matches. We have to rely on training during the weekends that are scheduled after the end of the play-offs of the Swiss Ball Hockey League.
- 2. How will the preparation continue in the next months?
As the World Championships take place sooner than usual and there is no free weekend during league in Switzerland, the players will prepare themselves till the end of the play-offs in their clubs and also individually. We will meet during 2 weekends in May as a team, but without the finalist players and then we have still 2 weekends to practice as a whole national team travelling to St. John´s. The final phase of players preparation is dedicated to playing system 5+1 with offside on a big field floor, practice of playing offensive, power plays, short- handed play, creating a good team.
- 3. Can you already tell the names of some players of your team?
Before the final phase of team preparation there are 25 players and 4 goalies nominated to the national Swiss team. Unfortunately, 3 players and 1 goalkeeper will get the thick end of the stick. The final nomination of the national team will be announced after the last match of the Swiss league i.e. 3 weeks before departure to St. John´s. The core of the team is composed of players from the 3 best Swiss teams (Oberwill, Belp and Grenchen) and completed by players from other teams (Sierre, Aegerten, Bettlach, Bonstteten, LchF). We tried to choose the best available. I hope that nobody gets hurt so seriously that he could not travel to St. John´s and everybody would be 100 % ready from the health and physical point of view to represent his country.
- 4. What are the expectations you have for St. John's?
Regarding the tournament, I am curious how the host will manage the organization of the event. The 2011 World Ball Hockey Championships in Bratislava and 2009 WC in Pilsen set a high standard and it will be not easy to overcome it. The 2013 WC are hosted in the “motherland” of ball hockey so I hope that the host will do everything possible to ensure high quality standard in terms of ball hockey and hosting. As regards our team, we would like to get the Swiss team to which we think we belong. Certainly higher than the 10th respectively. 11th place from the last two World Championships. We have a goal to finish till the 8 place. We take the WC 2013 in St. John´s as a preparation for the WC 2015 that will take place in our home country in Switzerland. We would like to have there a competitive team able to fight also with teams which are ball hockey leaders .
- 5. Who will become world champion 2013, and why?
According to my opinion, 2013 World Champion will be one the trio Canada, Czechia, Slovakia. Canadians are playing at home and will certainly do everything possible before the home fans to become World Champions. Czechs are from long term perspective on a high level; they have one of the best competitions in the world, a large selection of players of good quality and good conditions for training. Certainly they want to be World Champions for the third time. Well, Slovaks changed dramatically team, the young players will try to make it, but whether it will be enough to win I'm not so sure, but certainly they are also among the favorites of the championships.
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