In our ongoing series “This is Sarnen” we want to give you the opportunity to follow a Cinderella story for a whole season. Ad Astra Sarnen managed to promote to the NLA last season and is now the big underdog in the elite series of Switzerland.
Last time we covered Ad Astra had just managed to make their first points (you can find the links to the previous two chapters at the bottom of this article). After having suffered some serious losses beforehand, they seemed to have settled a bit after the win against Tigers Langnau. They managed to make some more points against UHC Uster where they lost in Overtime and take the first three points in the club’s history against UHC Thun. And that was it.
Six points after the regular season. In the end they still were close to get to 11th Place and leave UHC Thun behind them. But Thun got some more points in the last game and passed Sarnen again. So, six points and last place, does that mean it is time to panic? Not according to the fans. They constantly enjoy and celebrate their team. Ad Astra is ranked 4th in the statistics regarding spectators’ attendance. 497 spectators are coming to their home games.
One mission – to win the last game of the season
Not in the eyes of Coach Vehanen. “But in the end, we have only one mission and that is to be playing our best game at the end of the season and win our last game of the season.” And indeed, they played some good games, also against some high-quality NLA- teams. They had some bad ones for sure, but they also had some good ones. It will be interesting to see how they perform in the playouts, the form curve rather went down at the end of the season, so at the moment they don’t seem to be at their “best game”.
In the playouts, they will face UHC Uster. As a reminder: that is one of the teams, that Ad Astra managed to take home some points. They will play a best-of-7 series. And if they should lose that, they will face an NLB- team in a relegation, also best of 7.
One of the key players the whole season has been Von Wyl. Wait, which one? Jonas von Wyl? Basil von Wyl, Cornel von Wyl? Basically, all of them. The three brothers are ranked 2, 4 and 7 in the Topscorers sheet of Ad Astra. Furthermore, they are sons of Ad Astra. All three have played for Sarnen for ages. Let’s get to know them.
Get to know the Von Wyl brothers
Defender Jonas von Wyl (1994): 3+4 points
Forward Cornel von Wyl (1997): 13+4 points
Forward Basil von Wyl (1999): 3+11 points
We spoke with the brothers and combined their answers to the following interview:
How did you come to play for Ad Astra and why is floorball so important in your family?
The local club in our village next to Sarnen made some promotion for floorball in our school. Cornel wanted to try it out instantly, and our mom sent Jonas with him as a guard. In the end, both really enjoyed it and started playing. Later Basil joined, too. We also did some athletics and soccer before, but in the end, all of us decided to stay with floorball.
Is there a big rivalry between you guys? Are you stimulating each other to peak performances?
We push each other in the training and especially in the games. Between Cornel and Basil, there is like a neverending rivalry, though. We enjoy pushing each other and also to throw some dumb phrases at our head and trump the other ones.
How would you describe your playstyles, your different characters on the field?
Jonas, the oldest of the three, is the quietest of us. But also, the toughest and roughest in defense. And one of his qualities is a good game opening. Cornel is a bulky forward, who is always hungry for goals and always dangerous. And he probably is one of the fastest players in NLA. Basil is the more technical kind of player, also always dangerous.
Last year, during the playoffs, has there been any other topic than floorball at the dinner table?
During the playoffs, especially during the relegation series, floorball was dominating the family dinners. But here has been some other topics, too.
Basil, you were the Matchwinner last year in the decisive relegation game in Kloten. What was your feeling after the overtime-goal? How was the afterparty?
When I was standing at the goal, deflecting the ball, I just thought “fuck, we did it”. We were running to the fans and everyone went crazy. A few hours after the goal I still didn’t really realize what happened. I needed quite some time. The afterparty was probably one of the best nights of my life. Our bus arrived at the main square in Sarnen and fans and families were already awaiting us. And then we just went on to an almost never-ending party.
What are you aiming for this season?
We basically should be able to say “we tried everything and showed our best floorball” after every game. The game speed and the quality are on another level, compared to the NLB. Surely, we can profit out of that.
In NLB, you were dominating, basically every game. How tough was the change of becoming an underdog this season? How did it change the playbook?
The results show that it was difficult for our team. At the beginning of the season, the respect for the other teams was too big as well and we got too defensive. We tried to score after fast breaks, but that just is not our strength. So, we worked on that a lot and also worked on establishing a game in the opponent zones despite the constant pressure.
What do you predict for the upcoming playouts?
The many clear losses during the season are tough for our confidence. Now we have to get the team even closer together and try to bring up the amazing emotions and feelings we had in the last playoffs and be positive at the start of the playouts. Every game has to be seen as a final and all the players have to be ready to fight and give it all. With this spirit and our amazing fans, everything is possible in the playouts.
In the long run: what do you expect from Ad Astra in the coming years?
We hope, that the club’s structure will improve even more and get more professional. Last season we opened up our new training facility, which was a big step because now all the teams can reliably get enough training time. Ad Astra Sarnens fundament was always the own juniors. It will be essential that we can work more professionally in the juniors compartment.
This article was written by Julian Rüger and edited by Daniël Nicolai.