“I want to provide some leadership within the team”

Alex Staib is an Australian defender, who’s currently playing in Switzerland at UHC Visper Lions. The WFC 2019 will be her third tournament.

Unlike many of her Australian teammates, Alex Staib doesn’t need to travel long for the upcoming WFC, which is hosted in Switzerland. We spoke with her before the tournament.

Can you take us to the start of your floorball career?

I started towards the end of 2014. I was playing field hockey when a coach I had as a junior found floorball through a family friend and had taken over coaching the local team. He asked me to come along and try it because he thought the game would suit me.

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Alex Staib (left) in the WFCQ 2019 game against Thailand (Photo: IFF)

One year later, I joined the national team, towards the end of 2015. The WFC in Tampere, Finland was my first tour.

This will be your 3rd WFC, what are your expectations?

My expectations of myself are to provide some leadership within the team, to know how to focus whilst playing on the big stage and to know how to manage my body through the training camp and tournament.

My expectations of the team are that we will be able to build on the strong foundations we’ve made at the WFCQ and come together really well as a team for a good result.

You’ve moved from Australia to start playing in Switzerland. How is the season going so far?

My team, UHC Visper Lions, are playing their first season in the NLB, the second national league, after being promoted at the end of last season.

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Alex Staib in the game between Visper Lions and Basel (Photo: Carolyn Margetts)

I haven’t been with them for long due to illness but since being here the season has been hard work which the team is more than capable of doing when they put their minds to it – they’re a really fantastic team to play with.

What are the main differences between playing in Switzerland compared to Australia?

The differences between playing in Switzerland and Australia include Switzerland having a higher level of floorball, an actual league/season to compete in, more trainings during the week, full effective time games, using another language on the court and more left-handed players.

To make the change at first there is a big learning curve but now that I’m more practiced, after already playing a season in Switzerland a few years earlier, it has been easier to settle into.

With the WFC in less than a month, how is the preparation going?

My personal preparation hit a speed bump when I fell ill with glandular fever last month. This put a stop to my training and forced me to suspend my trip to Switzerland. Now that I’ve recovered, my focus is on staying healthy whilst catching up on as much fitness and skills as I can.

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Alex Staib in the game against New Zealand (Photo: IFF)

The team preparation is unique as the team is spread out across the country and the world. We all know what it takes to be at our best for the WFC – training skills and fitness, recovery, nutrition – and we keep each other motivated through messages and our Facebook group. Soon we’ll come together and meet for our training camp.

Any thought towards the group stage, in which you face the USA, Thailand, and Singapore?

My goal for our group is to finish first. I think Singapore is a fast opponent, Thailand applies a lot of pressure, and I’ve never played against the USA before but I expect it to be a tough match.

All of our opponents are not to be underestimated and it’s going to take hard work and teamwork to reach this goal.

The WFC 2019 will be played between December 7-15 2019 in Neuchatel, Switzerland. Australia has games on December 7 (USA), 9 (Thailand) and 10 (Singapore).

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