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Lin Ken, Malaysian goalkeeper with a passion for floorball

Lin Ken is one of the goalkeepers of the Malaysian national team. We spoke with him about floorball in Malaysia.

Who are you?

My name is Lin Ken from Penang, Malaysia. I have been with the Malaysian floorball team for 15 years and I am a goalie.

How old are you?

Can I skip this question? I turned 34 in August. 😉

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Lin Ken (left, front row) with the Malaysian National team (Photo: floorballmalaysia.com)

What is your relation to floorball?

Floorball is life for me, well almost. I really love the game and I’m still very passionate about it, despite having played for quite a while now. Floorball has also given me the opportunity to meet people from various parts of the world. This experience has helped me understand different cultures and also to see the sport from a bigger perspective.

National team career

My first national outing started way back in 2004 at the World Championships (C Division) in Spain. I started off as the 3rd goalie at the age of 18 years old. I have been in the team ever since then and is still currently playing for the national team, slowly working my way up trying to get better and better over the years. Fast forward 15 years, I’ve seen how the sport has developed and also the speed of the game is now significantly faster. Looking back I’m really grateful to many special people who have impacted and helped me throughout this journey, because of these individuals I am still able to play with the national team and enjoy the sport I love.

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SEA Games 2015 – Team Malaysia

How did that start

I was first introduced to the sport in 2003. Back then, floorball was played on outdoor basketball courts with rough surfaces and I started off as an outfield player. After a few months of being an outfield player, I decided to try something different and decided to go in the net as there were not many people interested in becoming a goalie (just like most sports). Since that day, there was no turning back as my desire to improve kept pushing me on to greater heights.

“I had to risk getting my computer infected with spyware/virus as the only way to download floorball videos was through torrent sites.”

Back then because the sport was still so new in Malaysia, there weren’t many floorball goalies around which I could learn from. So the next alternative was to look for recorded Floorball games/matches/websites, which were not easily available. What made it even more difficult was that these websites were in Swedish or Finnish (Thanks to FloorballToday we can get our latest floorball updates and news in English without having to go to google and translate every single page).

There were just short clips of games and I had to risk getting my computer infected with spyware/virus as the only way to download floorball videos was through torrent sites. By watching these clips/videos, I begin my journey in making sure that I have good techniques as I try to emulate these world-class goalies and back then the best goalie which caught my eye was Henri Toivoniemi. Watching and learning from him personally has been such an eye-opening experience for me. I had the privilege to be coached by Toivoniemi during a goalie camp and also when I was practicing under his watchful eye in Finland.

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Lin Ken + Henri Toivoniemi
Lin Ken and Henri Toivoniemi

What do you do for it on a weekly basis?

It was a lot easier back then when I was studying and was able to allocate more time for practice. There were times that I was able to get 3-4 court sessions per week (which is quite a lot in Malaysia) to practice new techniques and also to try them out during regular court training. However, once I started working, it has been really tough to juggle between work and the sport I love. These days, I try to get 1-2 sessions per week and also do my own sessions to try to keep up physically with the younger guys on the team.

What are your goals (Personal and Team-based)?

Personal: My goal has always been the same and that is to be the best goalie that I can possibly be. I’m still constantly finding different ways to improve myself, despite having played for quite a while now. It’s the process of getting better and better each day that motivates me and I believe that the best is yet to come. At this point in time, I’m trying to be as consistent as possible. My goal is to reduce the performance gap between the good games and bad games and to try to maintain a high minimum level, be it in training or in games.

Team: With the exposure and experience I’ve gained, I hope to be able to contribute and help the players to see the game differently and to do everything in speed and also learn to play at a higher tempo.

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