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“Not a single one of the games will be easy”

Team Latvia’s captain is Elīza Bērziņa (23). After WFC’s in 2013, 2015 and 2017, this tournament will be her fourth edition.

Below, you can read an interview we did with the forward.

When did it all start?

I started playing floorball when I was about 10 years old. At that time in my school, a floorball club appeared. As I have loved sports since I remember myself, I went and tried it out.

I was the only girl between boys. Since then I have played floorball and enjoyed a lot of great moments in this sport.

At which club and in which country do you play?

I play in a club FK Ķekava, which is a participant in the Latvian Floorball League.

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Elīza Bērziņa (Photo: LFS)

In the club, I’m usually a center. If necessary, I also play in defense. In the national team, my position is similar to in club – I play in the center, but if there is a need for extra power in defense, I’m there to help.

Have you played any other sports?

Yes, I have played other sports. On and off a lot of them, but more or less – basketball, football, swimming, orienteering and of course equestrian sport – horse riding.

How has your road to the WFC been?

It started last year before the WFCQ in Trencin. It has been as usually – training camps, friendly matches, tournaments, etc. Nothing out of ordinary preparation for WFC.

How did the WFCQ go?

In the WFCQ we played against Hungary, The Netherlands and Slovakia. After the previous WFC in Bratislava, our national team has lost some great players, key players.

So the WFCQ in Trencin was something different in terms of players. A lot of new faces. Despite that, it went ok, but we could do better. Of course, as expected the toughest game was against Slovakia.

With Sweden, the Czech Republic and Slovakia, you face three strong opponents. What are your expectations for these games?

These will be tough games. Not a single one of these games will be easy. I can say that more or less we know what to expect from teams in our group.

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Elīza Bērziņa (#10) with team Latvia (Photo: LFS)

Sweden and the Czech Republic are very powerful teams, so we have to play a very disciplined game from the first seconds till last. Every game starts with 0:0, so let’s see how it goes. Slovakia is a very similar team to ours, so the games are always very tense. I expect the same this time.

Can you tell us how you prepare for the WFC?

My preparation consists of club trainings throughout the week, national team camps, tournaments, and some extra individual work.

With the team, it’s similar to my personal preparation. Camps, trainings, and tournaments. In October we were in Poland to participate in the 6 Nations Floorball Challenge.

What are your team goals for the WFC?

Firstly, we must secure our place in the world’s top8. Then we will go step by step to fight our way back to 5th place. It definitely won’t be easy and it will take a lot of strength, concentration, and discipline. With our fight spirit, we’re not an easy opponent for other teams. We just have to do our best.

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Elīza Bērziņa (middle) with team Latvia (Photo: Dawid Gondek)

What is your best floorball moment?

There are a lot of great memories, but the one that has been the most memorable is from the 2015 WFC in Tampere game against Slovakia. What a game it was! After more than 20 penalty shots we won Slovakia in a playoff game. Pretty nerve-racking, but worth it.

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