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“Pre-WFC intensive training camp is crucial for our success”

Blaise Hodges (Australia) is one of the experienced players of team Australia. In December, she’ll compete at the World Floorball Championships.

The 26-year-old forward is heading towards her fifth WFC. She’s currently playing for Dalen in the Allsvenkan, Sweden’s second league. We spoke with Hodges about her WFC preparation, expectations, and goals.

How and when did you start playing floorball?

I started playing when I was 12 years old (so almost 14 years now!) – my mum was involved with getting Floorball started in Australia and got my sisters and I to play in a newly developed women’s league in Victoria.

When did you join the national team? And how many WFCs have you played?

I made my first national team in 2011 and have now played in 4 WFC’s with Neuchâtel being my 5th.

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Blaise Hodges (Photo: Scott Free)

You’re currently living in Sweden. Could you explain where you’re playing, and how it’s going and how it differs from Australia?

My most recent club in Australia was Raptors Floorball Club. In August this year, I moved from Perth, Australia to live in Umeå, Sweden to play with Dalen IBK in the Allsvenskan league.

It has been a great challenge for my Floorball and the sport is just so much more developed in Sweden, so the level is much higher when compared to the leagues in Australia.

How is your personal and team preparation for the WFC?

For myself, I am training 3 to 4 times a week with my Dalen team, on top of my gym-based conditioning and strength training 4 to 5 times a week. The team will meet in Helsinki later this month for our 10-day training camp to come together as a team prior to heading to Neuchâtel.

Australia won the WFCQ AOFC by beating Japan in the final. How has the road to the WFC been and what is the biggest challenge you’ll face?

The team suffered a disappointing result at last WFC in Slovakia [14th place, FT] which has inspired us to lift and train much harder than before and the team environment at WFCQ in January was the best I’ve seen due to this.

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Blaise Hodges (Photo: Toh Xing Jie)

The biggest challenge we face as a team is the distance, being so far away from each other we only train together as a team 1-2 times a year. This is why the pre-WFC intensive training camp is crucial for our success.

You play against the USA, Thailand, and Singapore. What are your goals in this group, and what do you think of the opponents?

Our group has given us a favorable draw as we will not face any European teams so the goal is to finish at the top of our group.

This will be no easy feat as Thailand and Singapore are formidable opponents and the USA are always typically quite strong with many of their players playing in strong European leagues.

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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