Few young talented floorball players have had more minutes on the international floorball field than Slovakian forward Michal Dudovic. He made his debut on the Slovakian senior national team at the young age of 17. Despite his young age, he received playing time during the WFC2016 and scored important goals when his team needed him the most. Soon after, he was taken into the ranks of Swiss club Wiler-Ersigen whose U21 team served as a breeding ground for the sniper. In this series of two interviews we sit down with Michal and talk about how he got himself at the level he is now (Part 1) and what we can expect of him in the next season, both for Wiler-Ersigen as well as for the Slovakian national team (Part 2).
Can you tell us something about how you got to start playing floorball?
I started to play floorball when I was 3 with my brothers and dad who had brought me to play this beautiful sport. We trained in a small hall next to our flat. Thanks to them, I learned some moves and shooting techniques, and during those years I improved myself a lot.
“I always wanted to play somewhere foreign, so I didn’t hesitate”
So what happened next?
I played 14 years in one club called ATU Kosice. This club is something like my second family, with great teammates, coaches but especially with great fans. It was an incredible time out there with great experiences from tournaments or training camps.
What is your best memory from this period?
Maybe the nicest memory for me is Prague Games 2012 when we won one of the largest youth tournament.
After a while, the national team staff seemed to be interested in you and before you knew it you were playing for the Slovakian national team during the WFC2016. Suddenly you found yourself in the spotlights. What was this experience like for the 17-year old Michal?
I didn’t really pay attention to those spotlights, I just focused on my game. But, I have to say, it always makes me happy when I read something good about my team or myself.
Then only a couple of weeks later we could report that you were making the transfer from the local club you played almost your entire life for, to a new and far destination. It was Wiler-Ersigen that took you under their wing and gave you a place in their U21 team. Could you tell me what happened?
They contacted me shortly after the WFC 2016 in Riga. I always wanted to play somewhere foreign, so I didn’t hesitate. My parents wanted me to stay at home, just because of school. After a while, they said that it would depend only on my decision so I went to Switzerland in January 2016. I was just really excited about this opportunity to play for Wiler-Ersigen. I knew this club since I was young, so it was something like my big dream.
New country, new team, new language. Was it scary?
In the beginning, I was pretty scared about how things are going to be. But the teammates from Wiler-Ersigen were great and polite. I made myself some friends pretty fast, and that helped me a lot in everything. Although I couldn’t speak German at all, I learned it pretty fast thanks to my teammates and friends. At first, I spoke English but I was learning almost every time, so my German increased on a daily basis.
In Part 2 we will talk about Michal’s future aspirations. What is his goal for next season? Has he trained with Wiler’s A-squad yet?