We are introducing West Coast Floorball Club, Glasgow - the current Scottish champions.
What is a name of your club?
We are West Coast Floorball club based in the wonderful Scottish city of Glasgow.
How many teams do you run within the club?
At the moment we are only running one team, that includes a mix of ages, genders and skill levels.
What is the club's story? Tell us about club's history a bit.
The club was established in 2013 by a group of floorball enthusiasts, who were keen to make sure that Scotland's favourite city is represented in the floorball league. We joined the Scottish League from the 2013/14 season and it did not take long for the club to achieve its rightful place at the pinnacle of Scottish floorball, with the team winning its first Scottish League title in 2015/16. The following 2016/17 season the club finished 2nd in the league and as part of team Ecosse won bronze medals at the UK Nationals. In the 2017/18 season the club won back its Scottish League title, while remaining unbeaten all season. We also won the inaugural Scottish Playoff tournament.
How do you get new players?
We used to recruit people mostly through word of mouth and friends/acquaintances of existing players.
However, recently we have significantly boosted our social media efforts. Specifically focusing on the local international communities and the students of the three universities. This has beared fruit as our numbers have increased considerably.
What do you think is the biggest challange to run a floorball club in the UK?
Of course the biggest challenge is the lack of knowledge of and appreciation for the sport. This leads to difficulty in not only recruiting players but also securing sponsors. The situation is changing slowly as more and more clubs are increasing efforts to promote their clubs and the sport through attending events, social media profiles and establishing youth clubs.
We ourselves in partnership with the Dunblane Devils club took part in the local youth sports festival held at Glasgow's main square. It was a great platform to introduce our sport to the wider public and the response was amazing with kids having so much fun having a go at one on one with our goalie.
Do any of your teams participate in some of the UKFF Leagues? If yes which one? How was your last season and how you getting on this season?
Yes we play in the Scottish League and have done so from the 2013/14 season.
Last season we became Scottish League Champions, for the second time in the clubs history. During the season we went unbeaten only drawing one game.
This season had a rocky start but we have found our form and have finished this calendar year with a 5 game winning streak. This gives us a great platform to head for the second part of the season with all still to play for.
Could you name your best players?
Firstly, even though this will sound as a cliche floorball is a team sport and no game is won by a single player. We have an amazing team spirit within the team and everyone plays for each other which I believe is our biggest strength.
Of course every team has a few players who take on leadership roles. Within our team I would highlight the following players:
Jan Krejcir - he is the best forward in the team with an amazing shot and an ability to be in the right place at the right time. Jan is consistently in the Top 10 of the leagues scoring table.
Markus Meier - when you see this player on the field you wouldn't believe he is in his forties as he often outruns players half his age. He is the backbone of our defence, leading the team from the back.
...and of course you
Dmitri Sevoldajev - is the team captain and consistently tops the individual points table of the league. Playing as a centre he manages to support both the defence and the offence. He is an overall balanced player who can give a good pass or go for a shot when needed.
How do you run your trainings?
Currently we unfortunately only have one hour long floorball session a week. This means that we have to be very efficient with our time. All training are planned up front with the first 5 minutes spent on a warm up without sticks. Next we do some passing work without the goalies involvement for 10 minutes. This is followed by tactical drills for 25 minutes and after that we do 5vs5 playing until the end of the session.
Separately, from the floorball session players attend the gym and get together to go running to maintain fitness levels.
Every season there are plenty of floorball tournaments abroad, do you join them?
This far we have not attended one but are considering to attend one of the many tournaments held during the summer such as the Amsterdam (www.facebook.com/AmsterdamnedFloorballTournament) Open or the Czech Open in 2019 (www.czechopen.cz).
Do you check other clubs/teams out? Do you know what's going on in other teams?
Even though we are opponents on the field it is important that off the field teams support each other, because if we don't floorball will not grow.
Within the Scottish floorball league we have reached this realisation and teams have become a lot more supportive of each other through promoting and sharing each other's events and posts on social media. As mentioned earlier we also partnered with the Dunblane team who helped us run the floorball stall at the youth sports festival in Glasgow. There are numerous other examples of teams supporting each other.
With regards to the teams playing in England we are not as aware of what is going on, but we do know about the key developments from the UKFF social media posts and when catching up with the teams during the UK Nationals.
What do you think about floorball in the UK?
Our view is that the development of floorball in the UK has unfortunately stagnated at best, if not declined. As an amateur league a lot of work and responsibility is put onto a few enthusiast who are unable to do it all by themselves and when they leave a great void is left which is often very hard to fill.
There needs to be a more coordinated effort and action plan developed to promote floorball on the youth and grassroots levels throughout the UK. Some clubs are doing amazing work, but unless a majority does it the sport will not move forward.
Tell us more about your trainings. How often do you practice? Are you happy with a venue you use?
As mentioned above we currently train once a week for an hour. Our trainings are held at the Kelvin Hall venue which is in fantastic condition due to its recent multi million pound renovation.
We have a good relationship with the venue and they also allow us to leave our equipment at the hall which is great. The only downside is that it is quite expensive.
Tell us more about how you fund your club/team? Do you have any sponsors/partners?
As we are an amateur club a majority of our funds come from the monthly payments made by players themselves.
However, in recent years we have secured two great sponsors in Greenbelt (www.greenbelt.co.uk) and Mackinnon Construction & Development (www.facebook.com/eoghainnmackinnon). They have been amazing and have supported us in numerous ways including funding our trip to the 2018 UK Nationals as well as our new playing kit.
Tell us about yourself (if you wish). What is your position in your club?
My name is Dmitri Sevoldajev and I am the team captain. I've been part of the team for the past three years and help support the running of the club and the training sessions.
Would you give any advise to people who want to start a new club?
I think one advice would be to not be afraid to ask for help. I would definitely reach out to other clubs in the area or close vicinity and ask for advice and support. Most clubs have gone through this process of the initial set up and understand how hard it can be. They will be more than happy to share advice and help out. I would also contact the UKFF as they can provide support, advice and materials on how to run training sessions.
Further, I would definitely recommend using the powers of social media. It makes it so much easier to get your message across a large number of people and I would not recommend ignoring its powers.