The Jags players are starting to arrive! What kind of preseason activities are planned before the opener on Friday afternoon?
The calm before the storm.
That's all you can say as, by now, all the plans are made, the houses are booked, and the flights are arranged. By Tuesday night, all the players will be here and adjusting their bodies to Central Time. We feel that we've assembled a good mix of returning players (5), domestic National Team players (4 current and former US Men's U19, 3 former US Men's team), and a solid local core from North Texas (current reigning US Champions). Coach Ekroos has returned five from his Finnish club, Westend Indians in Espoo. Two Czechs joined us for the first time, and seven players joined us from the United States!
The team is excited to start and take the next step - return to the Troy Cup Finals and win this time.
This week will be a flurry of activity as we meet for dinner for the first time Tuesday night, make new bonds as teammates, and renew old bonds from last year. Sleep comes early because we need to head down to NAFL sponsor Floorball Planet on Wednesday and help load the Gerflor. Late in the afternoon, we'll head to Austin and give a hand setting up the rink for this weekend's five matches. Thursday will be all about preparation. Practice. League check-in. And finally, a preseason scrimmage against Fresno at 7:00 to lock in the lines and get the guys playing smoothly together.
It's difficult to put a team together with so little time to practice, but the practicality of the league requires it. We're still too new as an organization to have the resources to spend 1-2 weeks in training camp before the league begins. Hopefully, in the next couple of seasons, we'll be able to have our rosters set much earlier and bring everyone together for a week's practice before games begin. Like last year, we'll rely on our team's innate skill and ability to play and come together this year!
No more doubleheaders this year, either...the owners realized last year that it was just too much despite our desire to have more games for our players and fans. This year's schedule is more compact, but at the same time is generally easier on the players. Only two venue changes with only 1-2 days off between each venue. This keeps the entire league to 17 calendar days. That's much easier to get American players to play since there's not nearly as much travel or vacation commitment.
Friday, we open our season with a 4:00 pm game against the newest team in the league, the Aviators from Ohio. We're looking forward to testing ourselves against them and coming away with a strong start to this season. Watch us on the league's NEW HD camera for free on our YouTube channel. We'll link the highlight reels of every game on our newly redesigned home page. Bear with us as we work out the bugs, but please comment and like on social media and let us hear your suggestions!
Ultimately, this league is about growing the game in North America. It's about you, the North American fans, and our North American floorball players. We're here to give the best players on this side of the Atlantic the chance to practice, play, and live with great players from Europe. We want the Americans to pick up styles of play, habits, and disciplines that they can then keep here and transfer to other up-and-coming US players. Ultimately, this league is about elevating our game here.
Thanks for your support! We'll see you at Nytex Sports Center from July 27-30 for the last two regular season matches and the Troy Cup playoffs. Come cheer on the Jags as we look to take that next step in growing the US game!