English | Autor: Hilska Mika

Clearly the best

Sweden will enter the WFC in Bratislava so clear a favourite it feels almost like an anticlimax. With the superior line-up they have, they can even predict personal goal records. For offensive talent Sofia Joelsson, that is.

Clearly the best Sofia Joelsson (left) could break Emelie Lindströms record.

Sofia Joelsson has scored no less than 32 goals and 18 assists in just 19 games in the national team. No one in the squad an match those averages and she's a WFC debutant, too. "She's an incredible goalscorer who never quits working hard. She is hungry for personal development and she has been taking constant steps forward becoming better and better", head coach Andreas Lundmark described 21-year old Sofia Joelsson as he announced his roster on 10th November. 

"During the EFT we the coaches said to each other that she is the one who can beat the national team's all-time goal record one day. She has the ability to find the openings that not every player sees and she is one of those who have it in them naturally. Team Sweden's present record holder is Emelie Lindström who netted 81 times in her 91 games for Sweden. "Haha, I sure hope so and that my flow does not stop. I am always happy to break records", Sofia Joelsson told Swedish Aftonbladet. "I may be able to score another ten in the WFC. I'll be heading there to have a good time and try to score a few, too. Scoring is something that falls to me and we are not going to allow us to aim for anything else than gold", she said in the interview.

Sweden's WFC team includes a whole nine players who are heading for their first WFC and also nine players from IKSU. Sofia Joelsson is included in both numbers. She started her floorball career playing for Nybro IBK in Swedish Småland and first moved to Kalmarsund and then to Umeå and IKSU for studies in Riksidrottsgymnasiet. She scored 21 goals in her first season in the Svenska Superligan and the U19 national team star soon was a regular in the women's national team, too. A goal in her first women's national team game against Czech Republic came as a surprise to no one. Her second season in the national league also ended with the Swedish title after Sofia Joelsson had scored the opening goal in the 4-1 Superfinal victory against KAIS Mora.

With two WFC tournaments and gold medals, Iza Rydfjäll is one of the experienced players in the squad. She says she trusts the newcomers completely. "They all have experience from big games like Swedish finals and U19 national team and it is great to have them in the team as they are all so skilful players", Rydfjäll tells Svensk Innebandy. She does not hesitate to say who is going to lift the trophy by the end of the Bratislava week, either. "We have got the best team. After that all it takes is to give a hundred per cent and that little bit of extra, too, as it is good teams we are going to play."

Any country wanting to play for WFC gold is supposed to have such quantity in top players that there should be at least some dispute about who was chosen and was not. In Finland, for instance, there was none. Here, too, was another sign of Sweden's breadth in top players as Täby's Louise Wickström's name was not announced even though she has been one of the cornerstones of the Swedish team for quite a while already. "I could not attend the final training camp in Malmö as I had to start a new job", Wickström told local media, and indeed head coach Lundmark, too, referred to her job and such personal matters. The coach of Täby, Lars Jedheim, voiced a more sarcastic explanation: "It's simple as she does not play for IKSU", he told norrsporten.se.

Sweden will be traveling to Bratislava for their sixth straight gold medals and eighth overall. "The final is not going to end with a penalty shootout this time but with us enjoying the final minutes of the game"; Andreas Lundmark said referring to their dramatic victory in Finnish Tampere  two years ago.

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