By Mark Newman, News Staff
Gord Brajic would like to play professional floorball in Europe some day.
The 17-year-old Grade 12 student at Sherwood Secondary School is taking a big step toward that goal this week.
The Stoney Creek resident is a member of the Canadian team that’s competing at the Men’s World Floorball Championships in Zurich, Switzerland. The tournament runs Dec 2-9.
“It’s an amazing experience,” said the upper Stoney Creek resident, early last week before heading off to Switzerland.
One of three Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board students on the team, Brajic plays the forward position and said his job will be to pass the ball to the goal scorers.
“I’m all about play-making,” he said.
Floorball was developed in Sweden in the 1970s and is usually played on rubber or wooden surfaces or a gymnasium floor.
The game is played with short, plastic mesh blade sticks and plastic balls with 26 holes. Teams play six aside on the court, including goalkeepers who wear full padding but do not have a stick.
Forwards usually wear shirts, socks, shorts and running shoes and some protective equipment. The game is non-contact and there are no helmets.
Brajic said he originally tried out for and made the under-19 national team but was asked by men’s team general manager, Anthony Herrington, who is also a teacher at Sherwood, to join the senior squad.
“We had some openings and I asked Gord,” said Herrington. “He’s fast and agile. It will be an opportunity for him to get better and get experience.”
The teen said he wanted to attend Sherwood for its hockey academy, which includes floorball as part of the training, but gave up hockey two years ago to concentrate on floorball.
“As soon as you pick up the stick you can’t stop,” said Brajic.
He noted floorball is also very useful for honing hockey skills.
Canada is battling Germany, Russia and Finland in pool play at the world championships.
Brajic said Finland is considered the top team in the world.
“They expect sell-out crowds,” said Herrington. “It’s on (Swiss) national TV.”
Herrington noted while the sport is growing in Canada it still has a long way to go to achieve the popularity it has in Europe and the Scandinavian countries.
Sir Winston Churchill students Zack Peters and Billie Petrie are also on the national men’s team.
The three local teens also expect to be playing at the world under-19 floorball championships in Hamburg, Germany, next May.