Thanks to Michael from CFD, who has been behind starting the Salming 3+1 League. The aim is simple, have regular quick floorball tournaments. This allignes well with FCP goals of developing young players while letting them enjoy floorball.
The first 3+1 tournament in December had 5 teams joining. FCP had 10 players: me, coach Kaisa, Jason, Stone, Adam, Severi, Evan, Sage, goalies Anton and Jouni (from Hakkapeliitat). Round robin system was used, where each team played against every other team. FCP started the day well, winning the first match against the Vikings team. In our second and third match we were overmatched playing against the experienced and skilled Hakkapeliitat and Manhattan IBK teams. Those matches showed that our youth team still has a lot to learn and improve.
Our last match of the day was against the surprising Pigeon team, that is comprised mainly off Donghua University students, winners of China University Championships. Pigeon team showed nice skills and took the lead in the match, but in the second half FCP was able to fight back. Unfortunately the time ran out and team Pigeon escaped with a one goal victory. In the final match of the day Hakkapeliitat and Manhattan finished tied in a tightly contested affair and this meant Manhattan would win the first 3+1 tournament due to better goal difference. Hakkapeliitat finished second, Pigeon third, FCP fourth, and Vikings fifth.
The second 3+1 tournament was played on January 21. This time 6 teams participated (Hakkapeliitat did not join, but two new Chinese teams were participating). Teams were divided into two groups. FCP played in a group with Pigeon team and YouYue. This time FCP team had only 6 players: me, coach Kaisa, coach Tanel, Adam, Stone, and goalie Noah. Our first game against Pigeon did not start well, we were quickly 0-3 behind and our only goalie had gotten injured (knee ligament injury). Coach Tanel was forced to play goalie, but he did a surprisingly good job for the rest of the tournament. At half time FCP was loosing to Pigeon team 0-4, but second half went much better. Similar to the last tournament, FCP was able to come back to the match, and score goals to get close, but again we were unable to take the last step and the match finished 3-4 for Pigeon team. Our second match against Youyue was a bit different. Youyue team was new to the competition and FCP got an easy 12-0 victory. That meant finishing second in our group and playing against Manhattan in the semi-final. We did our best, but Manhattan was still too good, winning 11-3. In the third place game we faced the Vikings team, that had started the day with a great effort against the Manhattan, but lost in the semi-final against the Pigeon team. Our team was more fresh for this match, and after an equal first half FCP started to create and finish more chances in the second half. Vikings even tried to pull their goalie in an effort to get back into the game, but that just resulted in an empty net goal for FCP. In the end FCP got the third place in the tournament with a 7-3 victory!
Third 3+1 tournament was played on February 25. This time FCP had a really young squad, with the avearge age of 14.3 years. This was due to coaches Kaisa and Tanel having to work. But our star player Lucas was playing for our team this time. FCP had 10 players: me, Lucas, Adam, Severi, Stone, Matias, Evan, Daniel, goalies Anton and Noah. Originally 9 teams had signed up and were divided into three groups, but only after the first matches were played did it turn out that Youyue team would not come this time. This led to quick rearrangement to two groups of 4 teams. Our team was a bit unlucky having been put in the same group with two experienced foreigner teams, Hakkapeliitat and SSV, as well as the Vikings.
Our first match of the day was against Hakkapeliitat team. Hakka was not in it’s strongest lineup and our team started the match really well, defending calmly and attacking confidently. We actually ended up winning the first half. After two quick Hakka goals in the second half our players did not stop fighting and we were able to tie the game. Only an unlucky bounce that gave Hakka striker a one on goalie opportunity led to us narrowly loosing the match 2-3. All of our players played great, and our goalie Noah was supperb.
Our second match was against the very strong SSV team. FCP team again played with confidence and had a very good match despite loosing 3-8.
Right after that started our match against the Vikings. FCP continued it’s good play despite more physicality from opponents. The Vikings never really threatened and FCP took a deserved 6-1 victory. Immediately after that started our match for the 5th place against the Tua team. By this match our team, or at least me, were already tired. The game started with us missing a few chances and Tua scoring some goals due to good shooting and our defensive mistakes. Tua took a 3-0 lead, but we were able to get one goal back before halftime. The second half was all FCP pressure, but the Tua goalie played really well, and we were missing some open looks. The game ended with Tua winning 3-1.
From these 3+1 tournaments i have been very happy to see our young players improve and grow in confidence. The way we played in February was a lot better than the way we played in December. I am very excited to see this progress continue.
// Coach, Sander