Floorball: New coaching team hope to raise level of Singapore men's national squad

New national coach Lim Jin Quan is focusing on polishing his players' skills and going back to the basics.
New national coach Lim Jin Quan is focusing on polishing his players' skills and going back to the basics.PHOTO: THE NEW PAPER

SINGAPORE - He has been coaching floorball for schools and clubs for the last nine years and made his biggest step up to the men's national team just eight weeks ago.

Yet former national player Lim Jin Quan is wasting no time getting his team in shape, as they aim to win both the Asia-Oceania Floorball Confederation (AOFC) Cup in July -Singapore finished second to Thailand in the 2017 edition - and to retain the gold medal at the SEA Games in November.

To achieve both goals, Lim, 26, is focusing on polishing the players' skills and going back to the basics.

"I've been studying how other countries train, like in Finland (ranked world No. 1). I believe we can take whatever they have and apply it to ourselves," said Lim, who played for the national team from 2010 to 2017, after training last Friday (May 17) at Our Tampines Hub.

"The thing that sets them apart from us is that they do the little things well. Their basics and foundation are very strong and they're able to execute it at a high level so if we can push our basics to that level I believe that we can do much better.

"It will take a lot of time and effort but we have decent talent and hardworking individuals who want to do their country proud."

The men's team, which were named Team of the Year (Team Sport) at last Tuesday's (May 14) Singapore Sports Awards 2019, are working with a Finnish consultant Timo Suonpaa, 44, who has coached the Finnish and Australian national team.


The Singapore's men's national floorball team training at Our Tampines Hub. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

Suonpaa, who is also helping the local women's team agreed with Lim that the team needs to work on their basic skills.

He added: "They also have not played for as long as other top players who started when they were four or five years old. Here, they start at about 15 so they are 10 years behind."

Newly appointed assistant coach Jatin Nair, 33, added the coaching team are looking to make some changes to the team's overall strategy.

Jatin, who is a former national player, said that the team is not clinical in scoring goals and defensively they are looking to transition into defending as a unit instead of depending on individual players.

The men's team is slowly adapting to the new style of Lim and Jatin after two years under the charge of Finn Matt Joutsikoski, who left in March after his wife was relocated to Switzerland.

Vice-captain Jenmark Sorreda, 29, said "The new coaches' offensive and defensive play are different and it's a bit hard to transition into their style of play but with practice we'll get better."

Teammate Ng Juin Jie, 21, was pleased the new coaches were taking the time to analyse and improve each player's individual strengths and weaknesses.

In the long term, Lim hopes to increase the training frequency - they now train twice a week on the court and twice in the gym - but acknowledges it will not be easy in a team of 30 made up of students, national servicemen and working adults.

Jenmark, a Singaporean who was born in the Philippines but moved here when he was eight, agreed and added: "It definitely affects us because we're not training together as a team and those who miss out have to catch up twice the amount of what they missed."