MK Sport interview: MK Phantoms Floorball Club

MK Phantoms Floorball
MK Phantoms Floorball

 

You may not have heard of floorball, but the sport could be the next to thrive in Milton Keynes.

The MK Phantoms are the city's premier club and are leading the charge to get the game more recognition.

Floorball – a fast-paced indoor hockey – is played across the world and is one of the fastest growing sports on the planet.

There are hopes of inclusion at the 2020 Olympics but in the UK things have yet to take off and that's something the Phantoms want to change.

Club member Mark Sleight said: "Milton Keynes is the ideal city to play floorball.

"If you're sport minded with good hand-eye co-ordination and are reasonably fit it's for you. Most people who come along end up coming back.

"It's a worldwide sport but when you mention floorball here people say 'did you mean football?'

"No-one knows what it is but you go to countries like the Czech Republic and Sweden and it's their number one sport."

The sport is similar to ice hockey as teams operate in lines and players can move behind the back of the two goals.

However, a shorter stick is used and the ball is lightweight, plastic and punctured with 28 holes to reduce air resistance.

"I used to watch a lot of ice hockey and I happened to see an advert for floorball," Mark said.

"I just turned up and I've barely missed a session since, some ice hockey players play floorball in the summer as it involves a lot of the same skills."

Phantoms first formed in 2001 and by 2006 the squad boasted three Great Britain players, but unfortunately operations were forced to cease because of a lack of players.

The club reformed for a one-off reunion game in 2010 but there was so much enthusiasm after the meet-up that the Phantoms were brought back full-time.

They now hope to re-enter the league system before the end of the year.

Training takes place at Leon School in Bletchley and Mark's passion for the sport has even seen him take part in the world's longest ever match.

"We have 20 players on the books at the moment and the squad is getting there," Mark said.

"Half are experienced and the rest have just started playing in the last six months to a year.

"We have two sessions to start with which are free. so come along and try it.

"We'll help you with the equipment, and if you don't like it don't come again.

"But we're so confident that you will."

For more information about MK Phantoms Floorball, e-mail floorballmk@hotmail.co.uk or visit www.floorballmk.co.uk.



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