The first, historic gold for IK Zenith was celebrated with cake
IK Zenith won the B17 category in the Gothia Innebandy Cup 2023 after a penalty win against TJ Znojmo LAUFEN from the Czech Republic.
Never before had a team from IK Zenith won the Gothia Innebandy Cup.
– This means a lot, not only for us but also for the whole club. Last Saturday we even got a celebration during a break in a senior team match, says the penalty hero Albin Wigren.
IK Zenith, which goes by the nickname "Green Stars", had a great week at the Gothia Innebandy Cup.
– It's of course a big cup that has a powerful feeling all the way. We have participated once before but then without profit. We had almost a whole line in the SDF-SM that represented West Sweden. This, of course, weakened our squad a little, which led to the fact that we never really dared to think about whether we would actually be able to make it all the way, says Albin Wigren and continues:
– It was only after the group stage, when we stepped into Partille Arena, that it really started to feel like it. It was a really cool experience. Getting to stand and sing the Swedish national anthem before the final made me shiver and I couldn't wait to get started.
The final against TJ Znojmo LAUFEN was a thriller that was incredibly even and went to penalties. There, Albin Wigren shone by saving several penalties.
– I think the final was a splendid example of a perfect final. A lot of back and forth and of course it becomes much more powerful when everything ends with penalties. I have managed to save all the penalties that have been thrown at me this season in the league. It gave me a sense of security and I could keep myself from getting too nervous. However, it started to really tingle when I stood on the goal line before the referees had blown their whistles for the first penalty. But once they did that, most things dropped and it was just a matter of doing everything you could, says the keeper.
Have you practiced a lot on penalties before?
– Penalties were something that I thought I was quite bad at a while ago. After that, I've asked to receive quite a lot of penalties in training in order to succeed in getting better at it. It's almost every practice now that me and Simon Lindén, who scored our first penalty, stay afterwards and train penalties for 15-20 minutes. I'm getting quite used to penalties and also to his very skilled and difficult zorro penalties, says the teenager.
In the victory interview with the website immediately after the triumph, Albin Wigren said that their coach promised to make hamburgers for the whole team.
– Everyone was floating on clouds the following days and I think noone really had time to digest what had happened. The practice after the win we all got together and ate cake and celebrated with our coaches. So far we haven't received our burgers but we have been promised and here in "Green Stars" we don't take a promise lightly, so after the season we will organize a big barbecue evening so the head coach Andreas can show his hamburger skills, he says with a smile.
How big is winning the Gothia Innebandy Cup in your opinion? How do you rate it in your young career?
– The Gothia Innebandy Cup is one of the absolute biggest youth cups in the world, so to be able to stand at the top of the podium is clearly a great merit, and the biggest thing that has happened to me as a floorball player so far. It's the first step in what I hope will be a long and successful career in floorball, says the goalkeeper with determination.
What are your goals in the short and long term?
– My short-term goals are above all to play a lot in JAS and hopefully some matches with our division 1 team. I think this is good for my own development. I also want to help the JAS team to be placed as high as possible. My long-term goal is of course to play floorball full-time, but before that, the U19 national team is my next big milestone. I have high hopes on that, says Albin Wigren.