Tanja Stella is the IFF GoGirls! Ambassador from team Switzerland. Tanja has represented Switzerland in both U19 and Women’s WFCs. The WFC in Neuchâtel will be her sixth Women’s WFC. She has played over 100 international matches and is one of the most experienced female players in Switzerland. 

My name is Tanja Stella, but my teammates call me just “Stella” or “Stelli”.  My team in the Swiss NLA League is Kloten-Dietlikon Jets. I live quite close to Kloten/Dietlikon in a small town where I grew up. I work as an office employee and I like to meet my family and friends for a nice dinner or just to hang out at my spare time. I’m a passionate player with lot emotions, so I’m capable to push myself and my teammates. The opponents might think that there are players they rather meet on the pitch then me. I never give up and I think that balances out my lack of technique – not everyone can be a Rudd 😉 I like the big games the most, because there’s a lot to win! At age 31 and with 5 WFC attendances I’m not lying when I call myself an experienced floorball player.

How did you start playing floorball and how long have you played?

When I was 5 years old, I joined a gymnastic club. So, I never thought about to end up as a national team player in floorball someday. I practiced up to 20 h per week at age 9 and I truly hadn’t had time to do other sports than gymnastics. But I got quite upset that my elder brother always was at floorball practice with a bunch of our common friends when I happened to be around. And how cool, he could play both: floorball and soccer! So, I went more often to floorball practice with him and the other boys. After a while I quit my career as gymnast. So, from 9 until I turned 13, I played with boys on a small court and had the time of my life because It was a blast to play that game with friends without pressure. Don’t get me wrong, I always wanted (and still always want) to win, but it was different to the militarily stile of practice I had before as a gymnast. When I entered high school, I started playing with girls in a junior’s team for UHC Uster and since then I practiced regularly in a club and participate on competitions.

How did you join the national team?

As I named before my talent in just floorball is not god given, so my will and strength brought me maybe to player no. 25 – 30 in Switzerland when I was about 20. I played in Dietlikon’s third line and had luck to practice with some of the “golden ladies” from the WFC 2005 like Simone Berner, Daniela Morf and Natalie Stadelmann. So, I was used to take hard infights and accomplish the game on a considerable speed. I had the chance to show up at national team trainings, but not to play international games. Then a given Center Player got injured close before the WFC 2009 in Västerås, so I got to jump in for her at the EFT in Finland in fall 2009. Since then the coaches appreciated my physical consistence and power, so I grew to the player I am today. 31, still feeling that I can improve as a player, the same will to work hardly on myself with the motivation to play and win big games.

How do you prepare for the WFC 2019?

This year we’ve got the opportunity to practice like never before. Together with the staff, we as a team decided to challenge ourselves – like for real! It calls “summer challenge”. We meet with the national team every Friday since May – out over club team practices. We get tactical inputs, go through these instructions in exercises on the pitch afterwards and we play friendly games against juniors or male teams. The main thought is to make the next step as floorball players individually on one hand, but mostly as a team. We have plenty of time to talk trough detailed situations in the lines, work on the system and practice special teams. It feels like getting a real team spirit, it’s higher as ever before because we see each other steady. The “summer challenge” is also a commitment to the physical program the staff sat for us. It contains 6-7 units per week, some of them are included in the club team practices but the trainings effort overall is roughly 17h per week. So, I’m really excited to see the results and all the pluses we gain from the “summer challenge”.

Who is your favourite floorball player?

It’s hard to name just one player, there are many talented and committed players I like to watch. But I admire Ketil Kronberg’s style to play, he’s just amazing.

Random fact?

My surname shows my Italian roots, so I really looove the Italian food! Think about it.. “prosciutto crudo con meloni, pasta, pizza, vino rosso, espresso ristretto e gelati”, my mouth immediately starts to water. Unfortunately my dad never learned to talk Italian from his father, so I didn’t learn to talk this beautiful language either….not yet! This will be one of my goals to reach after my active career as a floorball player.

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