The Milestones of Prague Masters
Legendy jdou dál!
In winter 2006 we dispatched the following message –First World Challenge for Floorball Veterans. We grew old so our personal participation in the Czech Open and Prague Games was impossible. But we still didn't want to put ourselves into the garbage. That's why we came with the project called Prague Masters. We were waiting with a tension if anyone would face up our challenge. How it all continued?
PM 2006 Sasha Brendler vs. Spanish crusaders
Veterans premiere or "Show me your passport"!
The invitations were sent to the World on May 28, 2006. In November, 10 brave teams from the Czech Republic, Finland, Latvia, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and Russia arrived. A total of 170 floorball players presented. We played on two fields at Tatran and Děkanka, we needed only 3 pairs of referees, 188 goals were scored in 27 games. The finalists had to complete an incredible portion of seven games played 2x20 minutes in 48 hours! The Grand final between Finish Pro Stars and local P.CA Milada was preceded by a dramatic incident, above which some people may laugh now. Some of the local players didn't want to believe the date of birth of their finish rivals and with a message: "Show me your passport!" sent them back to the hotel just before the game. But in the end the Finish Pro Stars both administratively and sportily finally won and at least until next year they became the rulers of Europe veteran floorball. Our home team Star Dust ended up with bronze.
Number of teams doubled to 20 in one year; 9 countries were represented. This year it was a premiere for the Slovaks, Hungarians and Norwegians. Floorball shop Spinflo first launched a special Discount up to the Age and some of the aged players of the Russian General were shopping really cheap. Due to the number of teams we had to start playing already on Thursday and needed 4 grounds. For Swedish Umea City Veterans the silver period started – during the first five years they qualified to the final three times, but until now they did not manage to get the gold. This time they were defeated by finish team Vantaa NMKY, led by the IFF General Secretary Mr John Lilielund, who was rightly voted as the best tournament goalkeeper. The tournament party took place in retrospective club Manes. Home team Star Dust ended on fourth position.
Prague Masters was the main course before the dessert in form of the World Championship, which started in the Czech Republic three weeks after our tournament. For the first time in history we had to limit the number or participating teams. Finally we chose 28 teams from 9 countries. We moved the event to Hamr sport complex in Braník, where the entire tournament took place under one roof on 4 pitches. A very nice newcomer of this year was Sparta Prague. Despite their final score 1:50 they had the most devoted and noisy supporters. Finish Pro Stars became the Europe veteran champion again after they defeated Czech rivals P.CA Milada in the final. This time without checking passports. Norwegian Sveiva played Russian General and won the bronze. All Stars were newly decorated in club Lávka and three guys battled into it already for the second time – Marko Sompa and Veli Mati Koivunen from the Pro Stars and Luděk Beneš from Milada. Home Star Dust experienced the biggest flop in history, when finished on 17th – 24th place.
Rewrite Veterans history! Finnish domination ended! Czech legend P.CA Milada became the European champion; they defeated the "forever silver" Umea City Veterans in the final. Some Czech floorball icons played for team Milada that year – e.g. Mirek Hanzlík, experienced Czech national team player, silver medalist from 2004 World Championship and also his former National team coach - Zdeněk Skružný. The winner had to play 9 games in 48 hours. For the first time we welcomed 30+ women's category. Czech ladies from VSK Medik Ovocné Báze left behind the Latvian Cielavinas Armija in the finals. Over 500 veteran players came to Prague from the entire Europe. We welcomed also Swiss classics - SV Wiler Ersinged, coached by Swiss Floorball Federation General Secretary Mr Patrick Falk. Jerker Lundgreen from Goteborg became the best scorer /he scored impressive 17 goals in 9 games/. This Pixbo floorball icon has been still playing the Swedish Super League in 2010! Organizing team Star Dust finished on 9th to 16th place.
Prague Masters celebrate the 5th birthday. Over 5 years the total number of participating teams increased from 10 to 43, the number of participating countries settled to 10, the total number of active players broke 600, we played 125 games controlled by about 30 referees! Betting company Chance became the general partner of the tournament. The European dominancy returned to Finland again. In the nerve-wracking final the Finish HaU won after penalty shooting against Umea City Veterans. The legendary Forza Střešovice made a comeback to the floorball grounds under the name of STS Chvojkovice Brod, team with Láďa Fuchs, Jura Šádek, Jirka Jndáček, Martin Zelenka and others finished with bronze as the best Czech team. But in stylish retro jerseys and after exhausting overnights in the teams caravan they dominated as regards the image and social aspects. Tigers from Jižní Město/Czech Republic won the ladies category. From the locals Jura Šádek squeezed to the All Stars. Ilona Novotná- the medalist from the European Cup and multiple best Czech floorball female player became the best tournament female scorer. Home team Star Dust became the second best Czech participant after reaching the quarterfinals.
Prague Masters 2011 MVP - Mr Vesa Punkari!
This year we passed the bound of 50 teams, which means that the tournament expanded to another hall. In addition to Hamr Braník complex we played also in Tatran Střešovice hall. We added new category for men over 40 years and it was immediately very successful. 17 teams entered this category. Finnish Pro Stars accomplished gold hat-trick, after victories in 2006 and 2008 they celebrated for the third time. It was greatly contributed by the legion of Finnish stars – Vesa Punkari, Tero Karppanen and Lasse Ritesuo, the goal was guarded again by the secretary general of IFF – John Liljelund. Tero Karppanen managed to score 27 goals in eight matches! Players of Herbadent team defended the title in women category. Finnish team KCUF celebrated in the men category over 40 years. The most successful Czech team was Pohodový 100D, which gained bronze in 35+ category. Organizing team Star Dust finished in quarterfinal in men 40+ category.
Prague Masters 2012 bring the first ever gold for Sweden and Switzerland! Umea City Veterans turn their fourth matchball after three silvers into the deserved victory - historically first for Tre Kronor. Also Switzerland celebrates because the M30+ is dominated by fantastic Rot-Weiss Chur Nostalgie recalling the memories of the silver Swiss squad from 1998 World Championships. After fourteen years the Engel brothers, Reto Weber, Alex Matt or Marcel Kaltenbrunner are shining in Prague again! The number of participating ladies nearly doubles comparing to the previous year. The veteran ladies of Vítkovice are grabbing the dominance from Herbadent taking the first gold to Moravia. The silver Black Angels from Prague are the most successful Czech male team. The organizing Star Dust did not make it through the eight-finales.
PM 2013 Pixbo rules!
Pixbo Wallenstam rules the One Touch Floorball 2013. The World Champions Anders Hellgård, Magnus Augustsson and Adam Lindberg after the triumph in World Championships 1998 dominate in Prague again. But the local Black Angels do not give up in the M35+ finals easily! Floorball is getting older again - the M40+ is with 28 teams for the first time the biggest category. Its gold goes to the Finnnish KCUF - actually the second most succesful foreign club of the tournament history. The total number of teams gets over 60 and we welcome more than 800 players! The ladies category is growing as well with nearly 10 teams. The city of Brno replaced Ostrava and Prague on the ladies throne this year. The organizing Star Dust did not survive the 1/16-finale...
9th Prague Masters concludes floorball circus this year. A new format of the tournament taking place from Friday till Sunday is tested. For the first time teams can tune in on a warm-up party in Prague's Hard Rock Café. Swedish team ThorenGruppen succeed at their premiere start at the tournament and won the first place in the category over 40 years. In a dramatic duel for the gold they defeated Latvians from the club SONORA-Bauska 4:3, which was the highest number of the goals in the final matches of the 9th tournament. In women's cathegory players from Vitkovice Selection team return their throne. The third time participation, the third time in the final and the second gold. In the final they beated Chodičky 4:2. Club from Ostrava, thus, succeeded in a small reprise of the April's Superfinal: on the losing side were Ilona Novotná, Klara Rozumová and Kristyna Jílkova, on the other side bench was again Tomas Martiník, one of the coaches of the champions. Norwegian floorball celebrates its very first triumph at the Masters. Thanks to the guys from Sveiva the victory in the most prestigious category for players over 35 years was obtained. In a fast final the traditional nordic participant of the tournament defeated the team Pohodový 100D 3:1 and, thus, extended a Czech waiting for gold in this age group. It lasts from the last win of the club P.CA Milada in 2009.
We celebrate the 10th anniversary with a new record in the number of participating teams. 67 teams from 9 countries are coming to Prague! Athletes from Mongolia, who have announced their international floorball debut, at the end did not receive visas and did not arrive to the Prague Masters. Floorball superpowers, Sweden and Finland, after seven long years finish without any gold, while home teams celebrate victory twice. Brněnské Bohyně defend the title in the women's category, when in the final they sweated a lot with a pleasant surprise of the tournament, Swedish Lillvreta, which was overwhelmed only in a penalty shootout. In the prestigious category M35+ guys from Ovocné Báze transformed their premiere participation into a gold. And, thus, Ovocné Báze becomes the first club in a history, which has gold in the male and female categories! Wiler-Ersigen follows the legendary Rot-Weiss Chur and in M40+ category historically receives the second gold for Switzerland by the substantial assistance of the Czech trio (Sikora, Trnava, Franke).