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Q&A with Team USA head coach Daniel Dalbjer

Updated: November 29, 2021

Before the second game at the World Championships in Uppsala where Team USA will face Italy, we sat down with head coach Daniel Dalbjer to learn more about preparations, his take on the Denmark game and the biggest surprises so far.

You are fairly new as the head coach for team USA. How have you and the team prepared for the World Championships?

”This is obviously different from coaching at a club where you work with players every week. Our team manager Ann Lövgren has done a fantastic job in putting everything together and I came in after the summer where we had a camp in Motala where I got to meet a lot of the players. Then we’ve had a good week here in Sweden where we have had a number of training sessions before we played our first game on Monday.”

What has been the biggest positive surprise for you as head coach?

”We have a great team with good energy and the players are happy together. Considering how little time we’ve spent together I’ve been positively surprised in how the players listen and deliver on what we are trying to do.”

You played the first game against Denmark on Saturday and you lost 6 – 9. What’s your analysis and lessons from that game?

”I think we did a solid game and it’s fantastic that we are closing in on Denmark. As I mentioned earlier I’m impressed by how the players listen and deliver on what we want to do. I changed our tactics after the first period when I saw that Denmark started to find ways to hurt us and the players accept and deliver their best. What we must improve on is to be stronger in front of our own goal and help our goalkeeper.”

You mentioned the change in tactics. Is it correct that you changed from 2-1-2 to 2-2-1?

”Yes, and that worked very good for one of the lines. However, when we didn’t get the same result for the second line we moved back to 2-1-2 for them.”

Today you are facing Italy and you had the opportunity to watch them play yesterday. What are your thoughts on today’s game?

“We should go out there with the same energy that we had against Denmark. We need to be solid in our defence and after 60 minutes we should be the winners today. You of course have a game plan but you also need to be flexible and I think that’s my strength as a coach – to make changes during the game depending on what is happening.”

You have your brother as the assistant coach – what’s that like?

“This is his first coaching assignment and I think he does it well. He has been playing for a long time and knows floorball. As a coach I want to control all aspects and it’s important for me to be surrounded by people who support my ideas and at the same time provide their own input. I think we have a good cooperation.”

What are your ambitions for the World Championships?

“It’s been a while since the US team won a game at the World Championships and we of course want to win every game we play and improve in the rankings. We must however also respect where we are as a team and take a longer time view. I have a contract until 2023 and look forward keep, expand and improve this team.”