As a Minnesota native, Brian is as a big hockey fan but when he moved to Fort Worth in 2012, he discovered floorball. He and his family then started playing with the North Texas Floorball Association (NTFA). Brian started out as a defender but quickly switched to goalie because he “wanted more time on the rink and less time running”. He has since then become the President of NTFA and is the tournament director for the Texas Open. Brian is also a USA Floorball certified referee and currently holds the position of General Manager for the Men’s U19 national team. Owning his own floorball team was the natural next step and in the summer of 2020, he announced the Fort Worth Jaguars as the first NAFL team ever.
– I wanted to be part of the league because I want to help build something that will benefit so many through the access to a new inexpensive and exciting sport. Floorball is growing and Dallas-Fort Worth area has been one of the more stable and growing places in the country for the game. We have a great base on which to build in one of the bigger markets in the US. The opportunity to be one of the “Original Four” teams in this market was just a perfect fit for my wife and I.
He and the Jaguars was the first team announced, a position he wants to claim on the historic inaugural season.
–We want to win! Honestly, the pressure on myself to win it all is huge. I have big expectations for our organization and our team – we want to lead the way in our player selection and organization, and I’m really proud of our Head Coach, Joel Ekroos. Coach Ekroos has begun assembling a roster from Europe to join with our signed players from the United States, and we have a few surprises in the works.
– Partnering with the league sponsor Floorball Planet here in Dallas-Fort Worth has also been a big help for us. We have already collaborated with them in our local floorball club and have a great relationship. Additionally, having a good marketing arm with a ready supplier of equipment for all the league will help promote the business side of floorball.
– In the end, my hope and goal for the season is that we successfully play all our games, crown a champion, and that the players and fans have a great time playing and watching one of the best games on earth.
A vital part to bring the Troy cup to Fort Worth is to put a competitive team on the rink in June. Brian and Coach Ekroos have been working hard to get a roster on point and have already announced a bunch of skilled players with more to come.
– Signing Coach Ekroos was a huge step forward for us. We now have 18 contract offers out and 15 of those players have signed up, including some higher-level players I’m not yet at liberty to name. The recent winter storm in Texas has set back our venue plans a couple of weeks, but we hope to announce our home venue shortly and begin working with sponsors to create an amazing fan experience for our home fans.
As said previously, Brian has, great expectations for the upcoming season and the vision of winning seems to be shared with his Finnish coach.
– Coach Ekroos is very optimistic and plans to bring his ball-control offense to the US. I think you will see our American players develop quickly under his coaching and through their interaction with their European teammates. Our fans should expect exciting games that displays the skill, speed, and finesse of high-level floorball. We’re also going to have fun at our rink. Everything you would expect in a professional sports environment will be there – music, games, and promotions. It’ll be a great family outing and we’re working to make it super-affordable as well.
The signing of a lot of European players have increased the interest aboard and both the Jaguars and the other three teams are still looking for skilled players to come over and try their luck in the first edition of the North American Floorball League.
– Our team’s pro shop is open, and our inventory has come up and our delivery times have come down. We’ve had a number of orders from Europe as well and while that shipping is more expensive and takes longer, it’s great to see the European fans showing interest as well. That was one of the goals of the NAFL – to provide a summer floorball league that operates when the European leagues are idle.
– This league is a brand new and exciting venture. There is going to be so much opportunity to participate in ways that you simply can’t do in most American professional sports. We think that the NAFL has great potential to grow throughout the country. The barriers to entry are low, both for owners and players. The fan experience should be awesome, and our players and staff will get to be part of the ground floor of the “Original Four” teams of the NAFL. Come on out and join us today! Follow us on social media and come out and watch us play – but Watch Your Back!
Author: Joel Olofsson