Brothers Luke and Liam Williamsson have taken their talents across the Atlantic Ocean from the US to Sweden to further develop and practise their floorball skills.
Liam Williamsson is a defender for the US national team who most recently competed at the 2020 WFC in Helsinki and the World Games in Alabama last year for the USA whilst brother Luke (turning 16 this year) successfully helped the USA U19 national team last September qualify for the Men’s U19 WFC 2023 in Frederikshavn this April. Both brothers are set to compete also in the upcoming 2023 NAFL season this summer with their hometown Florida Vikings who are defending champions from the inaugural season last year.
We spoke with younger brother Luke to find out the motivation behind this big move and how he is building up to the U19 World Championships in April!
1. Hi Luke! We heard that you and your brother have decided to stay in Sweden after you played in the Storvretacupen to further your floorball training. How did you come to that decision and where do you play now?
“After I played in Gothia Cup 2019 and saw the European level of play for the first time I dreamed of coming back to play. I also got the opportunity to practice with teams in Sweden and I could have stayed then to play, but because I was so young my parents did not want to leave me in Sweden. I was devastated when Storvreta was cancelled last year because of covid, but we came back this year and I played for both Florida Vikings Jr. and USA Floorball Select. I have a drive to be as good as I can in Floorball. I love the sport and am very passionate about it. I am so grateful beyond words for this opportunity playing for KFUM and I also continue to play hockey with HC Dalen as well. I am glad as long as I can do both. I try to do as much as I can in Florida, but it is hard to find enough competition in U.S. and for me to develop I have to have more 5v5 game play on a full size rink. Only way for me to do that is to go to Europe and find it.
2. Is this something short term for you both or will you be staying for the start of next season?
“It is initially short term to see how we like it in Sweden. We want to stay longer, but it was a big sacrifice and risk for us to come here. I have to go back to U.S. to help coach younger kids and promote floorball in Orlando after the U19 WFC in Denmark, but we will continue to practice with Orlando Vikings and we are also part of Florida Vikings FC in the NAFL this summer and will experience being part of a team with some of the best players in the world. For my brother it is the second year in the team and I hope I can learn a lot from them.“
3. Is the main goal preparing for the U19 WFC or just to further your development as much as possible?
“2 years in row I had the most points in Youth Nationals in my age group, but to get the opportunity to represent your country in world stage, I want to do my absolute best to develop and be prepared for such a big event when meeting other top nations. Then in the long term I want to develop as much as possible and I think these next few years are very important for me. I am the youngest player in our U19 team and I can be part of the next U19 as well. My goal is to play in the USA men’s team with my brother and of course be in one of the highest leagues in Europe. Whatever happens after this semester I for sure will do my best to be back playing in Europe somehow and of course to continue help coach kids and promote floorball in Orlando as we always did in different events.“
4. What does the future hold for floorball and the Williamsson family?
“We are not just planning to grow as players, we are also in the forefront of developing Youth Floorball in U.S. and will continue to develop in everything we do. This year we are doing NAFL, which we won Troy cup last year, Peaches Vikings Camp second year and Vikings Cup first year. We are also doing U.S. Youth Nationals with 3 age groups for the first time. We want Floorball in the U.S. to succeed and make it huge and we are focusing on the youth.“
We wish the brothers luck for their time in Sweden and are happy to see the further growth of the sport in the US!