Three National Championships via Växjö
Zsofia Jókai Szilágyi is probably somewhat unknown to the hockey fans in Växjö. Yet she’s been in Växjö and made it far in her career. As recent as last winter she won her third Swedish national championship title. The Hungarian has lived in Sweden for almost ten years. It all started with a training camp in Landskrona and the road led her through Växjö to three Swedish national championship titles in ice hockey.
– Me and a couple of other Hungarian players got the opportunity to try out for Växjö and to play in Sweden after that camp. We thought it was a good opportunity for us and I have never doubt that decision, says Jókai Szilágyi.
What do you remember from your time in Växjö?
– I’m very happy and thankful for that time. I learnt a lot from a very good coach, Pär Engstrand, who I had for three years. The team was good and I had fun together with them every day. The only downside was that I didn’t know much Swedish back then, now I’ve gotten a lot of help with that in school.
The hockey career is far from over. But is taken her to a lot places already. The teams that Jókai Szilágyi has played for are; Marilyn Budapest, Budapest Stars, Ormsta, Ujpesti-Vasas, KMH Budapest, Weinfelden Ladies, Munksund-Skuthamn and Luleå. As well as Växjö and the Hungarian national team.
I have to ask; how did you end up in Luleå?
– That is a very good question. I finished school back home and hade some issues with an injury. After that I thought that I wanted to go back to Sweden again. I had contact with few teams but I never thought I would end up in the far north.
– I have a friend who I played with in SDE. We started talking and she suggested that I would come and try out for Piteå. Everything went well and my first year I lived in Piteå but when the team moved to Luleå I moved with it. Now I’m here and I’m ready to soon start my fifth season in Luleå.
There’s a very big interest for the women hockey teams in Luleå, it has to be a lot of fun to play at a location as such?
– That’s correct. Female hockey is great up here. Good possibilities to develop as a player and great support from the audience and fans. We have the best supporters in all of Sweden. I love Luleå and I think it’s very pretty up here. The only down side are the winters. They are nice but very cold. Luleå became Swedish national champions the last season. If we ask Zsofia Jókai Szilágyi the goal is to repeat that feat.
This year was extremely good and the best one so far. I hope that we can continue to win, but at the same time the league keeps improving all the time. All teams become more even so we’ll see. But of course we will do everything we can to defend our title.