The year 2018 is basically over. A calendar year that gifted us Swiss sport passionate with so many emotions and few disappointments.
But what do ice hockey and football have in common? They’re both sports, for instance. You need to put an “object” in a “rectangle” to score a point (or a goal)… For the rest, however, they’re two very different sports.
Having said that, since we’re covering both ice hockey and football, we wanted to try and write a piece that involves both sports. That is, a special edition of a TOP & FLOP of the 2018!
TOP – Champions
ZSC Lions & BSC Young Boys
One team is based in Zürich while the other one in Bern. ZSC Lions and Young Boys were crowned Swiss Champions this year!
On one side, there are the ZSC Lions. On the eve of the 2017-18 season they were among the favourites. Then, however, considering their Regular Season’s performances it was difficult to imagine they could win the title. And instead, thanks to a fantastic ride during the playoffs Zürich won their first title after three seasons of break!
On the other side, there are Young Boys. The forever “second best” who won their first title since the 1985-86 season! The troops coached by Adi Hütter played a fantastic season, especially the second part of it. One wonders if Young Boys success was due only to the fact that Basel totally missed their season… Nope, we don’t think so. In Bern, the club finally reaped the fruits for the terrific work done over the years!
TOP 3 Guys – Ice Hockey
Kevin Klein (ZSC Lions)
Kevin Klein had an only decent Regular Season. We mean, you could tell that the guy had above average qualities… but he wasn’t able to be fully effective. Then, however, during the last part of the Regular Season and during the playoffs he became impressively crucial, dominant and staggering!
Maxim Lapierre (HC Lugano)
Maxim Lapierre… either you love or you hate him. In Lugano obviously they love him. He’s the most dominant National League player when it comes to leadership and personality. Lugano didn’t win the title but they put their season to an end with their heads held high!
Antti Törmänen (Coach, EHC Biel-Bienne)
Antti Törmänen has been able to make Bienne take the second-last step in order to become a top club. Since when he arrived, he has turned the Seeländers from “promising” to “fantastic reality”. This was the penultimate step… the next and last one, will be to win the title!
TOP 3 Guys – Football
Guillaume Hoarau (BSC Young Boys)
Guillaume Hoarau’s qualities are above average for the Super League. Oftentimes in the past, such players came in Switzerland only to earn a last contract of their careers… Guillaume instead, took Young Boys’ cause to heart and he helped the club win the title for the first time in over 30 seasons!
Gerardo Seoane (Coach, FC Luzern & BSC Young Boys)
Gerardo Seoane immediately proved to be an impressive coach. Firstly he led Luzern from the 8th to the 3rd place on the table in a couple of months… then, he turned Young Boys from a “top team” into a “steamroller”. We are going to hear a lot more about him!
Mohamed Elyounoussi (FC Basel)
Mohamed Elyounoussi is an impressive player… perhaps at times he looked a little bit smug, but his immense qualities helped Basel finish second placed last season. Moreover, his performances earned him the call from Southampton (Premier League).
Ice Hockey – THE SPECIAL MENTION FOR…
TOP CLASS – Dominik Kubalik (HC Ambrì-Piotta)
You could tell that Dominik Kubalik was a top class player already last season. This season then, he’s proving to be one of these few players we better enjoy until they’re over here. That’s because such players are not staying very long in Switzerland.
THE PROMOTION – SC Rapperswil-Jona Lakers
Rapperswil got promoted to the NLA after 3 seasons spent in the NLB. Moreover, always in 2018, Jeff Tomlinson’s troops even won the Swiss Cup! That’s what you call a year to remember… until spring. Right, because right now, the Lakers are darn struggling.
SO CLOSE, AND YET SO FAR – SCL Tigers
Once again Langnau went so close, and yet so far, to make the playoffs. The Emmental based club, however, is doing a great job also thanks to the coach Heinz Ehlers. We mean, the Tigers will make it to this darn post-season sonner or later! Maybe already this season…
Football – THE SPECIAL MENTION FOR…
MISUNDERSTOOD GENIUS – Matteo Tosetti (FC Thun)
Matteo Tosetti was a real assist-machine last season and his performances were fantastic. In our opinion, he should have attracted interest from European clubs… but it wasn’t the case. Yet, hard work almost always pays off. Keep it up, Matteo!
DISASTER AVERTED – Maurizio Jacobacci (Coach, FC Sion)
Maurizio Jacobacci deserves big credit because he saved Sion and because he was able to bring back enthusiasm in Valais! Unfortunately, he got fired right on the eve of Autumn… many people in Sion, think that it was a wrong move. Even though right now, Murat Yakin is doing a great job.
WHAT HAPPENED?! – FC Lausanne-Sport
Last year these days, Lausanne were comfortably 6th placed only 6 points behind Zürich 3rd placed. Then, however, during spring of 2018 everything went south… and the Vaudois got relegated. Best wishes for a fast comeback. There is a stadium to inaugurate… in the Super League, ça va sans dire!
THE DISAPPOINTMENT – Ice Hockey
So, after 56 season spent in the top tier of Swiss hockey, including 5 concluded as Swiss Champions, Kloten got relegated… The Airmen have had some financial problems in the recent past, but it was unthinkable a NLA without them. And instead, now we have a NLA without them. Best wishes and come back where you belong, dear Kloten!
THE DISAPPOINTMENT – Football
It’s true that Lausanne got relegated… overall, however, in our opinion Basel was the biggest disappointment despite their final second place. In a matter of few months, the most successful Swiss Club of all times was able to throw away their impressive winning mindset built over the years. The Rotblau have all it takes to get back on top… but there is a lot of work to do!
Well guys, that’s it. This was our last piece of 2018. We wanted to try and write, for once, an article of both sports together. We don’t know if you like this idea… maybe you think it’s nonsense in every way. Let’s hope no… in that case, however, we won’t do it again. Promise 🙂
Then again, this article has so many limitations. There are so many other players and teams that would have deserved a mention. We actually wrote this piece in one go, trying to be as usual as objective as possible.
Best wishes to all of you ice hockey and football passionate and to all the Swiss clubs and the players that are gifting us with emotions continuously!
See you soon! We’ll be around at least until the end of this season. Then, thinking about 2019, our wish is that we can still exist.
Otherwise, we take the opportunity to wish you already all the best for 2020… a year in davance 🙂
We want to improve, we want to make less mistakes. We certainly want to grow and become professional, in every way! Yet, we don’t want to turn ourselves into what we’re not. Believe it or not, we’re a couple – two persons – with values in life. We don’t want to sell ourselves for what we’re not.
At times we’re happy, other times we’re unhappy. And so what?! Maybe sometimes you can read through the lines of our pieces our feelings. This, however, makes us feel Persons and not machines.
We think, and we hope, that our being “natural” and not selling ourselves for “what we’re not” are two among the reasons why the number of “you” who follow us is constantly increasing.
Damiano Cansani, Barbara Kurdziel