Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Interview: Shane Hoopfer

Shane Hoopfer is the General Secretary of the Canadian Association and has helped to relaunch the game in Canada. Here are his feelings about the latest developments in Canada.

Q: Shane, what do you think about the number of tournaments and the number of players involved since the CSTFA was relaunched in september?
A: For the most part I have been very pleased with our relaunch. We have had some success in introducing the game to new players in Calgary, while in Hamilton Peter Sexton has just done a great job in getting things rolling with the Hamilton Subbuteo Club. However there have been disapointments in that we haven't had the initial success we hoped for out of British Columbia, Quebec, and Nova Scotia that we had hoped for. It will be one of our greatest challenges in the future.

Q: What did you chose to work with WASPA?
A: Working with WASPA was a easy decision for the CSTFA. In Canada we are faced with unique challenges in regards to the enormous physical size of our nation along with the fact that Subbuteo has not been readily available to the public for 25 years. So the ability to play tournaments with a smaller number of players that allow us to participate in a World Organization has been very helpful to draw players in.

Q: In the future: will you also work with FISTF?
A: It's a tough question to answer for us. FISTF has had a lot of upheaval in the past year and from the outside looking in it would be fair to say that we are not sure where Canada would fit in FISTF's long term plans, or any plans at all. So while I wouldn't say 'never' as of right now we would be in a 'wait and see mode'

Q: What are your goals for Canadian Subbuteo in 2013?
A: As of right now we have had 27 players play in a CSTFA event. I would hope we can double that number in 2013. The other priority is to assist getting other clubs in the country up and running. Following that the main goals will be a formation of a national championship in Canada, and looking into the possibility of securing a sponsorship deal with a couple of equipment suppliers to assist in the rebuild here as attaining quality equipment is a cost the CSTFA can not bear at this time as our main goals are to assist helping new players get proper playing equipment to expose them to the game properly. We do this currently by providing basic teams to any new player that needs them, however I can foresee a time when the lack of actual playing surfaces could be a issue in some areas here.

Q: As a player, what are your dreams now?
A: Just to keep playing. We have struggles here in getting the 'old guard' playing regularly in events, but we have had some success in new player recruitment. So building a solid base of players locally is the biggest goal so that we can all play regularly.

Q: Do you think Canada can become a strong nation in the world of table football and stay in the top 5 of the WASPA ranking of nations?
A: As more nations join WASPA it will become increasingly difficult for Canada to stay too high on the rankings with the limited numbers of players we can have at events. However I would be disapointed with anything less than a top 10 finish in 2013 for Canada.

Q: Do you expect more collaboration between the brand Subbuteo and both CSTFA and WASPA?
A: Not at this time. Subbuteo is currently not available in North America and until that happens to a point where the game can be purachsed in a retail enviroment there is not any incentive for the Subbuteo brand to have any collaboration with the CSTFA. In regards to potential dealings between WASPA and the Subbuteo brand I believe it would make sense to have a partnership that is beneficial to both parties but that is not for me to decide.

Thank you for your answers!