Interview: Johan Stål - 17 years On The Field & Counting

Johan Stål is one of the top WR/DBs not just in Sweden, but in Europe as well. When not on the field, Stål focuses on strength and conditioning, out of his own facility Atletic City Sportsgym. And, last but not least, his devotion to the sport earned him a spot in the Hall of Fame.

We talked to Johan about his career since 2000 to now, as well as football in Sweden.

Background

I started playing in 2000 with Örebro Black Knights, 2004 i went to University of Concordia and then came back home after 1 year. Went to NFL Europe combine 2005, started playing for Carlstad Crusaders 2006 and played for them 06,07,09 and 2010 when we won the first gold ever for the club. After that, I came back to Örebro who stepped up to Superserien and since then I have played with them.

I was the 1 time Rookie of the year, 2 times Special Teams Player of the year, 2 times Wide Receiver of the year and 1 time MVP of the league. I have been team-captain in the junior and senior national team and i have played 20+ games with the Swedish Senior National Team.

Sweden Over The Years

BIG CHANGE. When I was younger, we almost never scouted opponents, only if they played a game close by and we went there and watched, now, we scout a lot more and each players is taking his own responsibility to watch and study each opponent. The level of football is a lot higher, players are better trained and KNOW football in a different way and practice is more organized then what it use to be.

Getting Better

Players should take pride in becoming better players and put more of their own time to do extra work, early morning sprints and so on. It's hard for us amateur players to make it all work, some people study and some work, some have families and it's just hard to get all the work done. If each player put in extra work, study film we would be a lot better I think.

Memorable Moments

Winning the first gold for Carlstad Crusaders 2010 is a moment I will never forget. It was an intense moment when that clock ran out and we were finally champs after losing so many finals. The semi-final against Tyresö 2013 with Örebro Black Knights is another big moment, when we won in overtime over a team that was A LOT BETTER than us according to the experts in Sweden.

And then of course, the entire experience of the World Championships in Japan 2007 is a cool thing I will always remember.

Wide Receivers

If we talk about European teams scouting for a WR to bring in - I would first look at his ball-skills and routes to see what he does good/bad. One big thing I think about when talking about imports is their passion for the game and if they are willing to do what it takes to help the team win.

2017

I will play for Örebro Black Knights and why is pretty simple.....I want to win that gold again! And I love playing for this team because of the team-spirit we have this year and awesome coaches. I do not know about hosting camps, we will have to wait and see about that :-)
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