History of the Flying Hoppers & outlook to this years team

Published: Monday, 02 August 2010 Written by Patrick Stutz

The Flying Hoppers Travel Team is a selection of Grasshopper-Club Zurich, one of the oldest fieldhockey clubs in Switzerland. Hockey at Grasshopper started 1924 and the team has established among the top teams in Switzerland for quite a while now. Since 1986, half of the national championship titles went to Grasshopper and especially in indoor hockey, the have made their way up to the top teams in europe.


Founded only in 1995, the Flying Hoppers Travel Team has already made it for their first tour, taking them to asia for 2 weeks in november 1996. On the trip through Japan, Hongkong and Singapore, they have got in touch with asian mentality as well as asian hockey. Although having hockey as the excuse to travel, the social part has been proved to be another strenght of the team. The next tour will take place in march / april 1999 and will bring them to South Africa for a 2 week’s tour.


This year’s participation is the second after 1997, where they showed up with 2 men’s teams and one women’s selection, finishing 3rd with both the boys and the girls. This year, they will bring two men’s teams: The "Flying Hoppers" Team will bring together some of the strongest swiss players. Captain Stefan Leuenberger, currently living in Australia, was probably the best swiss hockey player ever and although retired from top level hockey, he’s still is capable to decide a game on himself, profiting from his excellent stick skills. Toni Haberthur, retired captain of the Swiss National Team will be another player to watch. With his strong stick skills and good physical conditions he means constant danger for every defence. Further on the team are the two current internationals Oliver Bilgerig and Patrick Stutz, both with a lot of international experience. Oliver is a technically very skilled midfield player with strong finishing capabilities, while Patrick is a very fast and agile forward, producing a lot of danger in the D. The team is completed with keeper and former international Max Simmen, a legend in the swiss hockey scene and Ronald Stoeckli, a hard obstacle on the way to the Flying Hoppers goal. The second team, starting under the name "Grasshopper-Club Zurich" will bring together some more senior players and youngsters, but it is especially a team that represents the international spirit of the Flying Hoppers:


Captain Bruno Schurter can count on Martin Graf, a former international flying in from his new residence in California, Tim Peach from England, Walter Marthaler from Hongkong, and the two swiss hockey legends Walter Stamm and Willi Arber. The team will be completed by youngster Thomas Businger, a forward capable of driving every defence crazy.


The Flying Hoppers are looking forward to another unforgettable weekend at the SCC!