Damlag: a chat with Yara Fransen

11 aug 2023

Hello Yara. First of all, welcome to Sweden and Hammarby Hockey!

Could you tell us a little bit about yourself? What are your strengths, goals etc. 

Thank you! I am Yara, I’m 22 years old and I come from Antwerp, Belgium. I’ve played hockey for about 8 seasons now and besides Belgium I have played one season at Okanagan in Austria. I started later than most players, so my focus will always be more on development than on being the best. I see myself as a team player who is coachable, humble and always ready to learn new things. Hockeywise i would love to grow more in explosiveness and puck handling.

Belgian ice hockey is not very well known in Sweden, please tell us more about it.

Belgian ice hockey is definitely off the radar for most hockey countries. When you tell someone that you play ice hockey in Belgium, they always frown their eyebrows! ”You have rinks in Belgium?!”. Yes we do! Ice hockey has never been the main sport in Belgium, but we still offer a youth competition, several divisions and the BeNe Liga competition. Especially womens hockey is something that is still in development in Belgium. The last four years I’ve played in Mechelen with the girls team and I have always played with the boys as well. Up until a few years ago, the girls team in Mechelen was the only competing girls team in whole Belgium, so we have always been playing in the German competition in Liga 2 Nord. Now with every year we see new womens teams coming up, so it’s nice to see the womens hockey in Belgium grow!

How come you chose Sweden and Hammarby?

Earlier this year I was thinking about my further studies. Soon in September I’ll graduate with my bachelors degree in Applied Psychology, so I had to think about my next steps. In the process of thinking about it, I caught myself wondering about studying abroad again. I always wanted to play hockey and study in Scandinavia, so when I saw that the education is free for me in Sweden and knowing that the womens competition is great, my mind was already fixed on coming to Sweden 🙂 I knew I wanted to study in a big city, so Stockholm was a perfect fit. I chose Hammarby because i got the opportunity to tryout with the team and playing for Hammarby meant I could work on my development as a player.

Any first thoughts about Stockholm?

When I came to Stockholm for the first time for tryouts I fell in love with the city almost  immediately. Such a great atmosphere and very nice people!

Thanks for the chat Yara, and once again welcome, and good luck with the season!

Robert Nyqvist, ledamot och vice ordförande i Hammarby Ishockey och lagledare för damlaget


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