Sunday, June 13

from the cradle of the Palau to the throne of hockey


  • The Vallesana player, one of the best in the world, came to the club as a child in Segunda Catalana and fights this weekend to make her European champion

Titles are not lacking Laura Puigdueta: three times champion of the OK League with the Generali HC Palau (the last last weekend) and European champion four times and world champion three times with the Spanish roller hockey team. However, for the Vallesana player (Caldes de Montbui, 1995) this weekend conquered the Euroleague would have a special meaning: to bring the club she came to as a child and when she was in the lowest category. And do it at home, in the Maria Víctor pavilion in Palau de Plegamans, venue of the ‘Final 8’ of the competition.

“Taking the club we have been making to the top of Europe would be a dream come true for us,” acknowledges the Palau captain, who started playing hockey in her native Caldes when she was three years old, prompted by her father, who played goalkeeper. At the age of 12 he went to the Palau, who was active in Segunda CatalanaAnd there began a fantastic journey that perhaps has not yet reached its destination.

Together with Berta Busquets and Paula Ferrón

“Since we have been taking small steps since we were little throughout all these years, what we need is this to finish it“, reflects Puigdueta. He speaks in the plural because in that escalation Berta Busquets and Paula Ferrón have accompanied him from girls. “We talk about it sometimes, especially looking at photos from when we started. You look at them and think: ‘We haven’t done it wrong.’

So well they do that on Thursday they qualified for the semifinals after overwhelming Portuguese Stuart HC Massamá 9-2 (two goals from Puigdueta). The Telecable Gijón separates them this Saturday from the final (5.30 pm Esport3), in which on Sunday (12.00 pm) there will also be the Manlleu or the Voltregà, executioner of the Palau in extra time in the last European final played, which they face this Saturday at 1:00 p.m. “The important thing is that we have learned from the mistakes of that time. We learned to play finals, to face them, to control our nerves. It will help us.” Another thing is the fact of playing at home. “It helps to play in front of your audience, because especially the teams from outside Catalonia will not have so many fans, but it also adds pressure because people consider you a favorite, when it is not.” The atmosphere in Palau-solità is sensational, with banners from the final to eight all over the place and all tickets (50% capacity) sold. “It is the sport in which the people are in a higher category, many people are linked to hockey and the one that is not very high.”

Optometrist by profession

Not everything has gone smoothly in his career. Being one of the best players in the world does not mean that sport gives you to live. “Now that I work, I realize that combining it with studies was relatively easy. But the year I started working was hard, because you have to perform even if you get tired of training. And if you work on a Saturday morning and have to play in the afternoon, you notice it, “explains Puigdueta, optometrist, aware that at that time many girls are forced to choose and often to leave the sport. “My boss likes hockey and she helps me balance it, but if you don’t have that luck it is difficult. It forces you to take it differently, and when you have competed at such a high level of commitment and you start to miss it, you feel like you are failing a bit”.

“People are beginning to realize that women’s sport is also very attractive and of very good quality,” celebrates the Vallesana player

The Palau player clings to the example of women’s football Barça to trust that things can change. “People are beginning to realize that women’s sports are also very attractive and of very good quality“, he claims.

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Dubbing in the series ‘Las del hockey’

The relevance it gave to women’s hockey is also positive. the series ‘Las del hockey’. “Here in Palau hockey already has an impact, and especially women’s, so maybe we are used to something that is not real, but I’m sure it has helped“, says the player, that participated in the filming as a double for the actresses in the game scenes. “It was cool, a different experience. You spend many hours doing nothing until your time comes. You can’t imagine everything behind it.”




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