Swiss League

The defenseman will make his 1000th in the two highest leagues in Switzerland.

A thousand games for Alain Birbaum tonight

A thousand games is quite a milestone to reach. For Alain Birbaum, he will do so tonight when his HC Ajoie is on the road, facing EHC Visp. 717 of those were in the National League (for HC Fribourg-Gottéron and HC Ambrì-Piotta), 282 in the Swiss League (for various teams, but the majority with Ajoie).

"My enjoyment keeps growing. Under the current circumstances, I am aware of how lucky I am to be able to do my job, even if we play behind closed doors. Many people have lost their jobs, especially in the region. So I remain positive. I am 35 years old on paper, but not in my head. I do not feel the weight of the years. They tell me I skate like a 25-year-old", the defenseman tells La Liberté.

Past December, right before Christmas, Birbaum was tested positive for Covid-19. "It was not easy to spend the holidays alone, away from the family. I had lost my taste and smell. Not everything came back. Physically, I did not notice much difference when I started cycling again. On the other hand, I was out of breath faster on the ice. But the matches followed one after the other and that didn't bother me. Everything went back to normal."

The veteran would like to keep playing. "As long as the body follows, I want to keep playing. I train well, maybe more than others. If I take two days off, everything is more difficult." He is under contract with Ajoie until 2022.

( 01 March 2021 | esi | Report an error )

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