As Finland being part of Sweden about 650 years, there is a special rivalry between these two countries. When national teams meet, no matter if it’s American football, track and field, swamp football (soccer) or Mölkky, it is always a very serious thing. So Roosters Women is glad to have had Swedish center Ida Handel to come to Finland and break barriers by joining the team. Now she has been here about six months and we are curious to hear how things have been with former Carlstad Crusaders player.
Here is a brief Q&A for Ida Handel.
How have these six months gone and has it responded your expectations?
– The last six months has gone by really fast and I have had such a great time being a part of the Roosters family. It has definitely been so much greater than I ever expected, I did not think I would feel as at home here as I do.
As an athlete what has this time given for you?
– During these months, I feel like I have really grown and developed as a football player. I have gotten to practice against some of the best players in Europe at each practice. Because of that I´ve have had to step up my game and give my 100 % every practice to be able to compete with these girls. We also have a great team of coaches with so much knowledge about football and they have done a great job preparing us for this season and all the games so far.
Are there much difference in preparing to the season between your former team and Roosters?
– I wouldn´t say that the preparation is very different but the intensity is very different. In my old team we had a lot of rookies which meant we still had to practice at a very basic level. There also weren’t enough players to play offence vs. defense during our practices. That has been the biggest difference coming here that the tempo and intensity of the practices is very high.
What advice would you give to anyone planning to play American football outside their own country?
– I think that when you go abroad and play you have to try to be very open to the opportunities you’re given and open to all the people you meet. And you must be prepared to work your tail off. But I would recommend going abroad and play if you ever get the chance.
What are your plans for World Championship Games break in Women’s Maple League?
– My plans for our break is to go back home to Sweden during midsummer to spend a little bit of time with my family and friends there.
What are your plans after this season?
– I haven’t really decided what my plans are for next season yet. I want to keep playing football for sure and right now I’m just keeping all doors open and we´ll see what happens.
Text: Pekka Lylyharju
Photo: Anna Tanskanen