Towards Women’s Maple League 2017: O-line power from Sweden


Swedish National Team talent to Helsinki

Helsinki Roosters Women have signed Swedish offensive lineman Ida Handel for next season. She has played several years for Carlstad Crusaders before representing her country. Roosters Women’s offensive coordinator Anni Kivikataja is pleased to have Ida Handel in her offense and believes she will be a good fit to the team.

– Ida is a promising young player and we are very much looking forward to have her practice and play with our team this season. Ida has shown remarkable proactivity in becoming part of the Roosters’s Red Family and we are excited to have her joining us already from the beginning of February. Being a Swedish National Team caliber player Ida is a great asset to the team and another step in the Roosters Women’s continued cooperation with our Swedish football colleagues.

– Ida has already made some important connections with the team and gotten to know our practice culture by visiting the team during this winter. Therefore, we are confident she will fit extremely well in our organization, team and hungry offensive line group!

Here are some quick answers from the player after signing.

Could you tell us something about your background, how you ended up playing American football and your football career?

– I started playing football in 2010 when I was 13 years old. My father used to take me to watch some of the Carlstad Crusaders senior games and I thought it looked like a fun sport and I started practicing with the Crusaders U-13 team. When I started playing there was no women’s team so I played with the boys for the first four years. I have played U-13, U-15, U-17 and U19 with the boys team.

– In 2013 we started a ladies team here in Karlstad, but for the first year we only practiced and then 2015 we played our first season. So I have been playing with the ladies team for two years now. When I first started playing I played DB but that was not really my thing, so the second season I stared playing on the offensive line.

– I have played on all of the o-line positions but for the last three years I´ve been playing center. During all these years we have never been a big group of players, so we´ve had to play both offence and defense. Because of that I have also played linebacker during five seasons.

– In 2013 I got a spot on the Swedish national team. I played my first national team game against USA in the world championship games the same year. Since then I have played on the national team every year as both guard and center.

What made you choose Roosters Women for season 2017?

– After our last season I felt that I needed a new challenge in order to keep developing and getting better. So I started looking around at teams abroad and got contacted by some teams and also contacted some teams that I thought might be a good fit for me to play for the upcoming season. After talking to the Roosters staff and meeting some of them at the Viking bowl I felt that the Roosters would be a good fit for me.

– I went over and visited and practiced with the team in December. The players and coaches were very welcoming and nice. I got the feeling that they are a team with high ambitions, good coaching and the players of the Roosters play at a high level of football. I feel that they are a team that can make me become the best player that I can be and they have an attitude regarding football that I think are similar to the attitude I have. I also think that I can contribute with a lot of good experience of football to the team.

What are your expectations for the next season?

– My expectations for the upcoming season is personally to learn even more and become a better football player. As expectations for the team i expect us to be even better than last years and win the gold medal this year as well.

Any message to Roosters fans?

– I am really looking forward to start practicing and playing with the Roosters and I can assure you that I will do everything I possibly can to contribute to us protecting the gold.

Ida has joined the team at the beginning of February. Roosters Women warmly welcomes her to Women’s Maple League fields wearing Red! Välkommen!

Teksti: Pekka Lylyharju / Roosters Media&Communication team

Ida Handel