The new team starts the season with a cup match against HIFK in Borgå on Friday.
In recent years, Achilles bandy ladies have been forced to train with boys or play in other club teams. That desert walk is now over.
The women’s team will play in the bandy league and the first real matches will now be played at the weekend, when the Finnish cup is decided in Borgå.
Goalkeeper Linda Rintala looks out over the freshly washed grey-white ice field on the ball field in Borgå. Here, the women’s team has not yet had the opportunity to train, instead they have practiced in the ice rink.
– At the beginning, the field probably feels big and you think, oh no, how am I going to be able to throw the ball that far. Then you get into the game and just focus on your own game, she says.
As a goalkeeper, she likes to give loud directives to her defenders.
– I very often shout at the defenders, because the goalkeeper’s job is to tell where the opponents are. The goalkeeper has a better grasp of it, says Linda Rintala.
Just in time for the association’s 120th anniversary, the bandy city of Borgå, after a break of a few years, can also cheer on a women’s team in the league.
– In Borgå, there are many girls who play bandy, so it is a little easier here than elsewhere to get a team together. Now there were quite a few who wanted to make this team possible, she says.
In addition to residents of Borgå, there are players from quite a few other places who are now putting on the Achilles’ shirt. They are coached by Mats Kronvall, who has previously coached junior teams at the club.
– It looks extremely positive, we have enough players for a long season. The team is a good mix of experienced and young players, he says.
Before the start of the season, his last words in the locker room will be:
– You should have fun on the field, remember what we have been through, but have fun and enjoy the game. It usually goes best then, says Mats Kronvall.
Mats Kronvall hopes that the Borgå public will support the women’s team as well as it does for the men’s team. Linda Rintala also expects that.
– I think the cheerleader Trömpperit will probably appear on Friday, she says.
During the weekend, Achilles’ ladies play at least three matches in the Finnish cup. The final will be decided on Sunday.
The league game starts on December 11, when HIFK is the opposition in Borgå.