SWINDON Wildcats forward Aaron Nell writes exclusively for Link Sport about the dynamic of the club’s locker room this season…
IT’S always fun coming into the dressing room for the first time at the beginning of the season and seeing how people from different cultures live.
This year we’ve got four guys from four different parts of the world and they all bring different characteristics. Tomasz Malasinski and Jan Kostal are quite alike but they’re all very good people.
Tomasz’s English has got better since the first week he was here. In the first couple of weeks he was living with me and he was a bit shy. He’s got a lot better and he’s more confident around us.
In any team sport, but especially hockey, you need good guys and we haven’t got a bad one in our group. We all have a good time and we’re always happy to see each other.
Jan is our leader, I think the whole league respects Jan. He and Henri Sandvik have so much energy and everyone feeds off it. Everyone is happy but especially Jan and Henri, they’re very likeable. We feed off their energy on and off the ice.
Aside from the imports, we have a few younger players coming through the ranks. Callum Buglass has come from Cardiff and I don’t think I’ve heard him talk yet. We were saying on the bus on the way to Manchester that we didn’t know he was on there.
A lot of the younger lads are normally quite shy but Callum will come out of his shell, I’m sure. I was the same when I was younger. You learn from the older players. One of my jobs as one of the older ones now is to make sure they’re happy, not nervous, they know what’s happening and they have a good time too.
I know when I left to go to Canada I was a mute, I hardly ever talked. Normally when people are younger they’re a little quieter. Callum has come into a completely new situation for him and he’s finding his feet, but he’s doing really well and I’m sure by the end of the season we’ll be getting some words out of him.
It’s an excellent dressing room. Something Ryan has really wanted to do is make the whole set-up more professional and the players we are getting in now are helping with that. You see Tomasz and Kenton and the new imports coming in and they’re proper professionals – just the way they carry themselves.
It’s a really good feeling. Sunday was really good for us after the week before when we lost a couple of games. I know it’s pre-season but maybe you doubt yourself a little bit. But that game at Manchester helped us a lot. I think Manchester were lucky to get to a shoot-out.