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Wildcats' multilingual import is wary of mixed messages
6:00am Friday 20th September 2013 in Sport
JUHA Silvander speaks so many languages that he admits he confused even himself trying to get his message across on the opening weekend of the EPL campaign.
The Finnish centreman is better-placed than anyone on the Swindon Wildcats roster to communicate with his teammates, given that he speaks fluent Swedish and English as well as his home language.
That means the 31-year-old knows the native tongue of every one of his teammates apart from Czech defenceman Jan Melichar, who himself converses in fluent English.
Silvander is originally from the town of Tornio, which is located on the Finnish-Swedish border and his comfort with the language of the neighbouring country, coupled with the fact that prior to joining Wildcats he played for Asploven in Division 1 and the Allsvenskan for three years, meant he couldn’t help letting it out during the first two games of the EPL season.
“It was so funny because I played for many years in Sweden and I was yelling on the ice in Swedish and then I realised I need to speak English now,” said Silvander.
“I studied English at school but mainly it comes from when I played abroad and you have Canadian guys on the same team and you speak English to them.
“I’ve played in many teams in Finland that have had Canadian imports and when I was in Sweden I spoke Swedish.
“Jonas (Hoog) is very happy that he can speak Swedish to someone who understands him now.”
Silvander failed to put up points against Basingstoke and Slough on the opening weekend but he revealed that this was due to a combination of ring-rust and a long journey from his homeland that began in the early hours of Saturday morning.
The forward is confident that he will turn matters round ahead of this weekend’s clashes with Telford and Peterborough.
“I had practised hard in Finland but I hadn’t played any games,” he said.
“I started out on the train on Saturday at about 2am and got in at about 9am, so it was pretty hard to play the game that night and I slept for 13 hours, but Sunday was a little bit better.
“I’m still finding myself and getting used to the skates and stuff, so I think this weekend is going to be better. There is a lot more to come, I’m sure of that.
“The speed isn’t as high as I’m used to but there’s good energy and good crowds, the players have a good attitude and it’s fun to play.
“I think the points are coming. I know the time is there and I just have to get used to my style of play in the game.”
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