Football, Fans and Finnish Fluency

Hello All,

Its been quite a busy few weeks, which as you know, has really affected the quantity of writing I’ve been doing. Sometimes these things become habit and it is as easy to fall out of the habit of regular updates as it is to fall into it.


As you know, in the past two weeks the results of the Wolverines games have been somewhat of a roller-coaster ride. The elation that followed a very strong performance over the Border Knights left confidence high for our clash with the Crocodiles this weekend. Unfortunately we were unable to capitalise on our strong defensive start and finally succumbed to a 33 – 37 loss to leave us 5-3 for the season.


With these results come a bitter-sweet realisation. Over six quarters of football we were able to hold the top two offences in the league to only ten points. This is proof that our defence is more than capable of stopping high powered offences and playing a huge role in our quest for the Maple bowl. However, the fact is that we have also shown that we are capable of giving up points from a very strong position in the game.

Naturally this presents us with either a problem or an opportunity. I think that the team ethic and the belief that has grown in the team over the past season will drive us all to become better players. We have four games left this season and we all intend to keep getting better at what we do until the Maple Bowl has a Wolverine’s claw on it.



We’ve been really lucky over the past few weeks that amongst the great Wolverines fans who come to watch our games, we’ve had friends and family cheering us on too. Huge thanks to Ben’s girlfriend Caroline (Or Catherine, depending on who you ask) who came to visit for the Border Knights and Crocodiles games. Unfortunately she was unable to see her boy play as he has been ruled out for the season having suffered a torn ACL. He will undergo surgery soon. Get well soon Ben!

An almighty thank you to Emma, Ama, Jomi, Marski, Roope and Mia for coming and cheering us on at the Butchers, Border Knights and Crocodiles games. Its great motivation to have you guys there cheering us on. BIG thumbs-up.

Finally, thanks but no thanks to my parents for flying out again this year to see us play. Thanks for your support. No thanks because I invariably play horribly any time you come to see me. You are not invited to any more games.

In two weeks time my Sister and Brother-in-Law will be coming out for the Jags game. Let’s hope I fare better under their watchful eyes.

Finnish Fluency

I have noted over the past two summers in Finland that there are a number of very good reasons why Finnish is such a difficult language to learn. The most glaringly obvious is that it is ridiculous. No language should have quite so many double letters in a single word, be they vowels, consonants or otherwise. Furthermore, challenges arise when one learns a new word, only to be told upon its first repetition that if the vowel sound is held for 0.3 seconds rather than the prescribed 0.9 seconds then the reaction will be a slap rather than an appreciation of the effort to learn the language.

Fair enough that the language is structured this way. It must be learned that the difference between a tree and urination is the difference between a u and a uu. To add further complexity, one of them also means six.

However it must come as no surprise to the Finns that only five million people speak their language when their method of correction leaves the learner feeling idiotic and belittled. On ninety percent of the occasions that I have tried to speak Finnish, it has been greeted with laughter. For anyone trying to learn, this is not helpful.

You have a difficult language to learn, Finland. I have not made the effort to learn it, but any time I can say something I know, I will. Unfortunately your mocking has restricted this to ‘Kiitos’, which I say with regularity and enthusiasm. I feel sorry for those people who come here and genuinely try to learn. Stokes was mocked by his 5 year old boy last week…..