Pride’s Internationals excited about the future
With the Lions busy with their final preparations for their season-concluding game against Sweden’s Arlanda Jets, in Märsta, Stockholm on Saturday we found a moment to catch up with some of the #Pride’s own international contingent to get their views on the season to date and the imminent and longer term future ahead.
Pao Rebelo (France)
Rookie Pao hasn’t been able to take to the field as much as she would have liked this season but her contribution to the team and its values has been sound. A B Team player throughout Sapphire, the enthusiastic Receiver has been a positive addition to the squad: “for Sapphire we played some established teams and were proud of what we achieved but now we are back together to play 11s for the Sweden game, I’m really excited for the weekend and proud to be part of such an amazing team!”
Marianna Lacinova (Slovakia)
Another rookie, Marianna – a whirlwind on the DL to date – is definitely nothing short of ready for everything the Lions’ have to throw at her: “Sweden is a fantastic opportunity and I am so excited and really looking forward to playing 11s for the first time, especially as it will bring both A and B Teams together. From there the trip to New York for the Transatlantic Trophy II will be a priority for me to be the best version of myself. I’m excited to see the development of myself as a player and the progression of the team, there’s so much talent on show, from rookies to seasoned veterans – supported by amazing coaches and medical staff – so I can’t wait to see what we can accomplish in the next 18months.”
Wiktoria Jorrën (Germany)
The 3rd year returner, hailing from Berlin, has been an ever-present for the Lions since joining the team in 2016. In splitting the team into two this season, DB Jorrën is definitely feeling the benefits: “Sapphire this year was fun, tough and gave each Lion a lot of game time and with it a chance to improve, as such, we have had a good season in terms of learning.” A two-time international player – in featuring in both the Diamond Bowl (in Finland) and the Pro-Cloud (Transatlantic I) Trophy on home-soil – Sweden represents yet another tantalising opportunity: “The team know the Arlanda game will be difficult, and I’m sure the Jets will give us a good fight but I’m also hoping it will be a lot of fun.”
Céline Bisson (France)
The long time, 5-year returner, has been a stalwart for the team, and been party to many of the Lions’ greatest achievements to date, but where does this season rank for the one-time WR, now DB: “It’s been incredible season so far – having only just switched to the “dark side” [Defense], I’m truly grateful for the opportunities I’ve had to improve by having two squads, but now it’s time to come back together as one team, which is what it’s all about. For our first trip to Sweden, we’ll be sailing through uncharted waters, but I’m really looking forward to our match-up against the Jets. They are a well-established, successful, 11-aside team, but we’ve got a fantastic blend of raw talent and invaluable experience within the squad, so think it will be a great game.”
…and whilst the above will be able to focus on their futures with the Lions beyond the Jets game, one player, will have eyes only for this weekend…
Hanna Kuisma (Finland)
Kuisma, who returns to her home team, the Mikkeli Bouncers, a few days’ after Saturday’s game has been a shining star for the Lions this season: “We have had a really strong and interesting season so far due to the forming of two teams, it has been great all in all and I have enjoyed a lot playing amongst the Lions.” …and in terms of concluding her time in Birmingham? “I think the Jets game is a great way to end the season and unite the team into one, I’m excited to play, but for me, this means an end to an era, so it’s not just any game.”
The Flying Fin, who will be much missed, will be looking to make her mark against Arlanda by means of a fond farewell to her Lions’ team, with this in mind here’s hoping for a glorious send off, with bells, whistles and a blazing trumpet fanfare to boot! 😉
May we offer our well wishes to the above and all the Lions’ travelling squad; our thanks also to Céline Bisson for putting the article together.
Image © Jody Davies Sports Photography.