Bits and Pieces
Steve Cubbins in Finland
What's in a Flag,
referees Roy Gingell and John Massarella, members
of the European Referees Committee, have been working as
Referee Assessors at the ETC for four years, and on finals day
here in Espoo they and their team are on course to complete
their 1,000th assessment!
THe only surprise is that Roy's still here, after picking up his
accreditation on day one. If you've ever heard him speak you
will be in no doubt that Roy is WELSH, so imagine his distress
when he found his badge billed him from ENGLAND.
The Welsh women's team were shocked too ...
When I said that the Hanasaari Hotel was on an island on a lake,
I slightly underestimated the size of said lake, which turns out
to be the Gulf of Finland (which after a few turnings
becomes the Atlantic Ocean) ... oops!
Finnish Tradition? We're sure
someone must know what this is for !!!
|What a Plonker
check emails, do updates, list birthdays, have breakfast, pack,
get transport to club for the next day's play.
It's a routine I've done hundreds of times now, how hard can it
But on Day Three it all went wrong.
Get to club, unpack bag. Camera, check. Mouse, check. Laptop
power supply, check. Laptop .................... oops.
Martin Wren spotted my mistake too.
Speak nicely to Kia, get lift back to hotel ... all is well.
What a plonker.
Welcome to the Hanasaari
Steve Cubbins in Finland
Well, it was a fairly uneventful trip to Helsinki, an early
morning start, yes, but once at Amsterdam's Schipol Airport
everything ran smoothly, with the Dutch team joined on the KLM
flight by a group of Scottish referees, a couple of Spanish
players and myself.
At the airport the referees and I were whisked off to our hotel
- the players are at the Holiday Inn while referees and
officials are at the delightful Hanasaari.
taking us around Helsinki's ring road our driver pointed left
across a lake and told us that "Mika Haakinen and Kimi Raikonnen
[F1 World Champions] live on islands over there."
He immediately turned left onto the drive to the hotel, which
also lives on an island on the lake (must find out what the
a modern, low, slightly sprawling vaguely circular building,
with statues of jackets outside (must find out if they have any
Another first for me was that after opening the door to the
rooms (outwards of course, I remember that from Malmo), you're
immediately presented with another, inward opening, door ...
inside though the rooms are lovely.
no sign of activity and a free afternoon, we decided to take a
walk around the outside of the hotel - it didn't take long, but
the views are pretty good.
Wish you were here
One of the referees told us that the weather forecast he'd
looked up was for snow and rain this week. It's nothing like
that - lovely clear skies, plenty of sunshine and if there is a
slight nip in the air it's still t-shirt weather. Long may it
chose the right week to come though - apparently up until a
handful of days ago there was still plenty of snow after one of
Helsinki's hardest and longest winters for many years, and the
lake was still frozen over!
We found a couple of piles of residual snow/ice and of course a
snowball fight of sorts ensued.
Having been informed that the Holiday Inn was "5 minutes drive
that way", Helsinki Centre "5 minutes drive that way", and the
Club "5 minutes drive that way", we decided to explore on foot.
Since we're effectively on an island just off the main dual
carriageway ring road, the paths took us round a marina where we
saw what looked like shrinkwrapped yachts, down cycle paths with
a number of interesting vehicles on show, past a football pitch
with snow piled high at its sides, most of the time with lake on
one side, motorway on the other and no real sense of getting
After 45m walking the sign told us is was still 3.5km to the
"Centrum", so the walk was aborted for the refs to get back in
time for their meeting.
And that's where they are now, while I'm doing this ... roll on
tomorrow's 10am start at the Espoo Center ...
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