A chance to win the second time around
“I definitely think we can win this year, seeing the team that we have.” says number 21 defence player Chris Martin, during an interview looking over a crowded line-up in a sunny Burleigh.
This is Canadian Marty’s, aka Chris Martin’s, second season on the Gold Coast with the Blue Tongues, and he can see some significant differences between this and last year’s team.
“The team unity and chemistry is definitely better than last year. And the Australian players are more confident and better.” he says.
He thinks the addition of experienced players, like Matt Stubbert and Trevor Walsh, has helped.
“They are a little bit older and have played in the league before. Overall everyone gets along really good. It is just a better team than last year” he says.
Chris grew up on an old chicken farm in the countryside of Guelph, often ranked in Canadian polls as one of the most liveable cities in the country. His dad taught him to skate on a nearby pond that froze over in winter. A friend was planning to leave Ontario to go across a slightly bigger pond, The Pacific, to play for the Blue Tongues and told Chris about the Australian league. Chris ended up going to Australia without his friend to play in Bundall and study law at Bond University.
Chris’ mission on the ice is to stop the other teams’ best imports and get the puck up to Blue Tongue attackers like Brad Smulders and André Selander.
“It is a lot different here. In the US and Canada it is more hitting and fighting. A more physical game. Whereas here there is more skill, you have more time with the puck and you are not worried about some guy trying to fight you. It is a bit of a different game. It is actually a lot of fun.” Chris says.
The laid back atmosphere suits him because, according to Chris, he is borderline lazy off the ice. He likes to have a laugh and it takes a lot to get him angry. Though once the skates are on, the adrenaline kicks in.
“I am still pretty laid back on the ice, but more competitive.” he says.
André Selander about Chris
He is one of those guys who will always be nice to you. He is always there if you need any help. He has got good defensive skills. Good passes and good skating for his size.