The Bartercard Gold Coast Blue Tongues are pleased to announce the signing of Swedish duo; 22 year old playmaking forward Tobias Falk and 23 year old defenseman Bob Sannemo.
Tobias Falk comes to the Blue Tongues from the Swedish Division 1 league where he has played the last 3 seasons.
Talking about how the game varies around the world, Falk states, "I think the game in Europe is more about skill and controlling the puck and in North America it's faster and you're playing more along the boards which makes the game more physical". Tobias spent the 07-08 season in North America with the Bismark Bobcates of the NAHL, and speaks of his time there, "I learned a lot during my year in the US and I think it has helped me to develop as a hockey player.”
Falk is also looking forward to contributing to the Blue Tongues offensive line up, as well as helping out the defensive core. He sees himself as a playmaker, and his statistics in the past season in the Swedish Div 1 league will attest to this, with 11 goals and 29 assists for 40 points in just 34 games.
“I'm a two-way center that works hard in both ends.” Falk explained, “I like to control the puck and set my teammates up with scoring chances.” And maybe he can pass on a few things he picked up from his childhood idol, Peter Forsberg, who he considers to be one of the best players to come out of Sweden. “I actually got the chance to skate with him this year when he came to practice with our team in Sweden. Peter was preparing for his comeback with the Colorado Avalanche. When he was on top of his game, he controlled the game every time he stepped on to the ice. One of the toughest and most skilled players at the same time. And about a guy like Nick Lidstrom you don't have to say much. At the age of 40 and still one of the best defencemen in the NHL.”
However much Falk enjoyed playing hockey with his childhood idol, he's also excited about playing hockey on the Gold Coast as well. “Im really looking forward to it. Playing hockey and be able to hit the beach afterwards. Best of both worlds!”
Joining Falk is Bob Sannemo, who is no stranger to the AIHL having played for the Adelaide Avalanche in 2008. Sannemo adds depth to help bolster the team's blue line.
Speaking of his style of game Sannemo said, “I have to say that I'm an all-round defenseman. I play solid, with an easy first pass in the defence and love to follow in the offence. I hope I can score some goals and deal out some big hits!” We'd love to see some big hits from him too!
The Australian style of play is vastly different to that found in Europe, according to Sannemo. “From what I remember it was much 'dump and chase' last time. It feels like it's more tactic and thinking here in Sweden. What I find characteristic of the Australian players is that they play with a big heart and always gives 100% at the rink, and its really nice to see. In the future, it feels like the league is gonna be really good, many young and talented players are coming up.”
Sannemo loves the Australian lifestyle and believes that the AIHL is a fun league to play in. He's been waiting for a chance to return, and experience the finals, as he didn't get to do that in 2008. He has been to the Gold Coast before on holiday after the 2008 season and thought it was one of the most beautiful places in the world.
Though he still has plenty of friends in Adelaide and great memories there, he looks forward to defeating them, claiming, “It will only make it more fun when we win against them!”