I’m delighted to say that I am sitting with Portage Panthers ice hockey team and they have agreed to give me an exclusive interview!
Hi have Mickey, Henrik, Brad and Cole Ryan, plus their current manager Robyn Matthers. Robyn, you are only caretaking the management of the team, why is that?
Robyn: My dad’s the real manager but he’s sick right now. He had a massive heart attack a little while ago and I’ve come over from the UK to make sure he’s doing OK.
Mickey: We’re helping too! We’re doing everything she says in training, well most of the time.
Brad: We’re all supporting Robyn anyway we can. Eddie’s a great guy.
Henrik: He go red from shouting too much – gets stressed.
Cole: We’ve been told he’s responding to treatment though and once he has his operation he’ll be as good as new.
Henrik: Will he still shout too loud?
Robyn: It’s a heart bypass Henrik, not a personality transplant, he’ll probably shout louder.
How is your father bearing up? Guessing he has the support of you and Nancy to perk him up – does he try to steer the team from his hospital bed?!?
Robyn: I haven’t quite decided whetherNancy’s a good influence or not but you bet he tries to steer things! He’s supposed to be resting and keeping his blood pressure down but he doesn’t like losing control so he gives me his opinion whether I need it or not.
Cole: Sounds like someone else I know.
Mickey: Whoa! Someone’s going to be up for extra drills for saying that!
How do you guys feel about have a “chick” manage you?
Brad: I’ve got no problem with it. Robyn knows ice hockey. She’s been playing it since she was three and she’s better than most of the guys I know.
Mickey: Except me.
Henrik: And me. I am better.
Robyn: You are not.
Henrik: I win big medals where I come from.
Mickey: And where is that exactly?
Cole: Robyn’s heart and soul is with the Portage Panthers. The manager of the team has to have that passion for the game and for the team as a unit. It doesn’t matter what sex they are.
Henrik: And she always wear boy clothes anyway. Do you not have dress?
Guessing locker rooms are slightly different at the moment – any crazy moments you want to tell us about?
Robyn: The guys have this big thing about me seeing them naked. I have no idea why, it isn’t like I find any of them attractive.
Mickey: Except me.
Henrik: And me.
Brad: Robyn and I used to date back in high school but this is ice hockey, there are professional sporting boundaries.
Cole: You want me to tell Louise about the shower gel don’t you?
Mickey: You mean ‘Exfoliation’? The bright purple one?
Henrik: Smell like department store.
You recently have a new signing to your team in the shape of Cole. What is it like to join a smaller team Cole and what made you come here?
Mickey: Here we go man, time to tell the nice lady just how much better than the rest of us you are!
Cole: That isn’t true!
Mickey: I’m only kidding. Cole used to play for Chicago Wolves, Robyn tells everyone.
Brad: The Wolves are a team in the American Hockey League – they’re a division above us.
Henrik: You think I get trial for them?
Robyn: No Henrik! You belong with the Panthers!
Cole: I moved to Portage fromChicago, got a new job here and I’m glad to be in the Panthers, we get on great.
Mickey: Most of the time.
Where do you guys think the Panthers can go in the future with hard work?
Mickey: Let the captain answer this one.
Brad: We’re a bit short on numbers at the moment. We lost some players to clubs with more money, other players had to give up hockey to take overtime at work but the squad now are dedicated to making the team the best it can be. We want to be the best for Eddie…and for Robyn.
Robyn: Er, at the moment we’re just trying to keep off the bottom of the table and avoid relegation this season. Then next year, who knows? Maybe we’ll be up there for the play-offs.
What other hobbies do you guys have outside of hockey?
Mickey: I spend the weekends avoiding wedding dress shops mainly.
Henrik: I like to dance with girls.
Cole: Apparently now I live here I have to barbecue every spare second I get or shoot turkeys.
Brad: It’s mainly hockey but I like to go out to dinner, listen to music, have fun down by the lake with someone special you know.
Mickey: Ooo someone special – how come we haven’t met her?
Robyn: I like to fix cars and watch monster trucks.
Mickey: And she reads motor manuals. How freaking weird is that?
Cole: ActuallyNancypassed her some romance novels the other day and she’s actually nosing into them. The author, Mandy Baggot, has a new book coming out today! It’s called Taking Charge and it’s not just about romance, there’s even ice hockey in it.
Mickey: Am I in it? I am legendary.
Henrik: Is there sexy bits?
Thank you all so much for your time. It has been wonderful to meet you all!
To find out more about Mandy and her Publisher Sapphire Publishing, please feel free to click the following links!