Sykes settling in Sweden

What's it like going from the Westfield W-League to football in Sweden? Sally Shipard talks to Canberra United teammate Nicole Sykes to find out.

What's it like going from the Westfield W-League to football in Sweden? Sally Shipard talks to Canberra United teammate Nicole Sykes to find out.

Name: Nicole Sykes Club: Kristiantads DFF Position: Left Back

SS: How are you finding Sweden? Your first impression of the country was... NS: The best thing about arriving in Sweden was seeing snow, I hadn-t even seen snow in Australia, so that was very cool.

SS: What was going through your head when you first stepped off the plane? NS: How am I going to find these people picking me up?

SS: Why did you want to play overseas? Did someone or something inspire you or was it something you-ve always wanted to do? NS: I-ve always wanted to try and play overseas at some point but wasn-t sure when that opportunity may come along. After this year in the Westfield W-League and seeing so many other players leaving I decided it was time to give it a go.

SS: Have you played any games yet? When does your official season begin? NS: Only a practice game against a Danish team. Already you can see a contrasting style and different level of football to that of Australia. The season officially starts a couple of weeks into April; first match is against Lydia Williams-s team.

SS: Are you struggling with the cold? NS: So far, apparently it-s been the warmest winter for a long time, so I think I-ve gotten a good deal. Having said that, you do notice how much harder it is to breathe in the cold air, but I-m sure I-ll get used to it.

SS: What do you miss about home? Or is it too soon to ask? NS: The simple things and comforts of home. Mostly Mick (fiancé) and family.

SS: How are you finding the language barrier? Are they coaching you in English or Swedish? NS: Swedish is an interesting language and I-m finding it difficult to pick up. They coach mostly in Swedish but my teammates translate for me too.

SS: On the language topic, will you be embracing it wholeheartedly and attending lessons? NS: I want to embrace it for sure. A teammate living close to me is going to try and teach me Swedish.

SS: Away from the football, do you have time to explore your surrounds? NS: Yes and the town of Kristianstads is very beautiful.

SS: What-s your house like whilst you are abroad? NS: It-s a small one bedroom apartment and is perfect for me. I-m very comfortable except I have to shower in the basement.

SS: How are you finding the level of football in comparison to the Westfield W-League? NS: I-ll have to wait until the season starts to be able to compare it to the W-League. So far it looks very competitive with a lot of quality players.

SS: Any thing you-d like to add Nic? NS: I-m really excited to be able to concentrate on football now instead of having work and/or university as extra distractions. The team culture is continually testing you, so hopefully by the end of the season I will have improved my game and have cemented a starting position in the squad, as well as have some fun because that-s what it-s all about. SS: Spoken like a true country gal. Thanks for your time.