Friday, December 17, 2010

Aussie scores 6 in Czech Junior Extraliga game

On December 11, 16-year-old Nathan Walker of Australia scored six goals in a 9-1 win for HC Vítkovice Steel in a Junior Extraliga game against HC Rebel Havlíčkův Brod. With 14 goals and 18 assists in 28 games, he is third in team scoring and 20th overall as the league heads into a two-week break for Christmas.

A few days after his big performance, he did an interview with the club's website, Now in his fourth year playing in the Czech Republic, the interview was conducted in Czech. The original Czech version of the interview can be found at:

On Saturday, against Havlíčkův Brod you scored just six times! Had you ever done anything like that before?

No, I'd never done that. I'm very happy, but I felt normal. I felt like I had one goal. It was something new, I'd never scored so many goals and I didn't know what to think about it.

Coach Jakub Petr said that in that game you could have scored ten goals.

Well, it could have been more. Twice I had an empty net, but I didn't score. I was in alone on the goalie twice, and I also failed.

Did you do something before the game different than you do normally? Did you feel before the game that you could have a big game?

I don't even know. I didn't do anything special, it was the work of the whole line. On each shift, we had a scoring chance. We got a lot of breaks, two-on-one, three-on-one. It's just how the game turned out.

How did your teammates react?

They said it was good that I did it.

Six goals is two hat tricks in one game, a performance like that will certainly cost you in the dressing room.
Well, they told me it would be expensive (laughs).

Any idea of what you will put into the room?

I don't know yet, I have to really think about it.

How did you ever end up in Vítkovice? Australia is far away and hockey there certainly is not the number one sport.

I've played here for four years. My coach from Australia knows Jakub Petr, the current coach of the juniors. He then coached Australia's U18 team. My coach pointed it out to me and he asked if I wanted to try it in Vitkovice. So I came here and I guess I caught on. They went and I stayed.

And it looks like you like it here too.

Yeah, definitely.

Do you imagine that in the future you might also play in the Extraliga?

Well, I guess. I would like it very much, we'll see how things develop.

Doing an interview in Czech, is it a big problem for you?

When I arrived, for me in the beginning it was a problem. But now, not at all. I understand what everyone else says to me, so now it's okay.

Have you taken any courses in Czech?

In the first year at school I had some individual sessions, but now I don't, but in the future I may start to go somewhere again, so it was perfect.

At Christmas time, the junior league takes a break. Will you spend the holidays in the Czech Republic, or are you going back to Australia?

I'm going to Australia. I'm going home on Thursday (17th). There I'll celebrate Christmas and come back to the Czech Republic at New Year's.

What do you think about the weather? After all, in Australia you are used to very different conditions at Christmas.

In Australia now we have summer, outside is twenty-five, thirty-degree heat (laughs). So it's a lot better than here.

Do you like the atmosphere of a white Christmas?

It's something different. Our Christmas is a lot of fun, but a white Christmas is nice, too. It is definitely nice.

Returning to hockey, the Vítkovice juniors are in first place. Do you think you can win it this year?

It would be great and I'd like it a lot. We have a very good team and I think we feel we can win the title.

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