Worldsport

Bandy of brothers

Updated 11:30 AM ET, Fri January 24, 2014
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Somalian player takes a breakSomalian player takes a break
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A Somali player gets ready to tackle the ice in training ahead of the Bandy World Championships in Russia. JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP/Getty Images
Borlange resident Patrik Andersson was the brains behind a scheme aimed at helping with the Somali refugees' integration into his small Swedish town. JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP/Getty Images
None of the players had seen, held or worn skates before the start of the project, with Andersson describing them as like "Bambi on ice." JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP/Getty Images
The players' previous sporting prowess had generally stretched solely to the football field. JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP/Getty Images
Six months since they first took to the ice, they face the prospect of taking on the world's best Bandy players, some of whom have been competing for two or three decades. JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP/Getty Images
At first they could barely stand on their feet, but now train for two hours a day on the ice -- often opting to keep training after their coach ends the session. JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP/Getty Images
Slowly but surely, confidence has grown among the players, and they scored their first goals in training the week before the World Championships. JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP/Getty Image
But the general feeling is that the Somalia team's goalkeeper will be the busiest player on the ice, judging by the 11's collective inexperience. JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP/Getty Images
But midfielder Ahmed Hussain insists that win, lose or draw, it is a victory for Somalia to have got a team to the event in Siberia at all. JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP/Getty Images
Quite what lies in store for the players, most of whom are students, remains to be seen but their story is set to become a film. JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP/Getty Images