This is one episode of a wider series. To instead start at episode one, please click here.
Wow. What a tumultuous time of late. At the time of writing, I’ve only managed 18 games in total, all of which for the Varbergs BoIS in the Swedish second tier.
Let’s do what all good stories do, and start where we left off.
The first season is finished and the summary is in the last post. That being said, let’s call out a few things with an absolute onslaught of images. Enjoy the eye candy…
So next up is the transfers. As I’ve mentioned (a lot), there is not a lot of cash around so I had to be thrifty. It was disappointing to lose Robin Book (Örebro) and Nahom Girmai (Odds), especially for nothing. But wait, did I just sign a Barcelona left back in his mid 20s?!
Well, sort of. My new left-back spent three years at the Nou Camp, making 21 league appearances for the B team, before a two year loan spell at lower league Unió Esportiva Cornellà, before joining me in the Superettan. Could he bring some of that Catalan magic with him to the ‘least appealing place in Sweden?’
I also plundered my beloved Rangers for a loan deal for semi-promising youngster Jamie Barjonas, along with two midfielders released from other Swedish sides on frees, and a loan deal for the pacey and aggressive (but otherwise useless) 19-year old striker Milan Suvejkic.
So as we head into season two, these are the boys (BoIS?) that need to lead us to the top tier, in what is probably a promotion-or-bust year.
The funny thing is, throughout all of this chaos, the departures, the hastily signed replacements, the potential financial ruin; I have stayed 100% committed to the role. It’s a journeyman, but I don’t care. I am Varbergs through and through, I am here to stay.
Or am I?
The Paris FC and Willem II roles became available in their respective leagues. Paris in the second tier in France, and Willem II in the top tier in Holland. Both teams having unremarkable seasons so far, but look good for safe mid-table finishes (France and Holland follow the ‘normal’ football calendar, unlike the madness of the Swedish leagues).
Both 3 star teams vs my current 2 star outfit. 18k and 14.5k seater stadiums vs my 1.1k seats. Better facilities and unarguably better platforms for progress in this kind of career.
I toiled with the decision on whether to apply or not. The Dynamo Dresden role came up too, but was quickly filled when they turned their caretaker manger to the interim one.
I even took to Twitter to ask the community what I should do. The decision was unanimous. Apply, apply, apply.
I tearfully emptied the remaining whisky miniatures from the hotel minibar, stared melancholically at my Polaroid of the Varberg port pinned above the bed, then took a deep breath and made my interest known. Was this it?
Nope. I must admit I laughed out loud at Mr Ferracci’s feedback of ‘the club do not know who you are.’ This really puts things in perspective. I think another year in Sweden might not be a bad thing for my standing in world football.
I take the Saab keys back from the grinning car rental agent and drive back to the hotel.
I guess I’m staying. Tomorrow is the first league game of season two.
A slow start is turned around in emphatic style as my BoIS pick up all three points on the first day of the season. The 24 (that is twenty four) away fans are ecstatic as we get back on the team bus. I boot up the single company iPad, and watch a replay of new signing Jakob Lindahl’s incredible strike to put the fixture to bed.
I sink back into the luridly patterned fabric chair of our coach, inexplicably borrowed from First Bus, as we head back home. My headphones go in, Spotify Premium opens (I pay for it myself) and 80s music fills my ears. I think there’s only one person in Sweden pleased to see me stay…
Thanks for reading.