Journeyman – 3 – Varbergs Boll Och Idrottsällskap – Deep breath…its season two

This is one episode of a wider series. To instead start at episode one, please click here.

“You don’t know man, you weren’t there.”

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…

After dodging the relegation zone by one single point, the board have really dug deep to give me suitable resources to mount a serious promotion challenge. <- lie. This transfer window will be a delight.
So this is a bit more reasonable. The wage budget is a real challenge, but a top half finish this year, moving onto the playoffs next year, that’s actually fair. Thanks Lars. I mean Mr Chairman, Sir.
I am evidentally still universally loved by all at the club after a sterling first season displaying expert tactical nous.
My main man Aliev. By main man I mean second choice number 9 who I had planned to release, but my assistant extended his contract because I forgot to tell him that I wanted to make those decisions myself. Facepalm aside, I couldn’t have afforded to replace him. At least he wears a badge with my face on it around the training ground, which keeps morale up.
My development as a journeyman manager, so far. That level of discipline might explain a lot of what I have been seeing around the Påskbergsvallen (thanks again, ‘paste’ function).
Finally some good news in the context of the wider journeyman save. After paying for me to get my National B Licence, they immediately agreed to pay for my National A. This could be huge as I try and work my way up the football pyramid.
Avid Tottenham supporters might recognise my new coach, but probably not.

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?!

Only the player Jordi Alba wishes he was.

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.

Spending so much cash, Floyd Mayweather got a text alert.
The board are loving my guile in the transfer market. Especially the financial aspect of the Rebin Asaad sale. He left on a free.
A striker I really wanted, solely for his incredible name. I was assured by my lawyers that it is not an exclamation related to the recent political history of the USA, but I steered clear, regardless.
To close off my review of where we are and where we are heading, I think the above image tells you everything you need to know.
Pre-season started out absolutely dreadfully, but luckily things were looking up just before a ball is kicked in anger in league season two. Let’s not talk about the cup performance, eh? I literally will not talk about it.

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.

Varbergs icon (not literally), Astrit Seljmani, leads the line, again.

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?

Temptation. To keep climbing higher and higher. That’s another 80s reference, since these are landing so well. First Men Without Hats, now Heaven 17 (writer’s note – give it up, no one likes it).

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?

BREAKING NEWS

The Dutch, considerably more supportive than the French.

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.

Victory!

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 love it when a plan comes together (writer’s note – STOP IT!).

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…

Freddy-boy, happy as ever.

Thanks for reading.

FM Stag

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