Three long dark months have passed. I appear to have spent the vast majority of this time learning about the Danish league structure, Gaining my National C Licence and growing a beard.
It doesn’t look good, not the beard thats cool I’m talking about our predicament. We are already way off the pace in the hunt for promotion, Looking at the squads of the top 5/6 sides they are far superior to our own.
Having trawled through the bottom leagues in Scandinavia I have highlighted a few players who could help us improve. I’m already looking at next season, given how the league works you have to win more games in that initial stage to have a realistic chance of promotion after the winter break.
The players arrive back for preseason with 5 weeks to go before our opening game. It’s safe to say I have never seen a bunch of players struggle so much to regain match fitness. The lads are still at 40-50% match sharpness after a week of intensive training. We decide to go big on friendlies and arrange 6 games in the 3 weeks we have left.
Now the boys are back I start to look at recruitment and where we need to strengthen. My shortlist isn’t full of household names but there are a few on there who would walk straight into my first eleven.
The young lads we brought in have done admirably but there were times when we needed older heads and in Jimmy Mayasi and Peter Orbaek Larsen we now have two experienced campaigners who could be paramount if we are to make a fist of it. Alongside these two we also recruited Derrick Nissen (Right Back), Emil Thomsen (Centre Midfield), Anders Nielsen (Centre Midfield) and Stefan Sorenson (Left Back). In my opinion we now have stronger players in key positions, especially in the full back roles.
Just when I thought our deals were done a player I scouted months ago once again tweaked my interest and Zahib Mohammad, an Afghanistan left winger joined on deadline day.
Five players were told not to return to training and to look elsewhere for first team football.
The only other business was to convince the Chairman to bring a parent club on board and in Superliga side Silkeborg we did just that. After a long chat with the manager Peter Sorenson, he offered us Anders Iverson on loan, a 17 year old target man. We duly agreed to the deal even though I’m not sure he will make the grade.
The staff really put the boys through the ringer, We asked them all to make it two nights a week for training and even through they agreed there was a lot of discontent about the training workload. Looking at these players I’m not sure how we will be ready for the opener against Kolding, not a session passes without one or two players bent double throwing up at the side of the pitch.
The friendlies are all about regaining sharpness and trying out a new formation. It goes a little too well but the results are not important at this stage.
So here we finally are, After months of darkness, endless repeats of Danish Magnum PI and a strange attraction to beard oil we are ready. A team dragged into some kind of shape with new players ready to make their mark, this could go either way.
As the referee blows his whistle for the start of the game I glance behind me and yes the dog is back in its place by the dugout and all is once again well with the world….