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Sirius - Rising Star


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SIRIUS - Rising Star

My manager story started here in Sweden, more closely in Uppsala - my hometown. I was here given the opportunity to coach my first club on a professional basis. On the 10th of March 2002 I took control of Idrottsklubben Sirius Fotbollsklubb or simply Sirius for short.

Sirius is the brightest star in the constellation Canis Major and also the brightest star we can see in the northern hemisphere. The ancient Egyptians called Sirius the 'dog star', after their god Osirus - whose head in pictograms resembled that of a dog.

The club Sirius is the largest and best established in the town of Uppsala, but despite this fact the team has been dwelling for a long time in the Swedish Division 2 Regional series. Way back in 1917 and in 1924 the club finished runners-up in the Swedish Championship, feats that stand out in the clubs history.

The town of Uppsala is the fourth largest in Sweden (population of about 180´000) and has a rich and colourful past dating back in to the unwritten history. Ever since the town was founded, it has through the ages always been a cultural and religious centre of the country. It was especially important during the Iron age (capital of the Svea kings) and during Viking times (religious capital). The town of Uppsala itself is a very beautiful town, with Sweden´s largest church dome as it’s most noticeable caracteristic (believed to have been placed ontop of, or at least close by, the old heathen worship place - where human sacrifice is believed to have taken place). The dome is together with the city castle, which is situated close by, overlooking the town upon a ridge - at the center of attraction. The country’s oldest (15th century), and most respected University is also situated in Uppsala, which gives the town a youthful apperance – always bustling with activity during the semesters. Uppsala is also closely situated to the capital of Sweden; Stockholm (80km/45min).

Despite being one of Sweden´s major cities Uppsala is not known as a sporting town. The town does not have a team of top quality in any of the mayor sports (exept for a basketball team playing in the top division - without too much success though). In football neither Sirius nor any other of the local teams has been particularly successful domestically in recent history.

The time has now come to change this!

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SIRIUS - Rising Star

My manager story started here in Sweden, more closely in Uppsala - my hometown. I was here given the opportunity to coach my first club on a professional basis. On the 10th of March 2002 I took control of Idrottsklubben Sirius Fotbollsklubb or simply Sirius for short.

Sirius is the brightest star in the constellation Canis Major and also the brightest star we can see in the northern hemisphere. The ancient Egyptians called Sirius the 'dog star', after their god Osirus - whose head in pictograms resembled that of a dog.

The club Sirius is the largest and best established in the town of Uppsala, but despite this fact the team has been dwelling for a long time in the Swedish Division 2 Regional series. Way back in 1917 and in 1924 the club finished runners-up in the Swedish Championship, feats that stand out in the clubs history.

The town of Uppsala is the fourth largest in Sweden (population of about 180´000) and has a rich and colourful past dating back in to the unwritten history. Ever since the town was founded, it has through the ages always been a cultural and religious centre of the country. It was especially important during the Iron age (capital of the Svea kings) and during Viking times (religious capital). The town of Uppsala itself is a very beautiful town, with Sweden´s largest church dome as it’s most noticeable caracteristic (believed to have been placed ontop of, or at least close by, the old heathen worship place - where human sacrifice is believed to have taken place). The dome is together with the city castle, which is situated close by, overlooking the town upon a ridge - at the center of attraction. The country’s oldest (15th century), and most respected University is also situated in Uppsala, which gives the town a youthful apperance – always bustling with activity during the semesters. Uppsala is also closely situated to the capital of Sweden; Stockholm (80km/45min).

Despite being one of Sweden´s major cities Uppsala is not known as a sporting town. The town does not have a team of top quality in any of the mayor sports (exept for a basketball team playing in the top division - without too much success though). In football neither Sirius nor any other of the local teams has been particularly successful domestically in recent history.

The time has now come to change this!

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SIRIUS - Rising Star

My manager story started here in Sweden, more closely in Uppsala - my hometown. I was here given the opportunity to coach my first club on a professional basis. On the 10th of March 2002 I took control of Idrottsklubben Sirius Fotbollsklubb or simply Sirius for short.

Sirius is the brightest star in the constellation Canis Major and also the brightest star we can see in the northern hemisphere. The ancient Egyptians called Sirius the 'dog star', after their god Osirus - whose head in pictograms resembled that of a dog.

The club Sirius is the largest and best established in the town of Uppsala, but despite this fact the team has been dwelling for a long time in the Swedish Division 2 Regional series. Way back in 1917 and in 1924 the club finished runners-up in the Swedish Championship, feats that stand out in the clubs history.

The town of Uppsala is the fourth largest in Sweden (population of about 180´000) and has a rich and colourful past dating back in to the unwritten history. Ever since the town was founded, it has through the ages always been a cultural and religious centre of the country. It was especially important during the Iron age (capital of the Svea kings) and during Viking times (religious capital). The town of Uppsala itself is a very beautiful town, with Sweden´s largest church dome as it’s most noticeable caracteristic (believed to have been placed ontop of, or at least close by, the old heathen worship place - where human sacrifice is believed to have taken place). The dome is together with the city castle, which is situated close by, overlooking the town upon a ridge - at the center of attraction. The country’s oldest (15th century), and most respected University is also situated in Uppsala, which gives the town a youthful apperance – always bustling with activity during the semesters. Uppsala is also closely situated to the capital of Sweden; Stockholm (80km/45min).

Despite being one of Sweden´s major cities Uppsala is not known as a sporting town. The town does not have a team of top quality in any of the mayor sports (exept for a basketball team playing in the top division - without too much success though). In football neither Sirius nor any other of the local teams has been particularly successful domestically in recent history.

The time has now come to change this!

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SIRIUS - Rising Star

My manager story started here in Sweden, more closely in Uppsala - my hometown. I was here given the opportunity to coach my first club on a professional basis. On the 10th of March 2002 I took control of Idrottsklubben Sirius Fotbollsklubb or simply Sirius for short.

Sirius is the brightest star in the constellation Canis Major and also the brightest star we can see in the northern hemisphere. The ancient Egyptians called Sirius the 'dog star', after their god Osirus - whose head in pictograms resembled that of a dog.

The club Sirius is the largest and best established in the town of Uppsala, but despite this fact the team has been dwelling for a long time in the Swedish Division 2 Regional series. Way back in 1917 and in 1924 the club finished runners-up in the Swedish Championship, feats that stand out in the clubs history.

The town of Uppsala is the fourth largest in Sweden (population of about 180´000) and has a rich and colourful past dating back in to the unwritten history. Ever since the town was founded, it has through the ages always been a cultural and religious centre of the country. It was especially important during the Iron age (capital of the Svea kings) and during Viking times (religious capital). The town of Uppsala itself is a very beautiful town, with Sweden´s largest church dome as it’s most noticeable caracteristic (believed to have been placed ontop of, or at least close by, the old heathen worship place - where human sacrifice is believed to have taken place). The dome is together with the city castle, which is situated close by, overlooking the town upon a ridge - at the center of attraction. The country’s oldest (15th century), and most respected University is also situated in Uppsala, which gives the town a youthful apperance – always bustling with activity during the semesters. Uppsala is also closely situated to the capital of Sweden; Stockholm (80km/45min).

Despite being one of Sweden´s major cities Uppsala is not known as a sporting town. The town does not have a team of top quality in any of the mayor sports (exept for a basketball team playing in the top division - without too much success though). In football neither Sirius nor any other of the local teams has been particularly successful domestically in recent history.

The time has now come to change this!

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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Raptor:

Local tale by local lad, sounds like a solid basis for a story to me icon_smile.gif<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Yeah, I might just as well give it a try, as I probably can't do worse than in reality... icon_rolleyes.gif

Thanks for the encouragement Spurzgrrl and Raptor! Hang on and I'll soon get this story on the way properly... icon_cool.gif

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A surprise appointment

I had since a couple of years back been at the club working for free as a youth coach. During daytime I worked as a high school teacher. As I always had had a good touch with youngsters I was eventually employed part time as a youth set-up headcoach at the club. We had a good youth program and several talented players, so I very much enjoyed working there. Apart from the negative financial situation at the club, which many clubs are feeling the pinch of at the moment, the future situation looked quite positive for Sirius. There was a positive vibe at the club and we were many that thought it would only be a matter of time before we finally could take the step out from the dreaded Swedish Second Division.

Then Stellan Carlsson, the manager since four years back, surprisingly stepped down. In his statement it could be read that he felt the team needed a new voice and some new ideas in the club, in order to take it to the next level. The club had no money to recruite any of the more well distinguished managers around and did instead what many other small time clubs do - they looked in to their own organisation for a replacement. I had started to make a name for myself within the club due to my dedicated work with the youngsters, but it still came as a total surprise to me when they offered me the job. To be honest I wasn’t sure myself if I had what it takes, but on the other hand I wasn’t stupid enough to turn down the opportunity. I happily took up the challenge and immediately went about my new found duties at the club… icon_cool.gif

At present the club is a semi-professional team struggling with it’s finances. The club has a £ 154,397 negative balance in the books and as a consequence there are no money available for purchasing new players. I will have to resort to signing free transfers if I am to bring in any new blood to the squad. The facilities are good and the football ground, Studenternas IP, has a 5000 capacity - which should be enough for the immediate future.

Currently there are 22 players contracted to the club, ranging from the ages 15 to 36. The squad is slim and therefore vulnerable to injuries and suspensions. A priority would therefore be to try and lure a couple of free transfers to the club, before the start of the season. I have my eye on several such players who I believe would excel at the club. The difficult part will be to try and lure them to the club under fierce competition on the lucrative Bosman marketplace. Unless I manage to sign new players I will have to make do with the current squad and perhaps look at any possible loan options.

These are some of the many pre-season duties I now had to dig in to...

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Pre-season: The team squad and getting it ready for the upcoming season of 2002

Apart from the playing squad I also have one coach, Mattias Wallin (40), at my disposal. To be honest Mattias has not given a very professional impression and I will be looking at getting some other coaches to the club as soon as possible. There are also two scouts, Emil Norling (60) and Joachim Lind (51), and a physio, Joakim Larsson (56), contracted to the club. I immediately assigned my scouts to search for players here in Sweden and let my physio make appointments with the playing staff to make assessments on their physical well-being. It turned out that central defender Antouman Jallow (20) needed surgery (out for about six months) due to damaged cruciate ligaments. Another central defender Magnus Svanfeldt (27) needed a couple of weeks physiotherapy for his strained knee ligaments. Apart from these setbacks the squad seems fit for fight.

With the club’s directors expecting us to reach the playoffs this season my No.1 priority is to see some new names signing for the club. According to my initial impression of the players available at the club we would currently struggle to accomplish the objectives set up by the club directors. My most important task from day one was therefore to get started looking for some good Bosman players to sign. With two of my central defenders currently out, I immediately looked to particularly strengthen this area of the squad. I targeted Johan Karlsson (26) of Elfsborg, a central/right wing/defensive midfielder, as a good loan signing. Although a defensive midfielder, I felt Johan would do well as a central defender. It turned out that his club, Premier Division side Elfsborg, was happy to loan him out to us for the remainder of the season and still pay his salary themselves(!). Johan decided that he wanted the offered regular first team football and therefore joined us a couple of days later, on March the 12th.

12/3 –02 Meanwhile in the world of football Real Madrid suffered a heavy defeat away against French side Lille in the Champions League Second Group Phase. Lille won after goalkeeper Iker Casillas was sent off just before half time. Lille scored on the subsequent penalty which meant 1-0. In the second half Lille made the most of their numerical advantage and ran out easy winners 3-0 [goals by Tapia (45 pen), Fahmi (47), Schmitz (57)]. The win meant that Lille (together with Man U, who beat Lokomotiv Moscow 2-0, and finished 1st) went past Real in the final group table – Lille finishing 2nd and Real Madrid 3rd. The greatest upset of the tournament so far was a fact - Real failed to make it through to the elimination rounds! The Real fans was understandably upset and vented their feelings publicly, this despite the fact that Real currently sits on top of the Spanish First Division and pundits expect them to stay there for the remainder of the season - as they have shown very good league form lately (and of course everyone knows of their true potential).

13/3 –02 The teams playing in the Champions League Quarter Finals were decided today. Notable here was Arsenals failure to qualify, after losing away to Torino giants Juventus (who already were through before the final round) with 3-1. This meant that Bayer Leverkusen could swoop past, beating Norwegian side Brann away with the same score line, 3-1.

The up-coming quarter finals will be played as follows: Barcelona vs. Lille, Juventus vs. Deportivo, Leverkusen vs. Liverpool and Roma vs. Man U.

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My first week as new manager of Sirius ended in a drinking binge. It started on Friday evening as some friends turned up with plenty of booze to celebrate my appointment. Around 1 am I crashed. Around 4 am I awoke - naked on the floor, with only a rug thrown over me. My friend Per was sleeping on the couch, with a bottle of Tequila in one hand. I knew not what had happened - Per knew as much as me. Saturday was no better. Once again I awoke naked. This time however, it wasn’t Per sleeping close by. It was a woman. Her name was Christine. She didn’t look as nice as she had done yesterday. The darkness, her make-up and my general drunkenness had enhanced her features, to the point that I had invited her over here. Unfortunately my memory was not gone. I remember all to well! Her make-up was now firmly imprinted on the cushion and I felt nauseous. It’s been a while since I had such a weekend - fortunately(!). As a part-time high school teacher/football manager I’m supposed to be a role model. Not this weekend... icon_rolleyes.gif

The following week was spent in contract negotiations with a couple of out of contract players. However, both right sided defender Mikael Hansson and central defender Fredrick Bryngelsson decided that the wages I could offer were too low. Instead Hansson joined Wycombe in England and Bryngelsson fellow Division 2 side Forward. Good news however, was that 19-year old Jesper Ahlström decided to join us. Jesper is a player that one of my scouts picked up as a promising youth player. He is a right winger that can play in both defence and in midfield. Being a very tall young lad I wonder though, if he perhaps could play in my problematic central defence instead - if he was given the right training. There he could also make use of his natural aggression on the pitch. All in all he seems quite promising.

20/3 –02 Elsewhere in Europe the UEFA cup Quarter Finals second leg was played today. Most noteworthy was that Ajax failed to hold on to their 2-0 advantage from their home game. Instead they crashed out against Scottish side Rangers after losing 3-0 in Glasgow [3-2 aggregate]. Feyenoord beat Russian side Anzhi; 2-1 aggregate [2-0, 0-1], Leeds beat Lyon 3-0 [2-0, 1-0] and Milan beat PSV 2-1 [0-1,2-0].

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Remembering all too well last weekend mishaps, I decided to avoid my friends this time around. Instead we would play our first friendly game of the season. I felt a bit nervous as we met up before the game.

I would coach my team on the field for the first time...

23/3 –02 Not knowing my squad that well yet I decide to test around a bit. I used a 5-3-2 Attacking tactic as I hoped this tactic would help me control the centre of the field. I felt I might need the numerical advantage in the centre of the pitch, as I suspect it will be there that my team is the weakest. The game was played against our perhaps greatest rivals here in Uppsala – lower league team Vindhemspojkarna. The game was played at their home field and although it wasn’t well played, it gave the crowd a thrilling five goal shoot-out derby game. We won 3-2 with striker Henrik Ericksson scoring two of our goals and new signing Jesper Ahlström, playing as a central midfielder for the day, the third. The crowd of 554 (actually not bad in this area) who turned up for the game was probably pleased, but I realised there was a lot of work to be done before this team would be playing for honours…

24/3 – 02 Yet another disappointment today as Bosman target Jesper Svensson (29) opted to join Eskilstuna City instead of us. However, on the bright side our excellent youth set up program yielded two promising youngsters who have now been promoted into the squad. Left sided defender Rikard Olofsson (17) and right winger Per Hansson (16) are the players in question. Particularly 16 year old Per Hansson is a wonderful prospect, a real speedball, who I already have high hopes for. Fact is, I believe he might just be good enough to go straight into the starting XI! Good news indeed.

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27/3 –02 The second pre-season game was played today against local team Gamla Upsala at their old ground Gamlis IP. Surprisingly a crowd of 636 turned out to watch the friendly derby game. Although the game saw plenty of scoring opportunities it ended in a 0-0 stalemate. For me this was a disappointing performance as I had tuned my 5-3-2 tactics further to this game - and now only one friendly game remains before the start of the new season...

28/3 –02 Today another youth player was promoted from the youth team set-up for my assessment. I knew the central/right wing defender/defensive midfielder since my time as head coach of the youth program at the club, and my first impressions of the player was always very positive. Staffan Wiklund (17) is a player that with his sheer length can dominate the aerial space. I think he could probably take a place in the central defence quite soon actually. Apart from being tall, he is also a quick defender and those aren’t too common – certainly not at this level.

30/3 –02 Originally I had a friendly game against Division 1 side Brage scheduled for today, but they where forced to cancel in the last minute. Instead I used my connections as a former Kvarnsveden player and set up a game against that side on short notice. Both teams are from the town of Borlänge, so it didn’t mean any greater change of plans. The game was a step forward for us as we beat the Division 3 side 3-2 (goals courtesy of Johan Claesson, Thomas Arnesson and Henrik Eriksson). Our defensive performances is still a cause of some concern, but today I would rather focus on our good offensive play during the game. Playing a 3-4-3 tactic we created several chances without giving away too much defensively to the opponents. I think this tactic will be the one I'll focus on implementing this season - if all carries on well.

31/3 –02 A thrilling League Cup Final was played today at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff between Division 1 side Derby County and Premiership giants Manchester United. I watched the game on my TV and couldn’t help feeling for Derby. It was a David vs. Goliath type of situation. In the dying minutes of the first half Juan Sebastian Verón scored a header, when Mart Poom went walkabout in the Derby goal. Like everybody else I gave Derby little chance of recovering from this blow. Man United continued to dominate the second half and Ruud van Nistlerooy had a great opportunity to kill the game just before full time. Instead a handball from the same van Nistlerooy, only moments later, resulted in a dubious Derby free kick. Pedersen’s resulting free kick found the head of Malcolm Christie who in turn found an unmarked Paul Boertien, who dramatically equalised with just one minute left on the clock. The subsequent extra time ended without any goals scored - so the game was to be decided on penalties. Here Derby kept their nerves and won the penalty shoot out 3-2 (Derby scoring 3 of 4 penalties and Man U only 2 of 5). This really was one of the most thrilling games I’ve seen in a long time. Who would have thought that Derby would beat Man U? That only goes to show that anything is possible in this lovely game! icon_biggrin.gif

Other news this day was the exposé that a national newspaper in Italy ran on Lazio´s shocking financial state. The team is virtually bankrupt and it is thought that they will have to sell players to appease it’s investors. As the horrible financial state weren’t enough, Lazio is currently only 6th in the Italian Serie A. It would take a miracle to get them through to next years Champions League - which they so badly would need in order to aid them economically back on track.

1/4 –02 It is not only Lazio that is in deep economic trouble at the moment. Throughout Europe several teams are feeling the economic pinch. On a much smaller scale our economic situation here in Sirius is also very alarming. We now have a £ 300,361 negative balance in the books after losing £ 121,190 just during last month. As I've now strengthened the squad with some promising youth players, I must immediately look at my squad and see which players are a surplus to requirements and therefore could be sold off - in order to ease our financial plight. I noted in my “to-do†book that I’d look over this issue at the end of the week and then inform the players involved of the situation.

One player I want to keep is influential central defender Martin Åberg (21) who, after prolonged contract negotiations, finally decided on signing a new contract until the end of the 2004 season. I see him as an important first team player who’s leadership and talent will be immensely important for us the coming years.

Internationally the big news of the day was the sacking of Celta manager Lotina and Mallorca`s Gregorio Manzano. The sackings came as no surprise however, as both teams has had a disappointing season so far and are both in the midst of the relegation dogfight - a situation I don’t think either of the clubs had imagined before the start of the season.

Elsewhere Arsenal suffered a heavy injury blow in their strive to take one of the Champions League places. It was influential centre back Sol Campbell who suffered damaged cruciate ligaments in the defeat against Birmingham (1-2). The English international is now feared to be out of action for a shocking 9 months! As a consequence Campbell will also miss the World Cup for sure. A terrible loss for Arsenal and England.

4/4 –02 In the UEFA Cup Semi Final First Leg it seems like Leeds and Milan will go through to the Final. Leeds brushed their economic troubles aside (virtually bankrupt) and beat Rangers comfortably 4-1 at Elland Road. At De Kuip in Rotterdam Feyenoord suffered a heavy home defeat against Italian giants Milan. After Shinji Ono was sent off, as early as in the 6th minute of the game - after a shove on Shevschenko, Milan owned the game and won with the highly impressive score line of 5-0!

5/4 –02 Robert Pires was honoured today by receiving the English Players Player of the Year Award. Thierry Henry and David Beckham were the closest pretenders, finishing 2nd and 3rd respectively.

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6/4 –02 Tomorrow is the big kick off, so I must go through my squad list and decide which players have a future at the club and which don’t. On deciding which players to place my trust in, I must also decide on a tactic to use - so to make sure I have plenty of cover in all key positions. After quite a lot of thinking, I finally decide on using my offensive 3-4-3 tactic, employed in the last friendly game, and then pick the following first team squad:

First Team

Johan Bylund (21), Goalkeeper.

Johan has good reflexes, but apart from this he lacks much of needed skills, that I would whish to find in my No.1 keeper. However, until someone is brought in to take this position he will remain my first choice.

Magnus Fohlman (19), Goalkeeper.

Is only 19, but unless he evolves quickly - or Bylund finds himself injured – Magnus won’t be seeing much first team action.

Martin Ã…berg (21), Sweeper/Defender (Centre).

A brave, hardworking, team player. Although only 21 he has a good influence on the squad and is my No.1 choice team captain.

Jesper Ahlström (19), Defender/Defensive Midfielder (Right).

Being my only outside signing this youthful player holds several important skills; he is tall, aggressive and a good passer. Will be a key player this term.

Per Hansson (16), Defender/Defensive Midfielder (Right).

One of my newly promoted youth players and perhaps the most talented of the lot. Good balance and speed - he is also a brave player and very tall.

Mats Johansson (29), Defender/Defensive Midfielder (Right/Left).

Being a utility winger Mats will likely see a lot of action. Also a committed team player and hard working.

Staffan Wiklund (17), Defender/Defensive Midfielder (Right/Centre).

Staffan is another of my youth players and a quite decent one too. He is very tall, agile and surprisingly quick for his size. Will probably play quite a few games already this season.

Jonas Carls (27), Defender (Centre).

If I wasn’t low on natural central defenders, this guy would be one of the first out of the door.

Jonas Karlsson (27), Defensive Midfielder (Right/Centre).

My Elfsborg loan star is a determined team player that will play an important roll this coming season. The best with Jonas is his all-round abilities, no real weaknesses.

Henrik Andersson (22), Midfielder (Right/Centre).

A highly aggressive player with a decent tackle. Will be a useful back-up player.

Andreas Fällström (21), Midfielder (Right/Left).

A player who usually takes good decisions on the pith, but he doesn’t possess enough quality to hold down a place in the starting eleven, in my mind.

Johan Claesson (20), Midfielder (Centre).

A hard working team player with his greatest asset as a playmaker as he usually makes good decisions during the game. Will be instrumental in our drive for success.

Bengt Eriksson (29), Midfielder (Centre).

An important first team player with his solid footballing mentality and great determination.

Sittichai Pongrugthai (18), Attacking Midfielder/Forward (Right).

A very technical player and excellent penalty taker, he could have a good future ahead of him. Maybe not quite ready for first team football yet, will see I suppose…

Andreas Pettersson (21), Attacking Midfielder/Forward (Centre).

A lack of forwards means he’ll probably get his chances, but he lacks the important attributes needed.

Thomas Arnesson (20), Striker.

A determined player and decent dribbler. A lack of competition dictates me being forced to give him a first team place for the time being.

Henrik Eriksson (27), Striker.

An influential striker who takes an excellent penalty. My first choice at the moment.

Preliminary Starting XI:

Tactics: 3-4-3 Attacking

<pre class="ip-ubbcode-code-pre">


Arnesson H.Eriksson Pongrugthai


M.Johansson Claesson B.Eriksson Hansson


Ã…berg© Ahlström Karlsson




Reserve Team

Kelvin Kerali (15), Defender/Defensive Midfielder (Right).

Is generally viewed as an exciting talent - although I personally can’t see what all the fuss is about.

Gustav Segerström (19), Defender (Right).

A decent prospect for the future, Gustav is a creative player and also a decent man marker. However, I currently have plenty of right wingers, so he’ll have to wait for his chance.

Rikard Olofsson (17), Defender (Left).

Not much going for him except his low age. A committed team player however - maybe a loan spell would sort him out.

Erik Johansson (19), Defender/Midfielder (Centre).

Needs some growing up to do. If we become purged with injuries he might play the odd game.

Magnus Svanfeldt (28), Defender (Centre).

Although low on defenders, this guy just doesn’t cut it. The first to go I hope.

Isac Löwhagen (19), Defensive Midfielder (Centre).

With a lot of hard work and good luck this tall youngster might ply his way into the team – anything’s possible.

Andreas Eroglu (20), Attacking Midfielder (Left).

Has good off the ball movement and natural aggression, but he is far from being ready for first team football in my mind.

Magnus Wikman (30), Attacking Midfielder (Centre).

Deadweight. Will be sold if anyone wants him.

Kjell Johansson (36), Striker.

Ageing striker who still has great stamina and work rate. Thought he might become a good coach, but he declined the offer. As he’ll soon be leaving the club I decided to give the younger players the chance from start and transfer listed Kjell as a consequence.

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The 2002 Season Opener

Match day interview with local paper Uppsala Nya Tidning:

What are the teams expectations for the upcoming season? Are you going to push for honours?

Well of course, that would be our goal, but we have a young team that might yet need a season or two before it becomes a reality. Also, as you know, the second division is extremely difficult to get promoted from. Even if we were to win our group, we would still have to win the following play-off games too. When at that particular stage it’s not always the best team that wins - you also need a little luck.

So you mean you think you will win the East Svealand group?

No I wouldn’t say that. I mean we might just make it all the way, but it’s a long road for sure. We don’t really have that big a squad - so we are very vulnerable to injuries and suspensions. Anything can happen!

About today’s opening game. What are your expectations?

Well, it is an away game so, I suspect it will be a close fought encounter. However, I don’t really know enough about IFK Lidingö to be able to judge their abilities. I do hope that we can stand our own, and that I'll get some positive indications showing that we are moving in the right direction.

What is your guess on the final outcome of the game?

I have no idea. Obviously I hope that we will win, but even if we don’t - I don’t think that’s a catastrophe. There are plenty of games to improve our game in.

As you now have read there are some positive notes coming out from the new manager, Robert Young’s, mouth. Perhaps today’s game will shed further light on things to come? Can Sirius make a serious challange for promotion this year?

After the interview I looked at the task ahead and the group we‘ll be playing in. There are no outstanding favourites to win, but apart from ourselves I would guess that Valsta/Syrianska, Essinge and Väsby have the best players available. However, there are several other clubs that will be involved in the race for honours I’m sure. A tough task indeed, as it's not even enough to win the group to get promoted to the First Division - the winner will face one of the other group winners for two final, thrilling, qualifying games.

Swedish Second Division: East Svealand

Pos Team


1st Essinge


2nd Forssa

3rd Lidingö

4th Sandvikens IF

5th Sirius

6th Skiljebo

7th Slätta

8th Spårvägen

9th Topkapi


10th Valsta/Syrianska


11th Väsby

12th Visby

Sunday 7/4 –02:

So. First game of the year… I still don’t know what to expect from my players or from the other teams - so now it’s up to the test! I had beforehand made up my mind which players I would use and all eleven were available and fit for the fight. To start away against a strong defensive minded team, such as Lidingö, is not the best start possible, but it will certainly put us to the test straight away. Unfortunately I do believe we need time before being able to perform well, so I would settle for a point today...

IFK Lidingö vs. Sirius

Attendance: 1282 (Lidingövallen, Stockholm).

Weather: Dry, 10° C.

Sirius match line-up (3-4-3): Bylund – Ã…berg ©, Ahlström, Karlsson – M.Johansson, Claesson, B.Eriksson, Hansson – Arnesson, H.Eriksson, Pongrugthai.

Match notes: It started well, as we applied early pressure against Lidingö. Henrik Eriksson had three shots on goal within the first quarter of the game. Lidingö followed with a shot skimming the bar. Just before the first half hour Arnesson had a powerful shot saved by the Lidingö keeper - fortunately Eriksson came first on the rebound and put us one up. During the half time break I instructed the team to be more patient and to try and catch the opposition on the counter attack. Lidingö immediately applied pressure and had several good goal scoring opportunities. Bylund made a couple of good saves and we started to hit them repeatedly on the counters attack. With just a quarter of the match to go I made a couple of substitutions and went down on a 4-4-2 system playing a bit more defensively. With five minutes to go on the clock I put in a fifth defender hoping to close down their continuing attacks. The tactics worked and we held on for a opening three pointer. A result we should feel quite lucky with as the game progressed. 1-1 would probably reflected the game more accurately.

Subs: Fellström (on for Pongrugthai, 77 min), Pettersson (on for Arnesson, 77 min), Wiklund (on for Claesson, 87 min).

End result: IFK Lidingö - Sirius 0-1 (0-1).

Sirius Goal Scorer: H. Eriksson (28).

Man of Match: Sittichai Pongrugthai (Match Rating = 8).

East Svealand Results: Forssa vs. Spårvägen 3-2, Lidingö vs. Sirius 0-1, Slätta vs. Essinge 2-2, Topkapi vs. Skiljebo 2-1, Valsta/Syrianska vs. Sandvikens IF 1-0, Visby vs. Väsby 2-2.

Current League Position = 5th.

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What a wonderful way to start the season! To win my first competitive game in charge of Sirius, away to Lidingö, was more than I could have hoped for. Although I feel Lidingö were unlucky not to snatch a point - it does feel extra good to win in the manner that we did. It was a hard fought game that we came out winners of. To win those games is extremely important and usually the difference between success or failure for a manager. All in all the team played well and I’ve got a feeling that we will be a difficult nut to crack for our future opponents…

9/4 –02: Thomas Arnesson suffers a strained neck and will be out for a week or two. This will unfortunately leave us short up-front. I’ll have to look in to the possibly of bringing in a forward on loan - as I simply lack players with good quality in this position.

10/4 –02: Växjö Norra and Timrå put in loan bids for Erik Johansson that I accept and Högabog made a £ 30 000 bid for Anders Wikman that I also accepted - with little hidden delight. The following day Wikman accepts the offer and the deal was confirmed. As a parting shot he claimed in the press that it was motivated by a clash with me. That’s partly true, but the major reason was that he simply didn’t cut it. The £ 30 000 will be a nice addition the club’s deleted treasury!

13/4 –02: Newcastle have had a bad season so far (11th in the Premier League) and as a consequence the popular manager Sir Bobby Robson must step down. A week later Alex Totten is appointed in his place.

Sunday 14/4 –02:

To this game I decide to play with the same team as against Lidingö. The only change is Pettersson taking the injured Arnesson’s place upfront.

Sirius vs. Slätta

Attendance: 841 (Studenternas IP, Uppsala)

Weather: Dry, 11° C.

Sirius (3-4-3): Bylund – Ã…berg ©, Ahlström, Karlsson – M.Johansson, Claesson, B.Eriksson, Hansson – Pettersson, H.Eriksson, Pongrugthai.

Match notes: We start the game by producing some great football - we have one chance after the other. Finally Pongrugthai makes a solo raid and finishes it distinctly. Considering the chances created, we were a bit disappointed with only leading by one goal at half time. I decided then that we should continue to attack in the second half, as we’re dominating the game completely and don't want to loose the advantage. Bylund starts the second half with a good free kick save, and just minutes later Pongrugthai scores his second for the day. The only interesting events after this is a penalty appeal from Slätta being turned down and Pongrugthai missing the chance of scoring a hat trick.

Subs: Wikman (on for Ã…berg, 87 min).

A good game that saw us produce some great football. Especially Pongrugthai was on fire and was close to scoring a hat trick. He was once again named man of match and he’s proving to be a key player in our squad. I honestly didn’t think he could produce such good football. I knew he was a great talent, but not that he was this good already...

End Result: 2-0 (1-0).

Sirius Goalscoarer: Pongrugthai (29, 55).

Man of Match (MoM): Sittichai Pongrugthai (Rating=9).

East Svealand Results: Essinge vs. Forssa 2-1, Sandvikens IF vs. Lidingö 1-1, Sirius vs. Slätta 2-0, Skiljebo vs. Valsta/Syrianska 3-3, Spårvägen vs. Visby 1-0, Väsby vs. Topkapi 3-2.

Current League Position = 1st.

Later in evening I watch on the TV protesting Internazionale fans in Italy - angry over Inters poor season so far (6th in Serie A) and especially angry over loosing to rivals Milan with 1-0. My sport program is interrupted by the phone. It turned out to be Erik Johansson, who said he had decided to accept the Växjö Norra loan offer. I wish him good luck and hope he’ll get to play some first team football, as he needs the experience. He’ll be back again in a months time.

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Two straight wins and no goals conceded - that’s a great start to our campaign! Next weekend it’s a tricky game against Essinge, one of the teams capable of winning the league. I started my warm-up for the game by going out on Monday evening with a few friends. Uppsala is not big a city, so there’s always the chance of meeting people you don’t want to meet. Was hit by flashbacks of a horrid night as I met Christine. I tried my best to stay clear of her rest of the evening. Every time she came my way I quickly ran off to the bathroom as an escape route. I’m quite sure my friends think I’m ill… Still, it was worth it as I ducked from potential repeating of disaster, but it did ruin the evening. I suppose it was probably for the best though, as I was able to perform my manager duties on Tuesday. icon_wink.gif

15/4 –02: Valsta/Syrianska manage to sign the Swedish World Cup hero of ´94, Kenneth Andersson (84 caps and 31 goals!). I secretly curse this piece of news as it most certainly means a formidable opponent. Although 34 years of age Kenneth still has an eye for goal and always dominates the aerial space with his height and sheer strength.

17/4 –02 In the Champions League the Quarter Finals Second Leg was played today: Juventus beat Deportivo 1-0 [0-0, 1-0], Lille beat Barcelona on away goal rule [1-3, 2-0], Leverkusen beat Liverpool [2-0, 0-1] and Man U beat Roma 3-2 [1-2, 2-0]. Lille continues to surprise pundits. After eliminating Real Madrid from the group stage, they now do the same to Spanish rivals Barcelona. Apart from Lille though - no greater surprises.

18/4 –02 Good news today as Thomas Arnesson returns from his neck injury. Also Thomas Svanfeldt returns from undergoing physiotherapy. This news prompts Husqvarna to contact me during the afternoon with a £ 30 000 bid for Svanfeldt’s services. I happily agree! Holsljunga make a loan bid for Isac Löwhagen. I reply that they must take over his wages if a deal is to be struck. They later agree on this, but Isac declares he is not interested in joining them. He later also rejects an offer from Väckelsesångs IF.

The UEFA Cup Semi Final Second Legs were also played today. As expected after the first leg, Milan and Leeds cruised through to the final (Milan beat Feyenoord 6-2 [5-0, 1-2] and Leeds beat Rangers 5-1 [4-1, 1-0].

19/4 –02: Magnus Svanfeldt agrees a deal with Husqvarna and the next day the £ 30 000 transfer is completed.

Sunday 21/4 -02

Seeing as we have started so well I see no reason to change my line-up for this game. Arnesson is back from injury, but Pettersson did a great job in the last game so he’ll continue from start.

Sirius vs. Essinge

Attendance: 1041 (Studenternas IP, Uppsala)

Weather: Wet 10°C.

Sirius (3-4-3): Bylund – Ã…berg ©, Ahlström, Karlsson – M.Johansson, Claesson, B.Eriksson, Hansson – Pettersson, H.Eriksson, Pongrugthai.

Match Notes: The game starts off badly. Before even 10 minutes have gone by, Essinge have taken the lead. The goal came on a cheap penalty ruling, after a push by Åberg on an opponent. After the half our mark our game gradually improved and just before half time, midfielder Bengt Eriksson scores a nice goal from a nice move. On the hour mark Claesson hits the cross bar. Apart from these chances it’s Essinge that very much dominate the game. In the end we must be satisfied with the draw, although it was a miscalculation. The most positive thing to come out of the game was the attendance figure – just over 1000 is a good crowd at this level of the game in Sweden(!).

Subs: Arnesson (On for Pongrugthai, 64), Wikman (On for Ahlström, 75), Andersson (On for Claesson, 75).

I had hoped to win this game, as it was a home fixture, but Essinge played very well and we must in the end be happy with the result. One of the conclusions I draw from this game, was that the player didn’t seem as well trained as they should be. The players looked very worn at the end of the game and Essinge could dominate completely. I must improve the stamina among my players if we are to succeed. I therefore decide to prioritise the search for new coaches that can help in this respect. Apart from myself we only have one coach employed and Mattias Wallin is to be honest not the best of coaches. We need reinforcements and that quickly, before we loose out on more points - just because we don’t have the staff required to do a professional job.

End Result: 1-1 (1-1).

Sirius Goalscorer: B.Eriksson (45).

Man of Match (MoM): Martin Ã…berg (9).

East Svealand Results: Lidingö vs. Skiljebo 0-0, Sirius vs. Essinge 1-1, Slätta vs. Sandvikens IF 0-3, Topkapi vs. Spårvägen 2-2, Valsta/Syrianska vs. Väsby 2-2, Visby vs. Forssa 2-1.

Current League Position = 1st.

The same evening I receive news from GIF Sundsvall that my loan bid for their out of favour striker Jon Ericsson had been dismissed. That’s a shame - we would have needed a striker of his calibre.

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Thanks displaced_seagull icon_smile.gif

Nice to hear you think so!


26/4 –02: Today the local paper Uppsala Nya Tidning (UNT) ran the story that we signed a new first team keeper. They made a short interview with me to get the inside information, it read:

You have today unveiled the signing of a new goalkeeper, Simon Ung. What can you tell me about him?

Well, although he doesn’t have much experience in the game we believe him to be a quality player, that will claim the first team keeper slot as his. We have high hopes of him developing yet even more – 25 years of age is not much when talking about a goalkeeper. He still has his best years ahead of him.

From where does Simon come? Could you tell me more of his background?

To be honest I personally don’t know that much about him myself. We actually first got our eyes on him when searching for a coach. We are currently looking at signing a couple of coaches for the team and Simon was one of names we looked in to. However, as I assigned my scouts to check him out, they soon discovered that he was also a quality goalkeeper. This we discovered already in the pre-season and ever since then we’ve been keeping tabs on him, and now – finally - we got our man!

So are you saying Simon will be both playing and coaching?

No. We signed him as a goalkeeper solitarily, as this is what he wanted. However, we are still in talks about working out some kind of deal where he could work as both a player and as a coach. We believe he posses the right kind of mentality to become a great coach - he definitely has the leadership required.

So what’s the catch?

Well, he is only a part time footballer. He is still studying, currently reading to be able to become a licensed coach/manager. This is also the reason why he has a manager release clause written in to his contract. He has however assured me that he first wants to try a professional playing career before moving in to management, so that shouldn’t be a problem.

Could you describe Simon as a player?

Yes of course. I haven’t yet seen that much of him, but my scouts has described his main strengths to me:

Simon Ung (25), Goalkeeper.

An influential keeper that’s a born leader. He’s also determined, has good balance and is a team player through and through. Should be able to take the role as first choice goalkeeper and team captain.

Will Simon be playing on Sunday against Sandviken?

No, he’s just joined the team and needs a little time to settle first. Also, Johan Bylund has played very well and deserves to play on Sunday. Simon will however be on the bench - that should give him a chance to acquaintance himself with the team and the style of play we deploy.

Ok. So what are your thoughts about the game?

Well, it’s never easy playing away and Sandvikens IF is a good team - so we’ll have to see. I hope that we can leave Sandviken with a win, but I won’t be too disappointed with a draw – as long as we play good that is…

Sunday 28/4 -02:

Arnesson takes back his place in the starting eleven after his return from his previous neck injury. This means Pettersson will start on the bench. Apart from this I make no changes for this game.

Sandvikens IF vs. Sirius

Attendance: 1915 (Jernvallen, Sandviken)

Weather: Breezy, Drizzle 21°C.

Sirius (3-4-3): Bylund – Ã…berg ©, Ahlström, Karlsson – M.Johansson, Claesson, B.Eriksson, Hansson – Arnesson, H.Eriksson, Pongrugthai.

Match Notes: The first half ends without any goals scored, although both teams had good chances of taking the lead. The second half is worse and it becomes quite apparent that neither team will score. A disappointing display with several players under performing. However, I am glad to see that our defence is as good as it is (only one goal conceded so far), and that we didn’t loose of course...

Subs: Pettersson (On for Pongrugthai, 73), Wiklund (On for Hansson, 80), Andersson (On for Arnesson, 80).

A disappointing performance from both teams, although we are probably both quite happy with the result. It was a typical match where it became more and more obvious, as the game proceeded, that there would be no goals scored. Neither team deserved to win and in the end both were quite happy just not to loose. The real looser was the crowd that showed up for the game - not a pretty sight. Still, we were the away team and it’s not our responsibility to put on a thrilling attacking type of game - that pressure lies solely on the hosts.

End Result: 0-0.

Man of Match: Johan Karlsson (8).

East Svealand Results: Forssa vs. Topkapi 0-4 (played Saturday), Essinge vs. Visby 2-0, Sandvikens IF vs. Sirius 0-0, Skiljebo vs. Slätta 2-2, Spårvägen vs. Valsta/Syrianska 4-3, Väsby vs. Lidingö 1-3.

Current League Position = 2nd.

Later, after the game, I contacted Premier side GIF Sundsvall and made a renewed loan bid for Jon Ericsson. Unfortunately they wouldn’t budge and immediately said no. However, they did offer me fellow forward Mattias Thorsell, saying that he was available for loan. I was glad to hear this, as I knew Thorsell to be a well established player (30 years of age) and he might just be what we need. So I agreed and then approached Mattias himself to see if he would be interested in joining us for the remainder of the season. He was relieved at the chance of playing some first team football again and said he was delighted in joining Sirius. He’d arrive tomorrow already. Great news!

Mattias Thorsell (30), Striker.

His greatest strength is his lack of any real weaknesses. A very even and well balanced player with good off the ball movement and finishing ability.

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1/5 – 02: Today the board made their monthly statement about the current situation at the club. One piece of good news was the club’s economy. Thanks to the sales of Wikman & Svanfeldt, we made a £ 34218 profit last month. However, we are still in the red with a £ 266143 debt to repay. The board seems pleased and told me that they are hoping for a long and successful era under my helm. That sure sounds good! It’s nice to have the board behind one. They have after all taken a risk in appointing a local lad with no previous managerial experience at this level of the game. I owe them a lot and I hope I can repay their trust in me…

3/5 –02: The Sirius reserves played their first game of the season beating Skiljebo 3-0.

Kelvin Kerali put in a good performance and was the man of match.

Sunday 5/5 -02:

After two consecutive draws - this is a game that must be won. Skiljebo is in my view one of the weaker teams of the league and we can’t afford loosing points to them. New signing Thorsell has looked good in training and gets the chance to prove himself from start. This means someone must be sidelined. I decide on Henrik Eriksson - as I want Thorsell in the central striker position, Henriks previous position.

Sirius vs. Skiljebo

Attendance: 785 (Studenternas IP)

Weather: Dry 28°C.

Sirius (3-4-3): Bylund – Karlsson, Ahlström, Ã…berg © – M.Johansson, Claesson, B.Eriksson, Hansson – Arnesson, Thorsell, Pongrugthai.

Match Notes: The game started as well as I could have wished for. After two minutes gone, we hit Skiljebo on the counter attack - with Arnesson crossing in the ball for Pongrugthai to finish off a wonderful move. However, the match takes a possible turn as Mats Johansson receives his second yellow card and is sent off in the 35th minute. I quickly rearrange the tactics to a 3-4-2 tactic with Pongrugthai taking Johansson place in midfield. In the half time break I instruct the team to play more defensively and instead try to attack more on the counter attack. Despite being one man short we totally dominate the second half. In the 67th minute Arnesson crowns a good game by scoring a vicious strike in the top corner.

Subs: H.Eriksson (On for Arnesson, 82).

One concern from this game was that, despite playing very well, both youngsters Hansson and Ahlström under performed - just as they did the last game. Perhaps they are not yet ready for first team football. Another more positive concern was that Bylund once again kept a clean sheet. Even though I see new signing Simon Ung as a better player, he will find it difficult to take Bylund’s place if he keeps performing this well. Also Simon is new and he might need the time to settle in the area and in to the team. Bylund will keep his place for the time being.

End Result: 2-0 (1-0).

Sirius Goalscorers: Pongrugthai (2), Arnesson (67).

MoM: Sittichai Pongrugthai (8).

Red Card: M. Johansson (35 min).

East Svealand Results: Lidingö vs. Spårvägen 3-1, Sandvikens IF vs. Essinge 2-2, Sirius vs. Skiljebo 2-0, Slätta vs. Väsby 1-1, Topkapi vs. Visby 2-2, Valsta/Syrianska vs. Forssa 3-1.

Current League Position = 1st.

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Thanks Ninjafish!

Nice to have a follower... icon_smile.gif

I thought long and hard before settling for the current type of match report. I wanted to make this story different from my other (Black Gold) and rather concentrate on the game, with only very little fiction. In doing so I wanted proper match reports instead, that could keep up interest. Hope I've succeeded!

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6/5 – 02: During the last couple of weeks I’ve stepped up my search for some good coaches. As I presently can’t sign any well-established coaches, I have had to resort to try and sign older players - who want to function as player/coaches. However, it has proved a difficult task in finding these players - as I obviously want them to be good both as players and as coaches. A difficult combination to find it has turned out! To help me judge some of these ageing players abilities I’ve taken a couple of them on two week trials. Of these players (Stephen Young, Christophe Horlaville and Andrey Ogolev) only Ogolev seemed to have decent player attributes and was willing to sign on for a reasonable wage. So today Andrey Ogolev from Russia was signed as a player/coach.

Andrey Ogolev (28), Midfielder (Centre) and Coach.

Signed primarily as a coach, but Andrey is also a determined player, that may see some action if we become littered with injures. For now however, he’ll be sent to the reserve squad and will put his greatest efforts in to coaching the reserves.

7/5 –02: Rafa Benítez was sacked from his job as Valencia manager today. The season has been disappointing for Valencia, who are currently only 7th in “La Liga“. Fernando Castro Santos (of Braga, Portugal) later takes charge over the team.

8/5 –02: The Swedish Cup Semi Finals were played today with the following outcome: IFK Malmö vs. AIK 2-1 and Ytterby vs. Djurgården 1-2. Also the Champions League Semi Final Second Leg was played: Juventus beat Lille 5-1 [3-1, 2-0] and Man U beat Bayer Leverkusen 5-2 [2-2, 3-0]. So Juventus will meet Man United at Hampton Park - a dream for manager Sir Alex Ferguson - and all football lovers. Something to look forward too!

This evening Gustav Segerström tells me he has decided to join Slätta for the remainder of the season. Slätta will take over his wages for this period. As we and Slätta play in the same division, I made sure to write in to this loan contract, that he won’t be eligible in games against us.

10/5 –02: Erik Johansson returns from his month long loan at Växjö Norra after playing three games there. At the same time Andreas Eroglu joins Norra Vånga on a similar loan deal.

11/5 –02: The outcome of today’s game between Real Madrid and Alaves, probably means that Real - after the 2-0 win - also will win the league. Deportivo still has a slim chance, but Real only needs to take one point in the last round - or if Deportivo don’t win their final two games - Real Madrid will once again be crowned league champions of Spain. Meanwhile Alaves are, it seems, destined for Second Division football next season. As a consequence manager Mané was sacked (former Valencia coach Rafa Benitez later takes his place).

At The Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, Fulham won this evening a thrilling FA-Cup Final against Southampton. Fulham took a two nil lead and seemed to be cruising past Southampton (Steed Malbranque and Andrejs Stolcers the scorers). However, a late first half goal by Swede Anders Svensson gave Southampton a lifeline. Late in the second half Southampton managed to score the equaliser courtesy of Jo Tessem. Just before stoppage time Facundo Sava snapped up a Boa Morte rebound, saved by Niemi, and easily put it inside the net - to bring cup glory to Fulham!

Sunday 12/5 -02:

As I felt that youngsters Hansson and Ahlström had under performed lately, I felt it was time for a little shake-up of the team. Ahlström continues to play, but now as right winger. As central defender another youngster - Staffan Wiklund - will get the opportunity to play. As left winger I put Fällström as replacement of the suspended Johansson. We’ll be travelling down to Stockholm to meet a good club in Väsby - who have shown they are a difficult team to beat, with only one loss so far. Away games are always tricky, but I’m aiming for three points today…

Väsby vs. Sirius

Attendance: 949 (Vilundavallen, Stockholm)

Weather: Breezy 28°C.

Sirius (3-4-3): Bylund – Ã…berg ©, Wiklund, Karlsson – Fällström, Claesson, B.Eriksson, Ahlström – Arnesson, Thorsell, Pongrugthai .

Match Notes: After less than 10 minutes a Väsby player found himself unmarked and gives Väsby the lead. Slowly we start to get in to the game and create some good chances - but no goals before the sound of half time. Pongrugthai is feeling a shin injury so I exchange him for Henrik Eriksson in the interval. It turns out to be a good substitution as Henrik later scores our equaliser. Although creating some excellent chances we simply fail in scoring any more goals, so the game ends in a rather disappointing draw.

Subs: H.Eriksson (On for Pongrugthai, 46), Pettersson (On for Arnesson, 73), Andersson (On for Fällström, 83).

It took us a while to get into the game and by then we were already down by one goal. In the second half we played well and fully deserved our equaliser. Unfortunately we could not take advantage of our domination of the game - instead we had to settle for the draw. A bit disappointing perhaps, but looking at our performance - it did hold a lot of promise…

End Result: 1-1 (1-0).

Sirius Goalscorer: H.Eriksson (65).

MoM: Mattias Thorsell (8).

East Svealand Results: Forssa vs. Lidingö 1-3 (played Staurday), Essinge vs. Topkapi 1-3, Skiljebo vs. Sandvikens IF 0-0, Spårvägen vs. Slätta 1-2, Visby vs. Valsta/Syrianska 2-1, Väsby vs. Sirius 1-1.

Current League Position = 1st.

In the Spanish capital of Madrid celebrations exploded as Deportivo lost away against Espanyol (2-1). The result meant that Real Madrid where crowned Spanish Champions with one round left to play. The celebrations carried on throughout the night!

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15/5 –02: At Parken in Köpenhamn (Copenhagen) the UEFA Cup Final was decided. The decisive moment of the game came just before half time when Lee Bowyer of Leeds was sent off for a push on Milan’s Cristian Brocci. The score was then one-all, but Milan could make the most of their numerical advantage in the second half and eventually they ran out easy 3-1 winners. This will be a sweet revenge for Milan after only finishing third in the Italian Serie A (behind Juventus and Roma). Leeds can console themselves with the fact that their disastrous economical situation has been sorted out. A business consortium announced their intention to take over the club at the end of the season. They will pay off the club’s outstanding debts and inject fresh money for the purchasing of new players.

17/5 –02: The Sirius reserves lost today against SpÃ¥rvägen with 3-0. During the evening I got a call from Erik Johansson, who said he had accepted a loan bid from Askim - so I wished him good luck and “I’ll see you again in a months timeâ€. Also today, 17 year old Karl Abbas was promoted to the reserve squad from the youth team set-up for my assessment. I knew him to be a decent enough talent, so I offered him a contract.

Karl Abbas (17), Attacking Midfielder/Forward (Right).

Abbas has great balance and off the ball movement. He also has pretty good stamina and is a team player. Unfortunately he’s useless at crossing the ball - which needlessly to say is a very important aspect of an attacking winger. The conclusion is that he still has a lot to learn.

With new players coming through the youth ranks I decide to transfer list two out of favour players: Jonas Carls and Henrik Andersson.

Also this evening - after speaking to Simon Ung repeatedly over the last few days - we’ve developed a mutual respect towards each other. We’re of a similar background and have much in common it has turned out. Through our newly developed friendship I finally manage to convince him in taking up a coaching position within the team. So today Simon signed a new contract at the club as a player/assistant manager. He will be my right hand man. Nice to finally have that settled. A club should always have a competent assistant manager and now we have just that!

18/5 –02: It is not only that we manage to develop our own talents; also our scouts have been on the search for new youth players. One of my scouts found Finnish player Jani Poskiparta. After having a look at him I decided to offer him a contract. Jani accepted and today we could announce the signing:

Jani Poskiparta (18), Sweeper, Defender, Defensive Midfielder (Centre).

A very tall and determined player, Jani seems to have what it takes to make it, but still needs experience and a lot of hard work.


Sunday 19/5 -02:

I decide to make a couple of changes to the team that played one-all with Väsby last week. To begin with my new assistant manager, Simon Ung, makes his debut - by playing in goal instead of Bylund. Mats Johansson is back from suspension and takes back his left midfield position from Fällström. Thorsell takes the forward position to the left, held previously by Arnesson, so that Henrik Eriksson can reclaim his striker position in the centre of the field. Wiklund gets my renewed confidence in the central defence, while Ahlström will continue as right midfielder. Although I have respect for Spårvägens qualities as a football team - this is a game we must win!

Sirius vs. Spårvägen

Attendance: 1293 (Studenternas IP)

Weather: Dry 20°C.

Sirius (3-4-3): Ung – Ã…berg ©, Wiklund, Karlsson – M.Johansson, Claesson, B.Eriksson, Ahlström – Thorsell, H.Eriksson, Pongrugthai.

Match Notes: We started the game well. Especially the interplay between Mats Johansson and Henrik Eriksson yielded a couple of chances that should have resulted in goals. However, we continued to press on and just before half time Henrik Eriksson could finish a superb team move and score the first goal of the game. The second half was a long seizure of our goal from Spårvägen and especially Stefan Fälten - who was their attacking mastermind. We withstood the pressure and created a couple of decent chances of our own at the end of the game. All in all, it wasn’t any of our better games - but we’re obviously pleased with the points collected.

Subs: Arnesson (On for Pongrugthai, 59), Fällström (On for Ahlström, 74), Hansson (On for Åberg, 89).

The two halves were as day and night! We played very well during the first half and deservedly took the lead (should have been with a couple of goals). During the second half however, we lost control of the game and Spårvägen could come in attack after attack masterminded by Fälten. We were lucky indeed that we could hold on for all points. This game only highlights one of our greatest troubles - my players become too tired at the end of the games. We’ve played very well during the first halves of all our games, but then we become tired and loose the initiative during the respective second halves. We must train hard on building the players stamina coming weeks - they have a sweaty summer to look forward to...

End Result: 1-0 (1-0).

Sirius Goalscorers: H. Eriksson (45).

Man of Match: Johan Karlsson (9).

East Svealand Results: Lidingö vs. Visby 2-1, Sandvikens IF vs. Väsby 4-2, Sirius vs. Spårvägen 1-0, Skiljebo vs. Essinge 0-2, Slätta vs. Forssa 2-1, Valsta/Syrianska vs. Topkapi 4-3.

Current League Position = 1st.


After this game we can now look forward to a three week break from competitive games. It will be a good opportunity to get the squad well trimmed - so that we can play good football more than just one half and perhaps get us playing more as a team. The players have some intense training to look forward to during the next few weeks! icon_razz.gif

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22/5 –02: During the afternoon the first leg of the Swedish Cup Final was played between Djurgården and surprise team IFK Malmö. The game was played at the Swedish national arena, Råsunda in Stockholm, and finished with a 3-1 victory for Djurgården.

A much greater final was played later on in the evening - at Hampton Park in Glasgow. Some 50´000 football fans turned up for the occasion dressed in their respective team colours. A majority of the spectators dressed up in the Red Devils red and white dress. The scene was set for Sir Alex Ferguson’s greatest moment - in his return to native Scotland. However, Juventus was not ready to concede beforehand and despite early pressure from Man United, Juventus took the lead after 20 minutes of play. A Pavel Nedved corner found the head of Camoranesi who beat Barthez to the ball and found the net. After this the tide turned. Manchester United who had had the pressure before the goal now lost initiative to Juventus who in turn started to control the game. In the 37th minute another Nedved cross came in towards the goal, Barthez punched the ball clear, but no better than it landing in front of Del Piero - who drove the ball high into the top right hand corner of the net. Juventus then relaxed a little and took the foot off the gas for a while. This gave Man United a chance to get back into the game. Soon Camoranesi received his second yellow card, in the 58th minute, and now the heat was really on! However, Man United where surprisingly ineffective and couldn’t create enough quality in front of Buffon in the Juventus goal - to seriously challenge Juventus strong defensive lines. Instead Juventus held on to their lead and won the game 2-0 and became Champions of Europe!

Juventus vs. Manchester United 2-0 (2-0).

Hampton Park, Glasgow, Scotland: 49953.

Juventus (4-4-2): Buffon - Zambrotta (Birindelli, 56), Montero, Iuliano, Ferrara – Nedved, Davids, Baiocco, Camoranesi (Off, 58) – Del Piero ©, Di Vaio (Paro, 58).

Manchester United (4-4-2): Barthez – Silvestre, Blanc, Ferdinand, P.Neville (Brown, 65) – Giggs, Veron, Keane ©, Beckham – Forlan (Solskjaer, 65), van Nistelrooy.

Goals: 1-0 Camoranesi (20), 2-0 Del Piero (37).

Sending Off: Camoranesi (58).

Man of Match: Nedved (9).


Now with the last game played in the major leagues and cups, it is time to summarize the past 2001/2002 Season:


Premier League: 1.Man U 76 points. 2.Blackburn 70p, 3.Arsenal 64p, 4.Chelsea 64p, 5.Leeds 64p, 6.Liverpool 63p, 7.W.B.A. 58p, 8.Bolton 54p, 9.Newcastle 54p, 10.Southampton 53p, 11.Sunderland 50p, 12.Man C 49p, 13.Aston Villa 48p, 14.Fulham 48p, 15.Tottenham 44p, 16.Middlesbrough 43p, 17.Everton 43p. 18.Birmingham 37p, 19.Charlton 36p, 20.West Ham 36p.

Promoted Division 1 Teams: Ipswich 82p, Crystal Palace 81p, Portsmouth (beat Wolves 1-0).

League Cup Final: Derby vs. Man United 1-1 (3-2 pen).

FA Cup Final: Fulham vs. Southampton 3-2.


Serie A: 1.Juventus 69 points. 2.Roma 66p, 3.Milan 65p, 4.Parma 62p, 5.Inter 56p, 6.Lazio 50p, 7.Bologna 48p, 8.Chievo 47p, 9.Brescia 47p, 10.Udinese 45p, 11.Perugia 44p, 12.Reggina 40p, 13.Como 39p, 14.Atalanta 37p. 15.Torino 36p, 16.Modena 29p, 17.Empoli 28p, 18.Piacenza 28p.

Promoted Serie B Teams: Triestina 69p, Verona 64p, Vicenza 62p, Napoli 61p (beat Ancona 2-1, 1-1 in Playoff).

Italian Cup Final: Triestina vs. Inter 3-1 (2-1, 1-0).


La Liga: 1.Real Madrid 83p. 2.Deportivo 77p, 3.Real Sociedad 71p, 4.Betis 65p, 5.Barcelona 64p, 6.Athlético Madrid 59p, 7.Valencia 59p, 8.Rayo 54p, 9.Athletic Bilbao 53p, 10.Espanyol 52p, 11.Osasuna 50p, 12.Sevilla 48p, 13.Villarreal 45p, 14.Celta 44p, 15.Racing Santander 43p, 16.Valladolid 42p, 17.Alavés 40p. 18.Málaga 39p, 19.Recreativo 39p, 20.Mallorca 38p.

Promoted Second Division Teams: Levante 79p, Elche 73p, Leganés 71p.

Spanish Cup Final: Elche vs. Valladolid 2-0.


Bundesliga: 1.Hertha Berlin 64p. 2.B München 62p, 3.HSV 60p, 4.Dortmund 57p, 5.Schalke 55p, 6.Wolfsburg 51p, 7.B Leverkusen 50p, 8.A Bielefeld 50p, 9.Kaiserslautern 47p, 10.Bochum 44p, 11.Hannover 44p, 12.1860 München 42p, 13.Vfb Stuttgart 41p, 14.Nürnberg 41p, 15.Rostock 39p. 16.M’gladbach 38p, 17.Werder Bremen 30p, 18.Cottbus 24p.

Promoted Second Division Teams: Frankfurt 63p, Braunschweig 60p, St. Pauli 56p.

German Cup Final: Werder Bremen vs. Ahlen 2-1 (e.t).

German League Cup Final: Dortmund vs. Werder Bremen 4-0.


Ligue 1: 1.Paris SG 69p. 2.Bordeaux 65p, 3.Lille 57p, 4.Lyon 55p, 5.Guingamp 51p, 6.Rennes 51p, 7.Lens 50p, 8.Bastia 46p, 9.Monaco 46p, 10.Auxerre 45p, 11.Troyes 44p, 12.Nantes 43p, 13.Sedan 42p, 14.Montpellier 42p, 15.Metz 39p, 16.Marseille 38p. 17.Sochaux 34p, 18.Lorient 28p.

Promoted Second Division Teams: Caen 74p, Strasbourg 73p, Istres 68p, Beauvais 62p.

French Cup Final: Lyon vs. Lille 2-1.

French League Cup Final: Bordeaux vs. Marseille 1-0.


While sitting and analysing the European tables I received a phone call from Sittichai Pongrugthai who told me he was currently having trouble motivating himself in training. This had to do with me trying to re-train Sittichai - so that he can also play in the centre of the field. He is having difficulties adapting to that position, but I told him to try and have some patience – these things aren’t done overnight.

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25/5 –02: Yet another youth player was today promoted from our youth set-up. The player is perhaps no one that will set the world on fire, but being a right winger he might be able to take a place in the team one day:

Petter Granberg (17), Forward (Right).

Petter is a reasonably tall and aggressive player with good stamina. However, there is a lot he must improve if he is to compete for a place in the team.

1/6 –02: Having two good goalkeepers in Bylund/Ung I decided to put up the third keeper, Magnus Fohlman, on the transfer list the day before yesterday. Yesterday I received the first bid for him from rivals Valsta/Syrianska and then today, bids from Husqvarna and Vallentuna.

4/4 –02: Fohlman’s transfer to Valsta/Syrianska was completed today with a bid of £ 16000 being accepted. Ironically second keeper Johan Bylund injured himself at the very same time and will be gone for about three weeks. All of a sudden we only have one senior keeper!

6/6 –02: Andreas Eroglu returned from his loan at Norra Vånga today. He started in four of their games and impressed me with his performances there. Also today, many top awards where handed out, I noted some of the most important:

FIFA World Player of the Year award: Ronaldo (Real Madrid).

World Footballer of the Year award: Ruud van Nistelrooy (Man U).

Italian Serie A Player of the Year award: Christian Vieri (Inter).


Sunday 9/6 -02:

Games one must win can always be tricky. Today we travel to my old hometown of Borlänge to meet Forssa, currently last in the league, while we proudly sit atop of the same. I play with the same starting XI that beat Spårvägen a few weeks ago. The only difference being that Simon Ung takes the captain armband from Åberg. It’s only right that the assistant manager is also captain on the pitch I guess…

Forssa vs. Sirius

Attendance: 737 (Domnarvsvallen, Borlänge)

Weather: Wet 19°C.

Sirius (3-4-3): Ung © – Ã…berg, Wiklund, Karlsson – M.Johansson, Claesson, B.Eriksson, Ahlström –Thorsell, H.Eriksson, Pongrugthai.

Match Notes: We started the game very well and had it not been for one of my former best friends little brother, Stefan Lille in the Forssa goal, we would probably already after 15 minutes have scored a couple of goals. In the 18th minute Staffan Wiklund was injured and had to be replaced with Per Hansson. During the rest of the first half Stefan Lille in the Forssa goal made some more amazing saves, but he was not alone in this. Simon Ung was also more and more forced to make some qualified saves, as Forssa effectively counter attacked us. No goals at half time, but immediately in the second half the Eriksson brothers pulled off some magic – Bengt setting up Henrik for a great goal. After this the game flowed back and forth, with both teams creating some great goal scoring opportunities. At the end of the game I decided to go down on a more defensive 4-4-2 formation to try and keep our lead. The tactic worked and we held on for a hard fought victory. The game would have been a goal orgy if it had not been for the two excellent goalkeepers. All in all I think we were slightly better and deserved the win.

Subs: Hansson (On for Wiklund, 19), Fällström (On for Karlsson, 79), Pettersson (On for Pongrugthai, 79).

A tough game! Had expected that though, as my players have been worn down in training lately. Hopefully the hard training regime will pay in the long run, and we didn’t loose anything on it today fortunately, as we succeeded in winning this tricky game.

End Result: Forssa - Sirius 0-1 (0-0)

Sirius Goalscorers: H.Eriksson (47).

Man of Match: Sittichai Pongrugthai (9).

East Svealand Results: Essinge vs. Valsta/Syrianska 1-3, Forssa vs. Sirius 0-1, Spårvägen vs. Sandvikens IF 2-2, Topkapi vs. Lidingö 2-2, Väsby vs. Skiljebo 3-0, Visby vs. Slätta 3-1.

Current League Table:

<pre class="ip-ubbcode-code-pre">

Pos Team Pld Won Drn Lst For Ag Won Drn Lst For Ag Pts


1st *** Sirius *** 8 3 1 0 6 1 2 2 0 3 1 18


2nd Lidingö 8 2 1 1 5 3 2 2 0 9 5 15

3rd Valsta/Syrianska 8 3 1 0 10 6 1 1 2 10 10 14

4th Topkapi 8 1 3 0 8 7 2 0 2 12 8 12

5th Essinge 8 2 0 2 6 7 1 3 0 7 5 12

6th Sandvikens IF 8 1 3 0 7 5 1 2 1 5 3 11

7th Visby 8 3 1 0 9 5 0 1 3 3 7 11

8th Väsby 8 2 1 1 8 6 0 3 1 7 9 10

9th Slätta 8 1 2 1 5 7 1 1 2 5 8 9


10th Spårvägen 8 2 1 1 8 7 0 1 3 5 9 8


11th Skiljebo 8 0 3 1 5 7 0 1 3 1 7 4

12th Forssa 8 1 0 3 4 10 0 0 4 4 9 3


After the game against Forssa we now have a six week long summer break to look forward to. I’m heading for my hammock! Gonna watch the World Cup till my eyes bleed! But first I’m going to go out with my old friend Thomas Lille and have a little talk about the performance of his younger brother, who almost cost us our points… icon_wink.gif

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12/6 –02: The World Cup started today with reigning champions France beating Senegal with 3-0. Later on that evening Uruguay beat Denmark with 3-1.

15/6 –02: Manchester United confirmed the sensational swoop of superstar Figo from Real Madrid. The price tag was set at a staggering £ 18,500,000. Today Sweden also entered the World Cup stage by beating my second homeland, England with 1-0 - courtesy of a Zlatan goal in the 15th minute.

17/6 –02: More awards was today handed out:

European Footballer of the Year award: Ruud van Nistelrooy.

Spanish Player of the Year award: Ronaldo.

20/6 –02: Brasilian midfield ace Ricardinho was bought by Real Sociedad from Corinthians for a fee of 11 million pounds. Meanwhile, Gaizka Mendieta who spent last season on loan at Barcelona was bought by relegated Mallorca for 12 million pounds. Mendieta said he was desperate for regular first team football, when explaining the reasons behind his decision.

23/6 –02: Sweden continued their winning ways by hammering Nigeria 4-0 in the World Cup. Hero of the day was Henrik Larsson scoring two of the goals. In the evening game, England surprisingly beat Argentina 2-0, courtesy of a Robbie Fowler brace. “The group of death†therefore stays wide open till the last round.

27/6 –02: Sweden lost the last game in the group against Argentina, 0-1 after a Veron goal. As England failed to beat Nigeria (1-1) - this means that Argentina and Sweden qualify from “the group of deathâ€. This is an enormous feat by Sweden! (Not as fun for England…)

28/6 –02: The final group standings in the World Cup First Round:

Group A: 1.France 9p, 2.Uruguay 4p. 3.Denmark 3p, 4.Senegal 1p.

Group B: 1.Slovenia 7p, 2.Spain 4p. 3.South Africa 3p, 4.Paraguay 3p.

Group C: 1.Brazil 6p, 2.Costa Rica 6p. 3.Turkey 4p, 4.China 1p.

Group D: 1.Portugal 7p, 2.South Korea 3p. 3.Poland 2p, 4.USA 2p.

Group E: 1.Germany 7p, 2.Ireland 6p. 3.Saudi Arabia 3p, 4. Cameroon 1p.

Group F: 1.Argentina 6p, 2.Sweden 6p. 3.England 4p, 4.Nigeria 1p.

Group G: 1.Italy 9p, 2.Croatia 6p. 3.Mexiko 3p, Ecuador 0p.

Group H: 1.Russia 6p, 2.Japan 4p. 3.Belgium 4p, 4.Tunisia 3p.

Most notable was that both the home nations, Japan and South Korea, managed to squeeze through to the second round – against all odds!

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30/6 –02: Sweden’s World Cup saga ended in the Second Round after being defeated by Germany 1-3. Sweden did take the lead by Daniel Andersson in the 14th minute. In the beginning of the second half that goal was cancelled out by Mehmet Scholl’s 47th minute effort. Then in the 52nd minute the game was lost for Sweden, as goalkeeper Rami Shaaban brought down Neuville in the area. Shaaban was sent off and Ballack scored on the subsequent penalty. In the 63rd minute Klose headed in 3-1 and it proved to be the last nail in Sweden’s World Cup coffin.

1/7 –02: Guilherme signed today for German champions Hertha Berlin. The transfer fee is believed to be £ 9,750,000 for the ex Athletico Mineiro player.

2/7 –02: Roberto Ayala moved today from Valencia to Milan in a £ 19,250,000 deal. Not a bad price tag for a 29-year old centre back! Unfortunately Ayala’s joy over moving to Milan was shadowed by his Argentina’s unexpected loss to Ireland. The World Cup Second Round round-up:

France vs. Spain 0-0 (5-4 pen)

Portugal vs. Costa Rica 2-0

Germany vs. Sweden 3-1

Russia vs. Croatia 2-5

Slovenia vs. Uruguay 1-3

Brazil vs. South Korea 2-1

Argentina vs. Ireland 1-2

Italy vs. Japan 3-0

3/7 –02: Real Madrid opened the big purse today to ply Brazil’s World Cup star Lúcio from his current employer Bayer Leverkusen. No less than £ 35,000,000 was needed for that task(!).

6/7 –02: The World Cup Quarter Finals led to a couple of surprises - with France, Germany and Brazil all being eliminated.

France vs. Portugal 1-2 (e.t)

Germany vs. Croatia 0-2

Uruguay vs. Brazil 1-0

Ireland vs. Italy 1-2 (e.t)

10/7 –02: The World Cup Semi Finals were played today and the big surprises of the tournament, Croatia and Uruguay, were eliminated in the end - although it was two very close encounters. The Final will now be a European affair between Italy and Portugal.

Portugal vs. Croatia 1-1 (4-3 pen)

Uruguay vs. Italy 1-2 (e.t)

13/7 –02: My vacation is nearing an end as the Swedish Cup Group 7 First Round draw was made earlier today. We will in a couple of weeks be heading to Stockholm to meet Björnlunda – a team totally unknown to me.

Meanwhile Croatia won the World Cup Third Place Playoff by beating Uruguay with 4-1.

Croatia vs. Uruguay 4-1

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14/7 –02: Today the World Cup Final was played in Tokyo. Some miles away, in Stockholm to be precise, me and a mate watched the game on a big screen TV. The game was not one of the best of the tournament. A lot was at stake and the teams didn’t dare to expose themselves unnecessarily. In the 20th minute however, Italy’s prolific striker Vieri had to be substituted because of an injury and just seconds after he was stretchered off, Portugal made the most of their short numerical advantage and Boa Morte could find the net. A quarter of an hour later Joáo Thomas was fouled in the air by Italian captain Maldini. The subsequent penalty was put easily into the net by Pauleta. Having a 2-0 lead Portugal could relax and controlled the game most of the time. Time ran out quickly for Italy and in the end Portugal stood as winners of the World Cup - for first time ever! In Portugal the celebrations continued into the night and after the game prolific central defender Fernando Couto of Lazio was named by former player Marco van Basten as one of the stars of the tournament. After he lifted and kissed the World Cup trophy - in front of more than 60000 spectators in Tokyo - no one could surely disagree with this statement.

Match Stats: Portugal vs. Italy 2-0 (2-0)

National Stadium, Tokyo, Japan: 61980.

Portugal (4-4-2): Vitor Baia - Rui Jorge, Jorge Andrade (Fernando Meira - 52), Fernando Couto ©, Xavier – Lixa (Rui Costa – 52, (Joáo Pinto –75)), Hélder, Calado, Boa Morte – Pauleta, Joáo Tomás.

Italy (5-3-2): Buffon – Maldini ©, Panucci, Adani – Zambrotta, Del Piero (Doni - 73), Totti, Brighi (Pirlo - 73), Nervo – Montella, Vieri (Cassano – 20).

Goals: 1-0 Boa Morte (20), 2-0 Pauleta (35 pen).

Man of Match: Luis Boa Morte (8).

What a night! Not only for Portugal, but for me too. Managed to score with a tall blond with legs to die for the same night. I knew from the very moment it would be a long shot at best. I decided however to take the initiative, bringing the ball from my own half, dribbling past a couple of other suitors. My friend linked up, making a run to distract her friend, giving me space to manoeuvre in. I quickly brought the ball into the box - the keeper of the goal now being the last outpost of the opponents defence. As the keeper rushed out I decided to surprise her, instead of going for goal immediately, I sidestepped the keeper by unexpectedly stopping the ball, putting it on the tip of my foot and lifting it over the keeper - who was no properly dizzy by my handiwork. The keeper was now out of position and a last suitor made an attempt to take the ball from me, but I simply sidestepped the tackle and could then put the ball home - capping a wonderful move to remember. icon_wink.gif

Yes, that was a good night! But, all dreams have to come to an end and soon it was back to work and preparing my squad for the second part of the season…

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Put in a tall legged blonde in yer story and then you can´t loose can you... icon_wink.gif

Seriously, thanks a million! I intend to make this my long time running story. icon_smile.gif

...I mean am I going to take Sirius to the top - well then it's going to take some time that's for sure! icon_rolleyes.gif

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Second half of the 2002 season

19/7 -02: Sirius Reserves beat Visby Reserves 3-1. Jani Poskiparta suffered a gashed leg in the game and will be gone for ten days. Andreas Eroglu joins Smögen on a one months loan, while a Norwegian youngster - who has been here on trial, put pen to paper on a two year contract:

Atle Strand (18), Goalkeeper.

Not more than a back-up player, although he’s very agile.


Sunday 21/7 -02:

After a long vacation we resumed training last week and now it’s time to continue our winning start to the season. We stand as hosts to islanders Visby, currently 7th in the league. This is a game we must win and to achieve this end, I put out the same line-up as used before the summer vacations. To further help us in our task, a huge(!) crowd of 1500 people turned up for the game - to cheer us on and to eat an ice cream in the blazing sun.

Sirius vs. Visby

Attendance: 1521 (Studenternas IP).

Weather: Dry 17°C.

Sirius (3-4-3): Ung © – Ã…berg, Wiklund, Karlsson – M.Johansson, Claesson, B.Eriksson, Ahlström –Thorsell, H.Eriksson, Pongrugthai.

Match Notes: Jonas Claesson starts the game by giving us the lead - courtesy of a lovely free kick, from 20 yards out. Only minutes later Pongrugthai ends a beautiful move and hands us a 2-0 lead. We then created a couple of very qualified chances, but instead Visby could grab one back in the 18th minute. Only minutes later Thorsell restored our two goal lead by scoring his first goal for the club. Before the first half was to an end Visby had reduced our lead, after scoring from the penalty spot - a somewhat harsh decision from the referee. The gung-ho style of play during the first half may have made the audience happy, I however was not. In the second half I tried to close down the opposition instead by using a 5-4-1 tactic. It worked in the respect that no more goals were made, although Visby had several good goal scoring opportunities, but it failed to keep the spectators focused on the game (rather than sun bathing)…

Subs: Hansson (On for Karlsson, 56), Fällström (On for Pongrugthai, 74), Pettersson (On for H.Eriksson, 79).

We played very well offensively during the first half and could have scored more goals. We were unlucky that Visby were still in the game coming out to the second half. Playing very defensively I managed to close down the opponents quite well, although they did give us a couple of scares. In the end we got our three points and I’m happy with that. Now… Where’s that ice cream stand?

End Result: Sirius - Visby 3-2 (3-2).

Sirius Goal scorers: Claesson (7), Pongrugthai (10), Thorsell (24).

Man of Match: Sittichai Pongrugthai (8).

East Svealand Results: Lidingö vs. Valsta/Syrianska 3-1, Sandvikens IF vs. Forssa 1-0, Sirius vs. Visby 3-2, Skiljebo vs. Spårvägen 1-1, Slätta vs. Topkapi 3-2, Väsby vs. Essinge 2-0.

Current League Position = 1st.


Erik Johansson returned this evening from his month long loan with Askim after appearing in two games there. Jonas Bylund refuses to sign the contract we've offered him. I guess it’s perhaps to be expected, as he’s not playing regularly since the arrival of Simon Ung.

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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by McRob:

What a night! Not only for Portugal, but for me too. Managed to score with a tall blond with legs to die for the same night…<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Oi. You leave my legs outta this!!! And how come you never called?????????

Good story mate

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25/7 -02 As a result of England’s failure to progress from the World Cup Group Stage, Swedish manager Sven-Göran Ericksson was sacked. In his place Trevor Francis, rather surprisingly, was brought in.


Sunday 28/7 -02:

Although playing unknown lower league amateurs Björnlunda in the Swedish Cup, I decided to use my first string. This means the same starting line-up that beat Visby in the last league game. I feel the team needs plenty of games under their belt to glue and as the next game is first in a weeks time, I see no reason to rest any players.

Björnlunda vs. Sirius

Swedish Cup Group 7 First Round

Attendance: 598 (Björnlunda IP, Stockholm).

Weather: Dry, 28°C.

Sirius (3-4-3): Ung © – Ã…berg, Wiklund, Karlsson – M.Johansson, Claesson, B.Eriksson, Ahlström –Thorsell, H.Eriksson, Pongrugthai.

Match Notes: We immediately showed Björnlunda that we play in a totally different division. After 4 minutes gone by, Ahlström crossed the ball for Thorsell to tuck away. A brilliant move! Björnlunda abandoned their defensive line-up and started to push forward. Pongrugthai hit the bar after just 10 minutes and moments later he squared the ball for Henrik Eriksson - who also failed to score from close range. Another great cross from Pongrugthai found Mats Johansson - who had no more luck than the previous attempters. We finally scored a second after a free kick from Johan Claesson found the head of Staffan Wiklund, around the half hour mark - and it‘s two-up. Just after kick-off Björnlunda pushed forward again and Simon Ung was forced to make a good close range save. Just minutes later Björnlunda scores through Martin Karlsson, a shot leaving Ung rooted to the spot. Although still in the lead I’m not happy with letting in a goal against a team such as Björnlunda(!) and the players are forced to face my wrath in half time. After the hour mark Pongrugthai finds Henrik Eriksson with a wonderful cross ball - it's 3-1! After this the rest of the game is just transportation. We score a fourth in the dying seconds, but despite the win we failed to impress today.

Subs: Arnesson (on for Thorsell, 46), Hansson (on for Ahlström, 78), Pettersson (on for Pongrugthai, 86).

We did what was expected of us, but no more. Playing such a weak team should have resulted in more goals scored and a clean sheet(!).

End Result: Björnlunda - Sirius 1-4 (1-2).

Sirius Goal scorers: Thorsell (4), Wiklund (30), H.Eriksson (67), B.Eriksson (90).

Man of Match: Staffan Wiklund (8).


After the game the board declared themselves happy with the win, Sittichai Pongrugthai once again declared himself unhappy with training and Kelvin Kerali declared he would not join Limmared on loan for the remainder of the season.

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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Raptor:

You should really sell those unpronounceable players icon_razz.gif<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

...or maybe give them stupid nicknames?

Such as Raptor perhaps... icon_razz.gif

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29/7 -02 In the Swedish Cup draw we were drawn against Stockholm giants AIK in the next round in a months time - I guess that will mark the end of our cup run for this time around…

30/7 -02 Erik Johansson is sent away for another one month long loan deal, this time with Sandared.

31/7 -02 Manchester United sign Rivaldo from Milan for the neat sum of £ 9,250,000.

2/8 -02 Yesterday the board declared in their monthly statement that they were delighted with my general performance as manager. We went £ 18,464 in the red during the month though - taking our total debts up to £ 331,084. Good news was that Jani Poskiparta returned to full training after his injury today. He could participate in the reserve game against Topkapi Reserves. It ended 2-all with coach Andrey Ogolev in particular good form. Petter Granberg suffered a damaged heel in the game and will be out for a week.

Internationally manager Laszlo Bölöni of Sporting Clube de Portugal was fired today. Sporting will now be looking for a new manager during pre-season (Manuel José later fills the position).


Sunday 4/8 -02:

We meet Topkapi of Kista today - a very good team that I fear might turn out too difficult for us on away pitch. I will play the same team as in the last couple of games, hoping they have now started to gel, and perhaps we can leave Sweden’s “Silicon Valley†with a point or three...

Topkapi vs. Sirius

Attendance: 1989 (Kista IP, Kista).

Weather: Dry 19°C.

Sirius (3-4-3): Ung © – Ã…berg, Wiklund, Karlsson – M.Johansson, Claesson, B.Eriksson, Ahlström –Thorsell, H.Eriksson, Pongrugthai.

Match Notes: Sittichai Pongrugthai (who spoke to me just before the game - once again complaining about his training schedule) had a penalty ruling turned down in the opening minutes. Thorsell had moments later a good header saved by the Topkapi keeper. Unfortunately it’s Topkapi that take the lead in the 15th minute, courtesy of a young striker talent - Petter Holm. The teams now exchange chances and we play some great football, unfortunately a nice cross by Pongrugthai is put well wide by Bengt Eriksson. Thorsell is also having a good game and has a powerful long shot saved later in the half. Then disaster strikes. Simon Ung drags down Petter Holm in the area. Ung is sent off and Topkapi scores on the subsequent penalty. It’s thank you and goodnight! Before half time… Strangely we continue to play the best football in the second half - creating several quality chances. Unfortunately it’s Topkapi that continues to score on their chances however - Flobecker scoring his second for the day.

Subs: Bylund (On for H.Eriksson, 39), Arnesson (On for Pongrugthai, 46), Hansson (On for Wiklund, 82).

Well sooner or later I had to loose a game I guess… But even if we’ve had a long good run, it does feel bitter. We lost 3-0, but looking at the game it could just as well have ended 3-3, or perhaps 3-0 to us(!). So that we were unable to score one single goal from our multitude of qualified chances was very disappointing. That we got Ung sent off and the game was over at that moment - well, that happens. I will talk to Simon and warn him not to go in so aggressively in such 50-50 situations, but I feel we lost the game as we failed to score on our opening chances and instead let Topkapi in to the game. We must work hard on the players finishing abilities and if they still don’t improve, I will have to look for new signings in this area. The problem of course being that I have no money at the moment, but a loan deal might be possible.

End Result: Topkapi - Sirius 3-0 (2-0).

Man of Match: Johan Flobecker, Topkapi (8).

Red Card: Simon Ung (38 min).

East Svealand Results: Forssa vs. Skiljebo 1-2 (played Saturday), Essinge vs. Lidingö 1-3, Spårvägen vs. Väsby 1-1, Topkapi vs. Sirius 3-0, Valsta/Syrianska vs. Slätta 1-0, Visby vs. Sandvikens IF 2-1.

Current League Position = 2nd.


Had a talk to Simon Ung about his sending off in the last game. I did officially warn him and to my surprise he felt I was being unfair. What was unfair in that? He was sent off and we lost the game because of it! I had expected more from him, seeing as he’s also my assistant manager and friend. The next few days however we didn’t speak much to each other. The very next day Simon was punished further as he received two more game bans for his misconduct. I feel that proves my point!

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6/8 -02 Djurgården, currently second in the Swedish Premier Division (Allsvenskan), keep winning and now the media seems convinced nothing can stop them in their bid for a successful season. Falkenberg meanwhile, in the Second Division South Götaland, have also started well and given their supporters real hope of promotion this season. Forward are not doing as well in the West Svealand group (only 8th) and have now brought in Peter Madsen as their new manager, (maybe he can take the club forward? icon_biggrin.gif).

9/8 -02 Sirius Reserves played 1-1 with Valsta/Syrianska Reserves. Antouman Jallow was now back from his physiotherapy and played in the game. Unfortunately we got Karl Abbas put up on the injury list for three weeks after he suffered a twisted knee. Petter Granberg and Kjell Johansson returned the same evening from previous injuries.


Sunday 11/8 -02:

Despite last weeks heavy defeat to Topkapi I won’t change my team for this game. The only change is Simon Ung being banned for the next three games. In his place Bylund will step in. I will put Staffan Wiklund to man-mark Kenneth Andersson, as he’s very tall and should have a decent chance of matching Kenneth in the air. Valsta/Syrianska is a very good team, just behind us in the league in third place, so this is a very important and difficult game.

Sirius vs. Valsta/Syrianska

Attendance: 1492 (Studenternas IP, Uppsala).

Weather: Wet, 28°C.

Sirius (3-4-3): Bylund – Wiklund, Karlsson, Ã…berg © – M.Johansson, Claesson, B.Eriksson, Ahlström –Thorsell, H.Eriksson, Pongrugthai.

Match Notes: Wiklund may be a tall young lad, but already in the 7th minute he‘s out-matched by Andersson, who heads in the lead goal for Valsta/Syrianska. Ten minutes later Andersson looses Wiklund again and sends the ball skimming the bar. Valsta now dominate the game completely and create chance after chance - we‘re on our knees. Bylund makes one qualified save after another, keeping us in the game. After only half an hour played, I feel I must do something and change the tactics to a 5-3-2 style. The tactical change has immediate effect. Wiklund start to get better control over Andersson, who in frustration gets a yellow card for eye balling Wiklund. Upfront we create a corner, whipped in by Johan Karlsson - finding the head of Wiklund, 1-all! Valsta/Syrianska now press men forward in search of another goal and we‘re once again lucky not to concede any more goals before half time. In the beginning of the second half it‘s once again Kenneth Andersson who has two very qualified chances to score, but misses. Around the hour mark Pongrugthai gets injured and I must make a couple of changes. Just minutes later Valsta/Syrianska finally score on one of their many chances. Bylund makes a great save from Jakob Hadda‘s initial shot, but Hadda can put the rebound into the net. Valsta/Syrianska continue to press on, but are fortunately unable to score. Despite being a goal down we are outplayed and can‘t even get over the midfield circle. Valsta/Syrianska out-performed us in every position except between the posts - Bylund was bloody marvellous making nine high quality saves, but in the end - for what good?

Subs: Pettersson (On for Pongrugthai (inj.), 60), Hansson (On for Karlsson, 60), Fällström (On for Ahlström, 77).

I knew Valsta/Syrianska to be a good team, but are they really this good - or is it that we are simply that bad…(?) Big changes are however needed if aren’t to loose out on our promotion hopes, that’s one thing that is for sure… icon_redface.gif

End Result: Sirius - Valsta/Syrianska 1-2 (1-1).

Sirius Goal scorers: Wiklund (38).

Man of Match: Andreas Kofoed, Valsta/Syrianska (10).

East Svealand Results: Essinge vs. Spårvägen 0-2, Sandvikens IF vs. Topkapi 1-1, Sirius vs. Valsta/Syrianska 1-2, Skiljebo vs. Visby 1-0, Slätta vs. Lidingö 0-3, Väsby vs. Forssa 5-1.

Current League Table:

<pre class="ip-ubbcode-code-pre">

Pos Team Pld Won Drn Lst For Ag Won Drn Lst For Ag Pts


1st Lidingö 11 3 1 1 8 4 4 2 0 15 6 24


2nd *** Sirius *** 11 4 1 1 10 5 2 2 1 3 4 21

3rd Valsta/Syrianska 11 4 1 0 11 6 2 1 3 13 14 20

4th Väsby 11 4 1 1 15 7 0 4 1 8 10 17

5th Topkapi 11 2 3 0 11 7 2 1 3 15 12 16

6th Sandvikens IF 11 2 4 0 9 6 1 2 2 6 5 15

7th Visby 11 4 1 0 11 6 0 1 5 5 11 14

8th Spårvägen 11 2 2 1 9 8 1 2 3 8 10 13

9th Essinge 11 2 0 4 7 12 1 3 1 7 7 12


10th Slätta 11 2 2 2 8 12 1 1 3 5 9 12


11th Skiljebo 11 1 4 1 7 8 1 1 3 3 8 11

12th Forssa 11 1 0 4 5 12 0 0 6 5 15 3


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12/8 -02 Interview on the local radio sports broadcast:

After yesterdays game against Valsta/Syrianska the league has come halfway and Sirius currently sit in second place. What is your view on the half season played and the half yet to come. Will Sirius press for honours this season?

Well, if I start with the first half of the season I must say it has surpassed my expectations. Slightly worrying however, is the last couple of games played. We performed badly against Topkapi and especially yesterday against Valsta/Syrianska. However, yesterdays game was also a question of the opposition making us look bad. I believed from the very start of the season that Valsta/Syrianska had the best team available, and after a rather poor start they have now started to perform well and look like potential winner of our group in the Second Division. Lidingö‘s performance this season is more surprising. I don‘t feel they have such a good team available, but still they perform very well week in and week out - I certainly did not expect that our win against them in the first round would be their only loss so far. Lidingö and Valsta/Syrianska might prove difficult to budge, but I feel we should probably be content if we finish top 5. We have a very young team and a strained economy - facts that must be taken into account.

You seem surprisingly pessimistic, despite the teams good start to the season. Shouldn‘t Sirius have higher goals than a top 5 position?

Yes, I agree in theory - but reality is more complex at the moment. The last couple of games have shown that the team is probably not mature enough yet - for a serious promotion campaign. Of course it‘s our goal, but we must also be realistic. It might still be a seasons or two before we are strong enough to push for promotion.

What about the next game on Sunday? You‘ll entertain Lidingö at Studenternas - what are your thoughts about that game?

Well, I feel we need to win that game to get back on track again - and not to risk loosing sight of Lidingö in the top. Either way we can‘t afford to loose, I believe a loss might just close any promotion hopes. It will undoubtedly be a tough and close game - hopefully we can come out on top!

I wish you good luck on Sundays game and in the league as a hole. I hope you are wrong in your predictions however, as Uppsala needs and deserves to have a club playing in the top divisions!

Thank you! I too hope we can surpass our expectations this season.

Much of the following week was spent preparing my squad for the weekend home game against leaders IFK Lidingö. Although only half of the season has been played, I feel this to be a crucial game to win if we are to push for promotion. I do have a nagging bad feeling however - that just won’t go away. We are in a down period at the moment and this game comes at the wrong time. Without key players such as Pongrugthai (injured in the last game) and Ung (banned for yet two matches), it’ll be a struggle for sure. We lack depth in the squad and can’t replace quality first team players with other back-up players of equal skills. There are no players to my knowledge available either - on loan or on free transfers - that would enhance our current squad selection and be willing to join us. I have already robbed our youth set-up of all their promising youngsters - so with our poor finances there’s unfortunately not much I can do about the situation either... icon_redface.gif

It’s going to be a tough second half of the season for sure!

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Thank you Viking! icon_smile.gif


16/8 -02 Sirius Reserves beat Lidingö Reserves with 4-1 today. Also Andreas Eroglu returned from his month long loan spell with Smögen after playing two games there.


Sunday 18/8 -02:

A crucial game! After two straight losses we’ve lost the top position to Lidingö. Being three points behind, in poor form and playing at home - we probably must win this game to compete for honours. It won’t be easy though as Lidingö are in impressive form, while our form on the other hand is rock bottom. Key player Sittichai Pongrugthai has just returned from injury and has appeared in one training session - he will start on the bench. This while Simon Ung sits off another game amongst the audience due to suspension. Bylund will continue in goal, while Arnesson steps in to take Pongrugthai’s place in the starting XI.

Sirius vs. IFK Lidingö

Attendance: 838 (Studenternas IP, Uppsala).

Weather: Dry, 28°C.

Sirius (3-4-3): Bylund – Ã…berg ©, Wiklund, Karlsson – M.Johansson, Claesson, B.Eriksson, Ahlström – Arnesson, H.Eriksson, Thorsell.

Match Notes: We apply immediately pressure and Thorsell hit’s the bar in the opening minute, after an excellent Bengt Eriksson knock down. Lidingö’s reply comes swiftly as they hit the post minutes later. It‘s an open contest between two attacking sides. The game’s very thrilling and both teams really should have scored plenty of goals on their multitude of chances. In the end (the dying seconds of the first half) Lidingö take the lead. We make the contest level again in the second half, as a long ball finds the head of Thorsell - who beats the Lidingö keeper to the ball and scores the all important equaliser. Lidingö get back into the game and Roger Nilsson scores what he believes to be his second goal for the day. Fortunately the linesman has observed that Nilsson was offside and the goal is ruled out. The introduction of Andreas Eroglu to the field saw us take command of the game again and in the last quarter we create several qualified chances, with most moves finished off by Thorsell and saved by the Lidingö keeper, Lars Augustsson. The game ends in a disappointing draw. Looking at the game’s entire 90 minutes, I feel we should have won with 3-2 or something simular - instead it ends 1-all. Are our hopes of promotion slowly withering away?

Subs: Andreas Eroglu (On for H.Eriksson, 65), Pettersson (On for Arnesson, 74), Pongrugthai (On for Wiklund) .

Not only am I disappointed with the result, but also with the attendance figure. Only some 800 people turned up to cheer us on in this all important game - dreadful! Although we didn’t play well through the entire game, we did end it well, which I think shows the players stamina levels are improving. As the results continue to go against us I now decide to change my tactics - from 3-4-3 to a more normal 4-4-2 tactic. My hopes are that we’ll better be able to use the wings offensively and close down the opponents wingers - who keep on throwing in crosses for my central defenders to try and cope with.

End Result: Sirius - IFK Lidingö 1-1 (0-1).

Sirius Goal scorers: Matthias Thorsell (53).

Man of Match: Lars Augustsson (IFK Lidingö, 9).

East Svealand Results: Essinge vs. Slätta 4-0, Sandvikens IF vs. Valsta/Syrianska 2-3, Sirius vs. IFK Lidingö 1-1, Skiljebo vs. Topkapi 1-2, Spårvägen vs. Forssa 0-1, Väsby vs. Visby 3-1.

Current League Position =3rd.

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During the evening GIF Sundsvall contacted me to tell me that they'd decided to reject a renewed loan bid I had made for their out of favour striker Jon Ericsson. Another Allsvenskan side, Hammarby, also contacted me with the same reply to my loan bid for their out of favour defender Max von Schlebrügge. It’s a shame as I would desperately have needed either of their services.

I desperately need to bolster my squad if I am to have any chance of promotion at all. For this reason it was once again disappointing when a third Premier side, Örgryte IS, contacted me just before I was going to bed - just to inform me that they had (of course) rejected my loan bid for their out of favour (and loan listed) midfield winger Martin Ulander. I tried to persuade them the following morning, but they simply weren't interested. (Why do they list him for loan, if they aren’t interested in loaning him out anyway? Strange behaviour indeed!)

20/8 -02: Henrik Eriksson will miss the up-coming game as he’ll be out for a few days with a bruised rib. Michael Owen of Liverpool, on the other hand, will miss more than one game - as he’s sidelined for the next 5 months with torn ankle ligaments.

21/8 -02: In the mini-state of Monaco Milan beat fellow Italian team Juventus in the European Super Cup Final. As often the case between two big Italian clubs, the game ended goalless. In the penalty shoot-out Juventus missed their three opening penalties and Milan could comfortably win the shoot-out 3-0 and become European Super Cup winners!

Meanwhile our vows continue as influential central defender Martin Ã…berg will be sidelined for three weeks with a damaged shoulder. Sittichai Pongrugthai will also be sidelined a few days, while Karl Abbas on the other hand returns to slight training again after injury.

24/8 -02: Sirius Reserves play out a goalless draw with Slätta Reserves. After watching the game I travel north to my old hometown of Borlänge for tomorrows game against Slätta, in the neighbouring town of Falun - a day ahead of the rest of the squad.

My bad fortunes on the pitch with my Sirius squad were drowned the same evening with many pints of beer in the company of old friends. We talked of high school memories and who done what. Such as the time when my friend Tony and I had a tequila contest with the end result of him cycling into a bench and then falling into a three meter deep ditch - just to bounce back up as if nothing ever happened (tequila is a painkiller icon_biggrin.gif). Or when I went a little crazy with a bottle of gin and found myself crawling home… or did I manage it back on my own? Can’t quite remember… icon_rolleyes.gif

Ah, those were the days anyway… No responsibilities or thoughts about tomorrow. Now are different times however and I must think about tomorrow as it’s an important game to prepare for, so I made it a relatively early night and turned in when I reached my proven limit for liquor. Crashed at a friends apartment and was up bright and early the next morning - ready to take on Slätta!


[This message was edited by McRob on 30 November 2003 at 2:19.]

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Sunday 25/8 -02:

The recent results have seen us tumble down to third place in the league. We can’t afford to loose any more points now - if we are to take up the chase against Lidingö and Valsta/Syrianska. To add to our predicaments we must be without key players such as Simon Ung (suspension), Martin Åberg, Sittichai Pongrugthai and Henrik Eriksson (all injured), for this tricky away game against Slätta. Due to the lack of first team players available I must restructure the team and give some previously untested players, such as Poskiparta and Eroglu, the chance from start. I also have to change the tactics to better suite the type of players available. I had anyway planned to try implementing a 4-4-2 attacking style of play, with direct passing, hard tackling and exploiting the use of counter attacks more frequently. Now I have the opportunity to see if this style of play might suite us or not...

Slätta vs. Sirius

Attendance: Dalavallen, Falun (1264).

Weather: Dry, 28°C.

Sirius (4-4-2): Bylund – M.Johansson, Karlsson, Poskiparta, Wiklund – Eroglu, Claesson, B.Eriksson ©, Ahlström – Arnesson, Thorsell.

Match Notes: I had expected a difficult game from go, but instead Arnesson pulls off a magnificent solo raid in the opening minutes and gives us the lead. We continue to push forward and create some half chances, but the next goal was Slätta’s. They scored just before half time on their first shot on goal(!), courtesy of a Elvir Hodzic strike. Slätta came forward more in the second half and both teams exchanged changes, but it’s we that took the lead again. Andreas Fällström touched the ball for the first time when he swung in a corner that Claesson headed into the net, 2-1. Bylund later made a good save to keep us in the lead. I then instructed the team to play more defensively the last 15 minutes of the game. Ahlström almost wrapped up the game with a good header from Eroglu’s free kick minutes later, but unfortunately it didn't find the net. After this we could hold on to the ball and keep it away from danger - during the dying minutes of the game - taking three points with us home!

Subs: Fällström (On for M.Johansson, 63), Pettersson (On for Arnesson, 79), Hansson (On for Ahlström, 87).

Finally! We could end our fall downward with a hard fought away victory against Slätta. Still, I felt we were the better team and deserved our points today. All things considered it’s really a quite good feat by us. Difficult to say if the 4-4-2 tactic was successful or not, need a few more games with the original line-up to evaluate it’s effects.

End Result: Slätta - Sirius 1-2 (1-1).

Sirius Goal scorers: Arnesson (4), Claesson (67).

Man of Match: Elvir Hodzic, Slätta (8).

East Svealand Results: Forssa vs. Essinge 3-2, Lidingö vs. Sandvikens IF 2-0, Slätta vs. Sirius 1-2, Topkapi vs. Väsby 3-1, Valsta/Syrianska vs. Skiljebo 4-0, Visby vs. Spårvägen 1-1.

Current League Position = 3rd.


27/8 -02: The Inter-Toto Cup Finals were decided today; with Leverkusen (beat D. Bakirspor 3-0 aggregate), Tavria (beat Slaven Belupo 5-5 on away goal rule) and Valencia (beat Lens 6-2 agg.), progressing to the UEFA Cup.

Erik Johansson returns from his loan spell at Sandared after starting in 3 games for that side.

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Wednesday 28/8 -02:

Playing in the Swedish Cup we were drawn against Allsvenskan (Swedish Premiership) giants AIK from Solna, Stockholm. Although playing at home I have no greater hopes of even rocking them the slightest. I play almost the same team as in the last game, but with two changes. Simon Ung is back from suspension and reclaims his place in goal. Wiklund is exchanged for Hansson, who takes the right midfield position, while Ahlström moves down into the right back position. The tactic is a defensive 4-4-2 type of style and our only hope is to beat them on a counter attack whilst keeping a clean sheet, I reckon.

Sirius vs. AIK

Swedish Cup Group 7 Second Round

Attendance: 4963 (Studenternas IP, Uppsala).

Weather: Drizzle, 15°C.

Sirius (4-4-2): Ung © – M.Johansson, Karlsson, Poskiparta, Ahlström – Eroglu, Claesson, B.Eriksson, Hansson – Arnesson, Thorsell.

Match Notes: Ung was put to the test from the very start, making several good saves. On the header from Daniel Hoch he had to capitulate however. AIK now seemed happy with their lead and not much happened before Svante Samuelsson of AIK climbed above Simon Ung to head home a free kick, 0-2. At the end of the half we had two great chances to score (a free kick from Eroglu and a header from Hansson after a corner), but Daniel Andersson in the AIK goal saved both superbly. Felt I had nothing to loose so I instructed my team to press forward in the second half. As AIK were content with the result we could create some chances, the best a furious strike by Thorsell saved by Andersson around the hour mark. However, the game ended without us scoring any goals, but all in all we did perform well against superior opponents and should not need to feel ashamed of this loss.

Subs: Wiklund (On for Ahlström, 68), Pongrugthai (On for Hansson, 68), H.Eriksson (On for Arnesson, 68).

Playing AIK almost 5000 turned up, despite dreary weather. That should do our strained economy some good! The game? Well, we never had a chance, but we did create some chances and only lost with two goals - that’s always something I guess…

End Result: Sirius - AIK 0-2 (0-2).

Man of Match: Benjamin Kibebe, AIK (8).


30/8 -02: Johan Claesson rejects a contract offer, negotiations continue. Erik Johansson joins Lomma on a one month long loan deal.

31/8 -02: The road to the European Championship 2004 in Portugal has now started. The future hosts followed up their World Cup victory by travelling to Liechtenstein and hammering the hosts, 7-0 in a friendly game. Trevor Francis first day at work as England manager ended in a 3-1 home humiliation to Russia. Sweden meanwhile looked like beating Holland, but a late van Nistelrooy strike earned the guests a point.

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