My first 3 weeks here have been great, I’ve found the people in Umea very friendly and my team mates have been really welcoming. I feel quite at home here already and everyone speaks good English so it’s easy to communicate as I haven’t learnt any Swedish yet!
Met two of the lads, Vladimir and Jesper for lunch at TC on Monday, this is where we eat lunch each day. In the afternoon I went to Gammlia (our stadium) to do some training by myself, I didn’t play yesterday so I did some running and shooting practise. In the evening we had team training.
With our games mainly being played on a Sunday this means Monday training is quite relaxed and a lot of the players only do a light jog to recover. The rest of the squad had quite a fun training session consisting of small sided games. I took part in these because I was an unused sub on Sunday.
On Tuesday morning I went to the gym with Jesper and did some weights. The whole squad trains together Tuesday to Friday and today we did techniques, possession and then a game. After training I did some shooting practise with Tim (goalkeeper) and his coach. Training here is much the same as in England, quite repetitive. There are three or four main things we do each week: possession, passing drills, techniques and small sided games, then there are sometimes shooting drills.
No team training on Wednesday, so I went to Gammlia with Jesper to do some shooting practise then for the rest of the day I rested as I was feeling quite tired. During the week I’ve been going to the training ground with Jesper to do some extra training. We try to go to the gym a couple times a week, this is good to improve our fitness and also kill some time during the day because training is in the evening.
I did a press-up and sit-up circuit on Thursday morning and team training was a quick warm up and passing drills then a match. There is nothing new to the training sessions that I haven’t done in England which helps me to do well and understand the theory behind doing it.
On Friday I set off early to training so I could do some shooting practise. Training today was mainly techniques then small 4 v 4 games. To finish off, those of us who weren’t starting the match on Sunday did a crossing and finishing competition and penalty competition. I am hoping to maybe get some time on the pitch this week.
Saturday is time to relax before Sundays’ match. I went to a sports bar with Vladimir to watch Everton v Blackburn. I’ve been lucky that a group of the lads are quite young, there are two lads who train with the team who are my age, and then the guys I spend most of my time with are in their early 20’s so they’ve shown me around the city which has been good.
We had to report to the ground at 1.30pm for kick off at 3.00pm. We got off to a terrible start finding ourselves 2-0 down within half an hour. All seemed better when we pulled a goal back just before half-time and we came out stronger in the second half looking to equalise. This didn’t happen and midway through the second half they put the game out of reach, we lost 3-1. I was an unused sub again… maybe after another poor result and performance I’ll finally get my chance to play!