Wednesday, March 28, 2012

It's About Time: My Contract is Signed

I’m back!  Sorry for the hiatus.  There was no reliable internet in the room at the resort in Turkey and the lobby had no place for me to lug my old laptop and crank out a post.  Maybe if I had a decent laptop that could function without being plugged into the charger 100% of the time, but I play the hand I’m dealt thus there were no posts for a week.  Maybe this photo will help ease the pain.

I have two things to post about: my contract and the training camp.  I’ll start with the contract because that’s what everyone always wants to know.  First of all, I signed the contract last night as soon as we got back to Enkoping from Turkey.  I always hate when contracts are announced but the terms aren’t, so I’m happy to tell you the details of my deal.  It’s only for 4 months from April 1 to July 31, meaning I’ll be a free agent in the summer and free to sign with any team on the planet.  That was something that my agent requested so it would be easier for me to move as soon as possible.  Since my contract ends within six months, soccer laws dictate that I’m free literally as of today to sign a pre-contract with any club.  That means that if after two matches a club in Allsvenskan wants to sign me then they can without paying a transfer fee to ESK.  In that situation though the club would have to wait until August 1 for me to arrive.  The  contract pays 14,300SEK (Swedish Kronor) a month, which is roughly $2100 (the exchange rate is somewhere between 6.5-7SEK per dollar).  However, that is before taxes, apartment and food costs.  Taxes are not as bad as I feared, but they still eat up around 4000SEK a month.  Provisionally, the club has offered to house me and feed me, but at a cost of 4000SEK a month for the apartment and 3000SEK a month for the food.  That comes out to around $615 for an apartment with no freezer, cable, internet or shower [edit: cable and internet are being taken care of, as well as a cell phone.] and $450 for food each month.  Even factoring in a higher cost of living in Europe compared to US, I can do better than that.  I will definitely opt out of the food option and just take the cash and will look for cheaper housing options today and the rest of this week.  The housing price isn’t even that expensive, but the place is literally just a few rooms in a building that the club president owns.  He used to use the space as a cardroom, but now it sits empty.  By arbitrarily charging me 4000SEK a month, he’s making money on an otherwise empty space.  I think if I talk to him the price will go down a bit.  I’m thinking around 2000SEK is a fairer price for the place, but we’ll see what he says.  It may be that a similar place is worth double what he’s charging me in which case I’ll take it and like it.  Also to be fair to him he has said that he will install and pay for internet service, which was one of my two preconditions for living there (along with a shower) when he asked me if the place would suffice.  However, at the time I was under the assumption that living there would be free which makes the place a lot more appealing.  Paying $615 a month for that place feels like I’m being robbed.  There are no bonuses in the contract for those wondering.  I’m not sure what else there is to mention so I’ll leave it at that for now.  You can always ask me a question in the comments if you have any.

Training camp in Turkey was fun, if not kind of pointless.  It had a purpose for me, as I got to know every player during the camp.  From a soccer standpoint though it didn’t have too much value.  Still a fun trip though, and it was in a beautiful place.  It’s been so long that I don’t even remember if I mentioned it, but I assumed the training camp was going to be in Antalya, Turkey.  It wasn’t; Instead we fly into Antalya and then took a 90 minute bus ride to a resort on the outskirts of Alanya, Turkey called Lunicera World.  These video show a bit of the resort.

Lunicera World is a nice place and I’ve included a few pictures of the resort.  However, most of my time in Turkey I’ll just document in pictures and videos.  I had a good time and played ok in the matches, though in the second match I had a great chance to score when I got to a through ball before the keeper, but my nonchalant shot hit the post with the whole goal open.  I couldn’t believe it, but it’s ok.  It’s more of a running joke with the guys now than anything.

Like I said before, the resort wasn’t actually in Alanya which is a tourist spot.  So one day about ten of us guys went into town and hung out at the beach and played some volleyball and did some shopping.
This is the beach in Alanya.  We spent most of the time drinking beer and playing volleyball, but I did brave the cold water and got in the sea for a bit.  You can see part of the castle at the top of the moutain to the right of the flag and also the opening of a cave at the bottom of the mountain where the sand, water and rocks meet.

Alanya was really nice.  I wish we could have stayed there instead of 20km away so I could have explored the town more, but the day I spent there was still really nice.

We also had a team night in which we went into the Alanya and got really drunk at club Robin Hood (that is it’s real name).  I made these videos the next morning.

Hangovers aside it was a fun trip.  Now I’m back in Sweden and it’s raining for the first time since I’ve got to Europe.  It’s snowed a lot, but this is the first sign of rain.  April showers coming a bit early I suppose!
Thank you to everyone who has read my blog up to this point.  It’s kind of like a member-only blog because I’ve only told my parents that it exists.  I was afraid of everyone knowing I was over here and then not actually getting a contract.  Now that I have one though, I’m going to go to facebook sometime soon and announce the blog to my friends there.  If you’ve read any of my blog before or up to this post, then you are a true supporter and I appreciate you.  If not, you’re on the bandwagon.  Even still I appreciate you as well since I don’t have many fans so I can’t be choosy!

Posts will be happening regularly again and will start to focus a bit on the team so you can get to know the people I’ll likely be referencing in my posts going forward.  Thanks for the support!  I leave you with a photo of a harsh Turkish reality.  You may wonder, what is this for?  But c' know what it's for.


  1. 4000sek for an apartment missing essential stuff like a shower and freezer is a very bad deal. You should be able to rent a small higher quality apartment with all that stuff for around 3000sek or maybe slightly less. Good luck! / Swedish guy.

  2. Yeah I figured as much. I'm gonna talk to the guy in charge and work out something better. Or maybe I'll just find my own place. Thanks for the input!