I feel like enough of this month has passed for me to officially make that declaration. It has rained almost every day and snowed on the other days. The temperature hasn’t gotten over 50 degrees and I’ve barely seen the sun since I got back from Turkey. It’s been so bad that I barely go outside on my off days. The only things I’ve done this month are train, run and hang out at Fabian’s house. Enough of my sulking though.
Today was our first day back training. In the end we had four days off, from Friday early afternoon until training today at 5:30pm. Of course that differs from what I believed, since the schedule that we keep in the locker room said we had training Monday. Over the weekend Siggi decided to extend the break and NOBODY TOLD ME! So I walked over to the stadium in the pouring rain and stood outside for twenty minutes before deciding that I was going to do some investigating. I walked over to Fabian’s place, where I saw that Daniel and Robert were comfortably having dinner and watching AIK vs. Kalmar in Allsvenskan. They were appalled that no one got in contact with me, but to be honest it’s mostly my fault. I gave my Swedish phone to Fabian for the weekend so there was literally no way or anyone to contact me and let me know that the break was extended. I decided to go to the gym and workout instead, but of course with my luck I walked all the way there only for the gym to be closed. Great day.
Today was our first training back and it was pretty simple. I won’t go into detail other than to mention that we played a scrimmage and I was in the starting team during the scrimmage. It’s no guarantee that I’ll start the season opener, but if the game was tomorrow I’m 99% sure that I would start. Hopefully I can hold on to the spot.
As promised, I will bring you some player profiles. I should say profile, since I’m only going to talk about Daniel Alund today. The “A” in Alund has a little circle over it, so it’s pronounced “auw” . There’s no real corresponding sound in English. The closest would be to say the word paw without the ‘p’. Anyway, he’s in the picture on the left. You can tell just by looking at him that he’s quite young. In fact, he turns 20 during this season. The guy on the right is Robert Kjellman, but I'll talk about him another day. These guys look so incredibly Swedish.
Daniel plays at the CAM midfielder in our 4-2-3-1 formation. He is really small, like maybe 5’ 7” and 130 lbs., but he makes up for it with his creativity. For my US readers familiar with MLS, a similar player would be Graham Zusi. Daniel is from Stockholm and played his youth soccer with Djugarden, an Allsvenskan club in the city. Last year he played for Vasby United in the same league that we’re playing in now, Division 1. In between there is where Daniel’s story gets quite interesting.
Now I obviously didn’t know Daniel when he was younger, but he must have been a stud. He doesn’t talk to much about his past teams, but he has mentioned that at 15 he went to play at Feyenord in Holland. He stayed there for a couple of years before coming back to Sweden. In addition to signing at Feyenord, Daniel had trial at huge clubs like Manchester United and also Fulham and Ajax. He has trained with Cristiano Ronaldo and Clint Dempsey among many others. He also spent a good portion of last season training with AIK Stockholm while he was playing with Vasby United, as the two clubs work together. It’s cool to play with a player like that who has those experiences. It also helped me a lot that he came to me after the first match and showed a lot of confidence in me. His belief in my ability has helped me to integrate myself into the team. Daniel is a player that will be making a lot of money in this game pretty soon, and I feel pretty honored to play with him.
Next time I’ll talk a bit about Robert, but I need to talk to him some more to have something useful to say. Only six days until the season opener! I can’t wait to get started!