Tuesday, December 20, 2011
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
So it’s now less than 2 weeks until Christmas and I’ve been home for almost a month and a half. I had planned to write a review on my season on here as soon as I got home, and now here I am a month and a half later, finally writing it.
So before I get to my season in Norway, I’ll write a bit about what I’ve been up to at home. I got home on Halloween and had a few days to re-adjust to the time zone, see friends, etc. and then I was off to Hawaii with my parents. Although I have been doing a ton of traveling lately, this was my first non-soccer related, relaxing holiday I’ve had in years. It was great to get to spend some time with my parents, who I hadn’t seen much of over the summer and just totally unwind, after a long season. We went to Kaui’i, which is a great place to go on holiday. The highlight of the trip for me was going surfing for the first time! It was a great trip, but by the end of it, I was ready to return home and spend some more time seeing friends. When I got home I started back up with my coaching job at Peace Arch Soccer Club/South Fraser Soccer Club, which I really enjoy doing. My job as a staff coach is basically to go around and help all of the coaches/teams that need assistance and quite often I end up joining in and playing in the practices. It’s a great job and I love getting involved with the soccer at my old club, in my hometown.
So now onto Norway. I had a great experience there this year. It’s always difficult to join a team mid-season (which I seem to have a habit of doing lately!), but I think I did well to break into the team and establish myself a bit. I was always in the First team squad for games, and I was always getting a full game every week with the Reserves, if I didn’t play for the First team. Before I went over there, I made it a goal of mine to join a team, where I would be playing week in, week out. So I’m glad I was able to accomplish that. Another goal of mine, was to join a team in the 2nd Division, which I also accomplished. The level of training was also fantastic. I was challenged everyday and I looked forward to getting to training everyday, which is so important. There were so many quality players on my team, that I’m glad I got to play with and become good friends with. It was fun for me to get to fly all over Norway for games and see some of the country. I really enjoyed living in the capital city of Oslo, which is a fantastic city to live in. I really love Norway, the football is great, people are fantastic and overall, I just feel at home there. My only real complaint about living there is the cost of living. It’s such an expensive place and I don’t know if I will ever be able to adjust to that completely. I’m definitely able to say that when I left at the end of the season, I was a much better player overall and the experience was completely worth it.
As of right now, I’m just enjoying being home around my friends and family. I’m continuing to train hard and looking to keep all of my options open for next season and the New Year. I believe I have some good opportunities lined up and I’m looking forward to seeing what comes next in my career, but for now I’m mostly excited to have a great Christmas, with everyone I care about around me. I will try to write an update again soon.
Saturday, October 29, 2011
Another season in Europe has come to the end for me. My season ended on Saturday the 22nd and I was lucky enough to get a chance to travel to Milan last week, for a few days. My good friend Alexa, has been living there and it was great to go and see how she's been living. This was my first trip to Italy and I really enjoyed it. Milan seems like a really interesting and busy city; it’s certainly a lot different than Oslo. I was really happy about the low prices on pretty much everything. As much as I love living in Norway, I have to admit the extremely high prices here are starting to get a bit annoying. So it was nice to be able to go out and get a Large pizza for lunch for 6 Euro! There were a lot of great shops and football seemed to be everywhere. One of the highlights of the trip for me, was going to AC Milan Vs Parma. San Siro Stadium was huge, definitely the biggest stadium I’ve ever seen in person. The atmosphere at the game was quite good, considering the stadium was only just over halfway full. The game itself was actually quite a good one, Milan won comfortably 4-1. I really liked their style of play, they played a nice short passing game and seemed to box Parma into their own half, the whole game. Antonio Nocerino scored a hat trick, including a great volley directly in front of where we were sitting. I was most of all excited to see Robinho play though, he only played a few minutes, but he made everything look so easy. Overall I had a great trip in Milan and I’m so glad I got a chance to go there and check it out. Now I’m back in Oslo and heading back to Canada on Monday. I will write a review on my season with Kjelsås and post it on the blog in the next couple of days.
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
Friday, September 30, 2011
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
Saturday, August 27, 2011
Sitting in the Thon Hotel in downtown Tromsø, the night before our game against Tromsdalen. This is my second trip to Tromsø and third trip to the North this summer. It is definitely going to be a tough game tomorrow; Tromsdalen played in the First Division last season and are currently leading our division.
It’s been a pretty relaxing day. We met at our stadium at 9 45 this morning and drove to Gardermoen (Oslo) airport, it’s about a 45 minute drive. Our flight was at 11:40 and it takes about 1.5 hours to get to Tromsø. We are staying in the same hotel that we did last time we played here; it’s nice to be in a familiar place. The whole day has been mostly about relaxing. We hung out in our rooms for a bit, before going to get some lunch and walking around the city briefly. Then we all went to a pub and watched Liverpool play against Bolton, which was pretty fun. I have to say Norwegians are probably the most passionate EPL supporters I’ve seen, they absolutely love English football here. It’s pretty crazy to be surrounded by Liverpool supporters in a pub North of the Arctic circle, that erupts every time Liverpool scores. It is much colder here than the last time we were here, you can tell the short summer is starting to come to an end. However it still stays light out very late here. After the game we went to get some pizza and now I’m just sitting with my roommates watching some movies on TV in our room.
Tomorrow we can sleep in and get a late breakfast, which everyone is happy about; our game is at 3. Really looking forward to the match and hoping to get 3 points. We will fly back to Oslo following the game, so we get back to Oslo late tomorrow evening.
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Things have been very busy since the end of the summer break, I’ve been playing lots of games. I made my debut for the first team in a game against FK Mjølner a few weeks ago. It was a nice feeling for me to play my first game for the first team and it was also a great weekend with the team. The game was way up North in a town called Narvik, it was pretty cool to see another town in the North of Norway, it's very beautiful up there. By the way, we won the game 3-1!
I also scored my first two goals for the club in a reserve game right after the summer break, in a game against Korsvoll IL. I was thrilled when my first goal went into the back of the net. My second goal in the same game was a very special goal for me. I can’t remember scoring a better goal in the past couple of years, it was probably the best goal I’ve scored in my time in Europe so far. The other team cleared the ball from near their left-corner flag and it came straight out to me and I hit it first time, from at least 25 yards. The ball couldn’t have been hit better; it flew into the far right hand corner. I’m happy with how things are going at the moment. I’m playing 90 minutes every week and feel like I’m developing as a player.
I've also started doing a lot of coaching for the club. I’m the head coach of the club’s U17 team, which is a good challenge for me. I’m not much older than the players on the team, but it’s a great experience for me to work with a good group of young players. They had their first game last night and we won 3-2. The club also held some summer camps last week. I worked with the U14 girls all week and they were a fantastic group, I really enjoyed coaching them. They also taught me some Norwegian, which was great. I believe the club has a few other youth programs which I’ll be involved with on the coaching side, so I’m getting a lot of good experiences all around.
It was also nice for me to have a visit from my mom. She came for a few weeks and was able to see me play a few games. I was sad to see her go home, but we had a really good time in Oslo together. I think things will calm down a bit now over the next couple weeks and hopefully I’ll have a chance to update the blog a bit more often. I will post some game pictures soon.
Thursday, July 28, 2011
Monday, July 25, 2011
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
Monday, July 11, 2011
I made my first trip to the Northern city Tromsø on the weekend. We had a game against FK Senja, a team located on a small Island near Tromsø. It was definitely a long travel day for us. Some teammates picked me up at around 7 am on Saturday and we drove to Oslo Gardermoen airport. The flight left at 8:50 am and is normally a 2 hour flight, but we arrived a bit earlier than expected. Once we landed in Tromsø, we drove for about 2 hours and stopped for a pre-game meal at a restaurant pretty much in the middle of nowhere. But the food was quite good; Chicken, rice and salad. After lunch we drove for about another hour and we finally reached Senja. It was surprisingly quite hot, not what you would expect when traveling North of the Arctic Circle.
We won the game 4-3. It was a really exciting and back and forth game. Overall a great result for the team, it’s never easy to travel that far for a game. We scored the winning goal in injury time and everyone started to celebrate like mad, when the ball went in. My team was pretty pumped and following the final whistle, all the players ran out of the stadium and I wasn’t to sure what was going on. The sea was right beside the stadium and I guess someone had mentioned before the game that if we won, we all had to swim in the Norwegian Sea. So the whole team went for a swim, everyone in full kit. The water wasn’t actually that cold and it felt great, because it was so hot out! I think it was 92 F, which is very uncommon there. Following the game we drove straight back to Tromsø and checked in at our hotel. We stayed at the Thon hotel downtown and it was really nice. Because this was our last game before our summer break (3 weeks off), we went out for pizza and then went out in the city as a team. It was a fun night and a good chance for me to get to know my teammates better off the field. In Tromsø, they have 24 hours of sunlight in the summer, which I experienced living in the North in Bodø last year. But it’s still a shock everytime you see it. We came outside at 3 am and it was completely light out, it’s really a weird feeling. It’s pretty unbelievable how far North Tromsø actually is. Its about 560 KM further North, than Bodø is. If you were to draw a line across the world to Canada, you would find yourself North of the Yukon Territories in the Beaufort Sea. Check out the map of Norway below:
On Sunday morning, we had a great breakfast at the hotel and I walked around the city with a few teammates, before we caught a taxi to the airport in the early afternoon. I got home at about 7 pm on Sunday and I was completely exhausted. It was definitely a long weekend. I’m really glad I got to check out Tromsø though, its always exciting to check out a new place. We now have the next two weeks off training and three weeks without any games. I’m looking forward to my time off, but I would rather continue training and playing! I’ll be looking to establish myself in the team when the season resumes and I’m looking forward to getting back to training already.
Saturday, June 25, 2011
I have some very good news to report today. I signed with Kjelsås this week, the team that I have been training with since I arrived. The team plays in the Norwegian Second Division. I'm very excited about this opportunity and really happy to be joining the club. Since arriving I've been impressed with the quality of training and the way everyone at the club has treated me. All the players have made me very welcome and I'm hoping to play a lot of games for the club this season. It was my goal to sign with Second Division team this season, so I'm thrilled that I have done that and I'm looking forward to playing my first game for the club. I'm also really happy to be in Oslo, it's definitely a great place for me to be. Overall it's just a fantastic feeling to be signed with a Norwegian club again and to be back in Norway. I'm hoping to make the most of this opportunity.