Saturday, August 27, 2011

Checking in from Tromsø

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

First Team Debut & First Goals

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.