Regular readers of the modest and occasional archaic ramblings of this correspondent will be aware that he recently “adopted” the fortunes of the English football manager Graham Potter and his Swedish “minnows” Ostersund FK in the Europa League. In previous posts this writer highlighted the work done in Sweden by arguably England’s most successful managerial export of recent years. And the story keeps on going for Graham Potter and his team. As was mentioned previously, Ostersunds FK have come a long way in a short time. Yesterday, Thursday 14th September, saw the beginnings of the Group stages. This modest and homily little club have never reached the dizzy heights of a major European competition in their history. In group J of the Europa competiton, also containing Athletico Bilbao, Hertha Berlin, the Swedes traveled to Zoya Luansck for their opening game and Potter just keeps the magic going.
Goals in the 50th and 90+4 minutes by Saman Ghoddos and Alhaji Gero respectively sealed a great opening away win. The two 23 year olds have impressed in a team that is thriving on Potter’s tutelage, great club spirit and a large community involvement. With Athletico and Hertha playing out a scoreless draw this unlikely team from north of Stockholm find themselves sitting clear on top of the group.
P W L D GD Pts
Ostersunds FK 1 1 0 0 2 3
Ath. Bilbao 1 0 0 1 0 1
Hertha BSC 1 0 0 1 0 1
Zorya Lunansk 1 0 1 0 -2 0
In the next game Ostersunds FK will host Hertha on the 28th September and Potter is astute enough to know that sterner tests await his team in the coming weeks, however, it’s been a wonderful ride thus far for the team and if they can hold form at home it could be a difficult game for the German team.