After 2 good seasons at Ull/Kisa in the Norwegian 2nd tier, Stefan Hagerup the previous seasons top scorer at the club decided he needed a new challenge. He didn’t fancy a pop at the Norwegian top league just yet. He was possibly eyeing up climbing the all time goalkeeping goalscorers chart. Aalesunds in the 2nd tier snapped him up to help with their Promotion play off challenge.
I was hoping Stefan would hit the ground running. A new team, full time training and a club with better facilities and a larger fanbase.
Assessing the squad, it looked like we had lots of options and a fair few good young players. I noticed a few of the more experienced players had some problems either with big games, consistency and competitive streaks so these were dispatched to the second team. The first choice keeper was offered out straight away to make way for Stefan. We would only keep the goalkeepers in the 2nd and youth team as back up.
I stuck with the same tactic(433DM) as it seemed to achieve good results winning the same division and providing Stefan with a healthy amount of goal scoring opportunities.
Stefan was getting everything his own way already, I hadn’t learnt from my previous episodes about spoiling him and pandering to him every need.
1st half of the season
Two draws at the start of the season and a narrow 3-2 win in the first round of the cup against lower league opposition was a steady start. The first home game brought in almost 5500 fans to the stadium almost a tenfold increase from the previous club.
in the 3rd game of the league season away to Eidsvold Turn it was a tense 0-0 then in the 87th minute we win a corner. Step up Hagerup!
We see the game out to win 1-0. Our first win and Stefan’s first goal for the club and his 20th of his career. A Player of the match award is also in the bag.
All in all a decent start so i thought
And then the wheels started to fall off the wagon.
Over the next run of games we only one match in the cup on penalties. We exited the 3rd round of the cup to our lower league affiliate team Brattvag. Stefan was struggling to score. His penalties were either missing, getting saved or hitting the bar. His free kicks were either skying over, hitting the bar or getting saved. The board were making noises.
I was hoping to limp to the summer transfer window to reinforce the squad. The team seemed to be lacking a spark. There wasn’t much good news incoming.
Then the dreaded news came in……..
At least they were nice about it. The regret it, they thanked me and wished me the best. I’m not mad and do not blame them. We were awful.
Those bloody hacks, digging up the footage of the cup loss to play over and over and rub salt into my wounds.
It’s just as well this blog isn’t about me or how I’m doing. It’s about Stefan!
Time for a new manager bounce
Ok, we go again. Once more into the breach.
2nd half of the season
We win the first game for the new manager at home 2-1 versus Sandnes ULF to end the massive losing streak. Then in our following home game Stefan opens the scoring. He puts away a lovely free kick against Eidsvold Turn. 16 games since his last goal. I should have called the new manager Dave Ja Vu. Can we play them every week?
We went on a decent run bolstered by the players brought in during the transfer window. I’ve sussed out the best team to play each week and we have some back up players to fall back on. Morale returns and we surge up the table but this blog isn’t about that unfortunately.
Stefan goes the remaining 12 games without scoring. More fluffed penalties and in-accurate free kicks.
We almost end the season sneaking into the playoffs but its not meant to be. It’s a game of two halves but it was definitely a season of two halves.
On the plus side at least Stefan is shifting some shirts!
Overall not what I was hoping for. I don’t blame Stefan. I made a few mistakes. When I look back at the season I think I tried to overhaul the squad too much. I let go of influential players in the dressing room too quickly and didn’t understand the squad and who my best 11 was. Maybe the bigger crowds put more pressure on Stefan. Ultimately he does have poor penalty attributes so I can’t expect him to perform there. I didn’t have a back up that could also be useful for scoring to offer some competition like I did at the previous club. We also didn’t have the coaches that could help with his specialty skill set like at the previous club. On the plus side. The squad is more settled now and he did move up the all time goalkeeper scoring rankings from 17th to 14th. Like the first season this could just be a settling in and adjustment season and hopefully we can kick on next year like we did in the second season.
Tune in next time to see if I can implement the lessons learnt and get scoring regularly again. I’ll be back for season 4 unless something else crazy happens that sideswipes the story! Carry on reading below for a brief catch up with the old team.
I was really pleased I was able to keep them up in holiday mode. I was pleasantly surprised that The young Argentine Goalie Frederico Gomes Gerth was even contributing to the cause. I checked back in with them to see how it was going and to tweak selection and noticed this.
Overall he scored 3 in the season. He could be one to keep an eye on. He goes back to Tigre in Argentina but won’t re sign for next year.
Take care and see you soon.