Scandinavian Blades

Hjemmesiden til Blades i Skandinavia

Molde-gutter p treningsopphold

Posted by Bergen Blade on December 26, 2015 at 5:45 AM Comments comments (0)

 

De talentfulle Molde-guttene Kristian Strande og Ola Ormset Husby gjennomførte for noen uker siden et treningsopphold med The Blades. I den forbindelse tok supporterklubben en prat med dem!

 

* Ola og Kristian i treningshallen på Shirecliffe

 

Intervju med Kristian

 

Fortell om din fotballkarriere frem til nå?

Har alltid vært Moldespiller, gått gradene fra jeg startet å spille i 5-års alderen. Etter det ble det Akerakademiet og den gode satsingen Molde Fotballklubb gjør med unge spillere. Etter at jeg ble junior, har jeg stor sett spilt for Moldes andrelag, som spiller i 2. Divisjon. De siste årene har jeg å fått vært med å trene en del med A – laget, og fått bidratt i 2 treningskamper for Moldes A-lag.

Hvilke posisjoner kan du spille?

I mine yngre år spilte jeg mye midtbane og angrep, men det er nok som midtstopper jeg har mine store styrker.

 

Hvilken spillertype er du? Hvilke roller i laget passer deg? Hva er dine sterke sider, og hva må utvikles enda mer?

Jeg er en spillertype som liker å ha ballen i beina, spille langs bakken og liker å ta med meg ballen opp i banen. Mener selv jeg har gode basisferdigheter, er ganske høy så liker også luftduellene, men kanskje min sterkeste side er lese spille/fotballforståelse. Jeg har jo akkurat fylt 18 år, så jeg kan/må utvikle meg på alt. Jeg har ikke tenkt å bli værende i 2. divisjon

 

Hvilket forhold har du til engelsk fotball?

Jeg har alltid vært interessert i engelsk fotball. Sett mange kamper, lest mye om det, så de aller fleste interesserte følger med på Engelsk fotball. Høyt tempo og mange dueller, er sjeldent kjedelige kamper.

 

Hva visste du om Sheffield United før prøvespillet?

Jeg visste ikke så mye spesielt om Sheffield United, men pappa har spilt sammen med folk som har spilt i Sheffield (Roger Nilsen). Så pappa sa mye til meg om hva som ventet meg. Ellers så var det veldig spennende og reise og trene for en sånn tradisjonsrik klubb.

 

Hvordan kom prøvespillet i stand?

Mye takket være min rådgiver Sverre Mauseth som har et godt kontaktnett og hjalp oss med dette, noe vi er veldig takknemlig for.

 

Man blir invitert til prøvespill i Sheffield, flyr over, tar vel tog til Sheffield og rusler ut av stasjonen. Hva skjer deretter? Hvordan blir prøvespillere tatt i mot?

Når vi landet i Manchester, så blir vi hentet av Howard Dean. Deretter kjørte han oss til vår vertsmor. Blir innlosjert der og gjort litt kjent med området. Fikk vite hva som skulle skje de nærmeste dag, og ble mottatt på en veldig fin måte. Alt var veldig bra.

 

Mange prøvespillere blir stuet inn på Copthorne, hvordan var innkvarteringen for dere?

Vi bodde hos ei dame privat som var en vertsdame som Sheffield hadde kontaktet. En ca. 20 minutt kjøretur fra Sheffields treningsanlegg. Det var mye bedre for oss å bo hos henne, enn å bli innlosjert på et hotell. Alt var mye tryggere.

 

Hvordan var første dag på treningsfeltet?

Vi ble hentet tidlig på morgenen, der treneren møtte oss på treningsanlegget. Vi ble tilbudt frokost og fikk utdelt treningstøy. Vi var nok spesielt spente før den første økten.

 

Hvordan gikk treningene videre?

Vi startet å trene med U21, deretter fikk vi også noen økter med U18. Vi trente hver dag, bortsett fra et par dager, da vi hadde fri. Jeg tror jeg trente en 4 økter med U21, og 3 økter med U18.

 

Var treningene lagt opp på lignende måte som i Molde? Hvordan var trenerne og resten av støtteapparatet?

I fotball så er det mye av det samme som går igjen. I Molde trener vi kanskje litt mer på basisferdigheter og litt mer på teknikk enn det vi gjorde denne uken i England. Det var vel litt mer øvelser enn det var i Sheffield. I Sheffield var lange økter, og varte gjerne litt lenger enn det de gjør i Molde. Trenere og støtteapparatet var veldig entusiastiske og veldig tydelig på hva de ville.

 

Dere fikk prøvd dere i to kamper også? Hvordan gikk det?

Vi spilte to kamper, og begge var for U18. Vi spilte første kamp mot Birmingham, der vi tapte 2-1. Det var en tøff kamp, men er godt fornøyd med egen innsats. I den andre kampen spilte vi mot spillere som spiller fast i Leauge One. Vi spilte mot Chesterfield, dette var en veldig tøff kamp hvor vi tapte 3-1. Der vi møtte bare senior spillere nesten, det var forventet at vi fikk en tøff motstand. Så i de kampene jeg spilte, så følte jeg at jeg gjorde en god jobb.

 

Hvordan var det generelle nivået på spillerne i klubben?

Det var veldig mange gode spillere i klubben. Det var veldig mye trøkk i alle, og alle gav 100% hele tiden. De hadde også noen gode spillere med gode basisferdigheter. Det var veldig fysiske spillere.

 

Var det noen enkeltspillere som utmerket seg?

Jeg syns det er vanskelig å plukke ut noen enkeltspillere. Det generelle nivået på begge lagene var veldig jevnt. Det var ingen som var noe spesielt dårligere enn andre, men heller ingen som skilte seg spesielt ut.

 

Dere fikk se en førstelagskamp også, et førstelag som generelt sliter, men som til slutt klarte å hale i land avansement hjemme mot Oldham. Hva synes dere om kampen?

Vi så 70 minutter av kampen, som ble en slitekamp. Det var 2 jevne lag, som begge gav alt for å komme seg videre. Jeg syns Sheffield generelt var det beste laget, til tross for at de spilte en middels kamp. De vant kampen 1-0, noe som gjorde at de tok seg videre til neste runde.

 

Hva skjer etter et prøvespill. Blir man kalt inn på et kontor for å få beskjed om klubben ønsker å tilby kontrakt, eller blir slikt organisert senere, via agenter og slikt?

Etter prøvespillet så møter vi treneren, for å få tilbakemeldinger fra oppholdet. Dette var først og fremst ikke et opphold som skulle bunne ut i kontrakt, men først og fremst få litt referanser og erfaring.

 

Var der andre prøvespillere, i tillegg til dere?

Det var i hvert fall 1 annen prøvespiller som var med å trente med U18 når vi var der. Han fikk også prøvd seg i kampen mot Chesterfield.

 

Hvilke tilbakemeldinger fikk dere? Hva skjer videre?

Jeg hadde en hyggelig prat med akademiets leder, der vi gikk gjennom oppholdet. Jeg fikk gode tilbakemeldinger fra oppholdet, og fikk snakket litt om hva som var bra og hva som må jobbes videre med. Det var som sagt ikke slik at dette oppholdet skulle gi meg kontrakt, så er ikke lagt opp til noe, men kan selvfølgelig bli aktuelt å besøke Sheffield senere.

 

Rakk dere å få noe inntrykk av byen Sheffield? Hva gjorde dere utenom treningene og kampene?

Vi forholdte oss mest til nærområdet av der vi bodde. Det tok en del tid med kjøring, så det var vel fotballen som tok den aller meste av tiden. Utenom treningen og kampene ble det avslapping og vi hadde med oss en del skolearbeid som vi måtte gjøre.

 

Hvilket inntrykk sitter dere igjen med av klubben? Er det lys i tunnelen for oss Blades-supportere?

Vi fikk et godt inntrykk av en for oss så ut som veldreven klubb. Vi ser jo det at det er mange om beinet og er en svært tøff liga, der det er mange gode og jevne lag. Det kan jo hende at klubben hadde trengt noen molde spillere ;)

 

* Ola og Kristian fikk se FA-cup-kampen mot Oldham, en slitekamp som til slutte endte med avansement.

 

 

 

Intervju med Ola:

Fortell om din fotballkarriere frem til nå?

Min fotball karriere startet i moderklubben Averøykameratene. Med min far som trener, videre har turen gått til Molde FK kor e har fått spilt regelmessig 2.div. Har også vært så heldig og fått spille med flagget på brystet i 5 landskamper.

 

Hvilken posisjoner kan du spille?

Har egentlig spilt det meste opp igjennom årene, men trives best på sentralt midtbana.

 

Hvilken spillertype er du? Hvilke roller i laget passer deg? Hva er dine sterke sider, og hva må utvikles enda mer?

Er en spiller som er god med ball, go fotballforståelse og en mindre god utviklet fysikk. Passer best som en sentral midtbane spiller som får ligge å fordele.

 

Hvilket forhold har du til engelsk fotball?

Har ikke et veldig nært forhold til engelsk fotball helt ned i divisjonene, men følger med på Premier League.

 

Hvordan gikk treningene?

Vi trente med både u18 og u21. Treningene var lagt opp litt etter molde sine premisser. Men det var mer fokus på trøkk og innsats. Ikke så mye pasningsøvelser. Men treningene var veldig bra organisert. Både trenere og spillere var hyggelige typer, de var flinke og kunne mye.

 

Dere fikk prøvd dere i to kamper også? Hvordan gikk det?

Ja, vi spilte mot Birmingham u18 og mot Chesterfield sitt andre lag, men preget av spillere med hundrevis av League One-kamper. Personlig gikk det bra for oss begge. Vi har fått med oss masse erfaringer og læring.

 Utenom treningene gikk tiden mest til avslapning, i tillegg var vi en tur i byen, på et gigantisk kjøpesenter.

 

Hvilket inntrykk sitter dere igjen med av klubben? Er det lys i tunnellen for oss Blades-supportere?

Vi sitter igjen med et godt inntrykk av klubben, en profesjonell klubb, som er på vei opp og fram med en mer tydelig måte å spille på.

 

 

 

FELLESTUR 2016

Posted by Bergen Blade on September 22, 2015 at 6:05 PM Comments comments (0)

Supporterklubben feirer sitt 25 års jubileum med Fellestur og forhåpentligvis opprykksfeiring i Sheffield!

 

Vi har nå gjort vårt valg av dennes sesongens fellestur. Søndag 8. mai kl 12.30 møter vi Scunthorpe hjemme på Bramall Lane. Før og etter disse 90 minuttene skal vi finne på mye moro!

 

Mulige aktiviteter:

 

  • Felles middag
  • Reise til annen ligakamp på lørdagen
  • Omvisning på stadion med Mick Rooker
  • Møte med Jim Phipps?
  • Møte med ex-spillere?
  • Guidet Sheffield-tur
  • Pubrunder
  • Opprykksfeiring!

 

Vi kommer tilbake med mer!!

 

Som alltid, vi planlegger og bestiller reisen selv, og møtes i Sheffield når det passer. Supporterklubben er behjelpelig om noen trenger hjelp. Sjekk også vår https://www.facebook.com/events/529486883875271/" target="_blank">Fellestur-event på Facebook.

 

Vil benytte anledningen til å ønske DANSKER, SVENSKER og HELT NYE deltakere særlig velkommen! Ikke noe å nøle med, ta med dama, far din eller en kompis om du vil, dette blir gøy!

 

 

 

 

 

FELLESTUR 2015

Posted by Bergen Blade on October 21, 2014 at 6:10 PM Comments comments (0)

 

 



Det begynner så smått å komme seg for the Blades, brikkene begynner å falle på plass, skadesituasjonen er bedre, enkeltspillere begynner å finne formen og fortsatt sitter man med en følelse at det ennå ikke har løsnet helt - vi har mer å gå på!

 

Men dette kommer, og nå starter planleggingen av det som skal bli resultatet og klimakset av en lang opptur! Vi skal selvfølgelig over til Sheffield denne sesongen også, og vi satser på at det blir OPPRYKKSFEIRING på oss i sommerlige omgivelser i Mai 2015!

 

Vi var over 20 forrige sesong, og bør ikke ta sikte på noe mindre denne gangen. Alle er velkommen til mye moro og sosialt samvær med likesinnede. Seieren vi skal se er lokalderbyet mot Chesterfield hjemme lørdag 2. mai med kampstart kl 15.00 lokal tid.

 

 

Som alltid, vi planlegger og bestiller reisen selv, og møtes i Sheffield når det passer. Vi har mange med lang reise-erfaring, så det er bare å spørre om reisetips og slikt her på denne siden!

 

Vil benytte anledningen til å ønske DANSKER, SVENSKER og HELT NYE deltakere særlig velkommen! Ikke noe å nøle med, ta med en kompis om du vil, dette blir gøy!

 

 


 

 

 

 


Uttalelse om Ched Evans

Posted by Bergen Blade on October 14, 2014 at 4:20 AM Comments comments (0)

 

Førstkommende fredag løslates Ched Evans fra fengselet der han har sonet en dom for voldtekt. I den forbindelse forventes det stor media-interesse, særlig i England, men også noe i Norge. Supporterklubben har allerede blitt spurt om vår mening, og vi gav følgende uttalelse:

 

Alle i supporterklubben syntes voldtektssaken med Ched Evans var en trist sak som vi skulle vært foruten.

 

De fleste av supporterklubbens medlemmer ønsker at Evans skal få sjansen til å gjenoppta sitt yrke når han har sonet sin straff. Vi synes ikke det er Sheffield Uniteds oppgave å ilegge ham en tilleggsstraff utover det de engelske domstolene har ment har vært riktig. Vi har forståelse for at noen føler hans eventuelle retur er problematisk.

 

Fra et rent sportslig synspunkt vil Ched Evans tilbake i samme form som før fengslingen være en klar forsterkning for Sheffield United.

 

 

 

Link til sak i Dagbladet:

http://www.dagbladet.no/2014/10/01/sport/fotball/premier_league/ched_evans/sheffield_united/35535613/

 

 

Scandinavian Blades Logo

Posted by Bergen Blade on August 7, 2014 at 2:10 PM Comments comments (0)

Sheffield United's logo is well known and easily recognisable.

 

On a round, black background there are two blades, symbolising the city's famous production of steel cutlery. A Yorkshire rose shows the club's geographical location. Around this, the name of the club and the year it was founded is written in white letters on a red background, all in a circular shape.

 

For years we've thought about having a Scandinavian Blades logo made. Needing a simple symbol that covered all scandinavian countries, it wasn't easy to think of something better than a Viking helmet. Of course a lot of people know now that vikings didn't actually wear helmets with horns, but in popular culture it remains a symbol of scandinavian vikings. Without them it would just like a wooly hat. Which would probably describe us better, mind you.

 

Lacking someone with professional know how among the members, I had a go myself. I wasn't bad at drawing as a kid, and MS Paint would surely be adequate. But the idea stranded when I found this was the best I could do:

 

 

 

A few months after this, I posted my amateur attempt on the s24su.com message board. The topic on United's crest made me think it would be a valid anecdote. But then an english Blade who happened to be a graphical designer spotted it and kindly offered to make a proper one. Here it is:

 

  

 

It really looks excellent, very professional and almost better than the original! I put it up on the Scandinavian Blades Facebook group and loads of members immediately said they loved it. 

 

Later on, we may be trying to make some t-shirts with the logo on. When we're on tour it'll be something which shows that we're Scandinavians and proud to be Blades.

 

 

 

FELLESTUR 2014/15

Posted by Bergen Blade on June 8, 2014 at 6:30 PM Comments comments (0)

Noen tanker angående FELLESTUR neste sesong.

 

Vi har hatt for vane å arrangere våre fellesturer på vårparten, når spenningen begynner å dra seg til, men før ting er avgjort. Vi har således vært sikret spenning og Blades har hatt noe å spille for hver gang vi har vært over.

 

Totalt sett synes jeg vi har vært heldige med kampvalgene, vi taper så og si aldri når vi er over, kampene har vært godt besøkt og det har vært både nervepirrende og god stemning.

 

Det er uansett umulig å finne en kamp som passer for alle. Det er også ofte en fare for at TV flytter kampen vi velger. Cuptrekninger og landskamper kan også potensielt skyve på oppsatte kamper, og særlig på vinteren er det en reell fare for avlysning pga vær- og føreforhold.

 

Til neste sesong er det ikke urimelig å forvente automatisk opprykk. Noen av oss har opplevd opprykksfeiring i Sheffield tidligere og det anbefales! Det er derfor en del argumenter som taler for å legge neste års fellestur til sesongens siste hjemmekamp - OM VI FÅR HJEMMEKAMP I SISTE RUNDE. Da går alle kampene samtidig. Kampoppsettet kommer onsdag 18. juni kl 10:00.

 

Dette vil innebære:

  • Ingen reell fare for flytting, pga TV, cupkamper, landskamper, vær, føre
  • Lang tid for folk å bestemme seg/spare/rydde unna andre avtaler
  • Billigere flybilletter
  • Man kan time hotellbestilling på Copthorne til januarsalget
  • Forhåpentligvis ekstra good-feeling og opprykksfeiring

 

Mulige ulemper:

  • Vi får ikke velge motstander, som vi tidligere har gjort, dvs stemt over den kampen vi synes virker mest spennende.
  • Om vi ikke har sjanse til auto opprykk, kan siste oppsatte hjemmekamp bli betydningsløs (om vi f.eks må ta til takke med play offs)
  • De fleste pluss-argumentene faller fra om vi ikke får hjemmekamp i siste runde.

 

 

Fellestur 2014

Posted by Bergen Blade on January 19, 2014 at 6:00 PM Comments comments (0)

 

 

United sliter for tredje sesong på rad på nivå tre, men the Scandinavian Blades, lojale til det sinnsyke, satser på å gjøre sin største tur noensinne!

 

Vi har gjennomført en avstemning og valget falt på hjemmekampen mot Rotherham 8. mars.

 

Supporterklubben har en god statistikk (1 tap siste 10 år), og den kan komme godt med når vi møter en opprykksjagende naboklubb.

 

Som alltid, folk arrangerer reisen til Sheffield selv. Man velger selv hvilke aktiviteter man vil være med på. Det kan bli aktuelt med U18-kamp, omvisning på Bramall Lane, andre kamper, felles-middager og pubrunder. Mye moro!

 

Sjekk vår reiseguide for tips til planleggingen av din reise: http://scandinavianblades.webs.com/reiseguidetilsheffield.htm

 

Må bare beklage til folk det ikke passer for, men slik er det alltid. Til dere som sitter på gjerdet - jeg tror ikke dere vil angre om dere velger å bli med! Vi sees!

 

UTB

 

 

 

Mike Speight - United Legend and Scandinavian Blade

Posted by Bergen Blade on November 3, 2013 at 3:00 PM Comments comments (2)

Mike Speight has been managing and coaching in Norway for almost 30 years. He recently took part in a Question And Answers session in the Scandinavian Blades Facebook group.

 

 

Svein Åke - I'll kick it off then. Which manager had the most influence on your decision to go into managing? Who was the best player you played with? And just because I'm born in Mo i Rana, what did you think about your time managing Mo/Bossmo?

 

Mike - The manager with the most influence was John Harris, my first boss, he made me a part of a great team and club. He made me respect my club. The best player there were many, but two outstanding ones, TC and Alex Sabella. I met some great people in Mo but it was not the right time or place for me. There was too much going on, but I enjoyed the time and made some very good friends who I still keep in touch with.

 

Marcus - I can't remember if you were with the Blades during the relegation to the third and relegation to the 4th divisions. If so, can you sat anything about that nightmare time, and how it affected you as a player? The Boxing Day Massacre - did you play that day?

 

Mike - I played one season in the third division before going to Blackburn Rovers. That day will allways haunt me. It hurts even now, time heals many things, but not the pain of that day. I was carried off just into the second half with two broken ribs and a punctured lung and spent the following few days in hospital.

 

Paul - Mike, who was your closest friend/team mate while at United?

 

Mike - Best friend, good question. I would say I had many good friends but my best friend was from outside the game. He kept my feet firmly planted and never allowing me to forget where I came from and who I was. Sadly, he died a few years ago but I always remember one thing he always said to me - never forget the man in the street, the supporter, take care and be respectful.

 

Tommas - What was the morale like in the team in the early 70s? What was it like for a youngster to get into the team, which had midfield profiles such as TC and Hockey?

 

Mike - It was fantastic, so many great players you could not fail to improve. Just being allowed to train each day with them and being part of the team with this great bunch of human beings was a joy. The team was full of all types, from the comic pair of Hemsley and Badger, down to the bone crushing character of Hockey. A brilliant time in my life I will never ever forget.

 

Lars Erik - My father always talks about the great United team with Currie, Hockey, Badger, Colquhoun, Speight and all the rest. But his all-time favourite is Alan Woodward. My father says he should have had a great England career. Do you believe that Woody should have been an England regular? And one other thing. When I look at your career, I see a great career with one black sheep, or should I say a brown sheep. I am from Drammen and I wonder how much you enjoyed your time in Mjøndalen?

 

Mike - Your dad was right, Alan was the best uncapped player. A great passer and crosser of the ball with a very hard shot, just as good as Lorimer’s at Leeds United. Enjoyed my time working and developing the young players at Mjøndalen, a good club which has developed well.

 

Mikael - What are your future plans in football?

 

Mike - I am at this building, an academy in Moss, where every Tuesday, Wednesday and all day Sunday I coach and develop the technical and tactical skills of young players from 10-16 years. I run a keeper school as well. This gives me great pleasure, but who knows what is around the corner.

 

Tommas - The likes of TC and Woodward are United legends, but who's the most underrated United player you played with? - The Blades haven't had much luck when it comes to managerial appointments the last few years. Obviously we hope that Clough will do well, but are there any ways to make sure we find the right man more often? - You worked with ex-Blade Luton Shelton at Vålerenga. Why didn't he become a success at Sheffield United?

 

Mike - Colin Addison and John Barnwell were the most underrated, two great football minds and terrific people, always around willing to give you good advice and help. Two players brought in by, in my opinion, the best boss ever John Harris, remember he brought in TC . Luton was very quick but need a better attitude and first touch. Too much speed ruined his tecnical ability. Finding the right man will always be difficult, lets keep our fingers crossed on this choice.

 

Tommas - I went to school and played football with Tore Sørheim, the goalkeeper who played for you at Sogndal. He had excellent pace, he could catch pigeons that boy, if not always the ball. Is it true that he was also the fastest player at Sogndal?

 

Mike – That’s true and you are right about his problems catching the ball. But he was a good shot stopper and passer of the ball.

 

 

 

 

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I've also translated an article (written by Dag Sølberg) from a few years ago about Mike. I found it on the website of one of his former employers and it contains a few stories from his United days:

 

 

I googled Mike Speight and got hundreds of hits. Articles from the 80s popped up. Who is this person that I’ve seen around the club the last year? We started talking of his background. It was like putting a coin on an automat, the words flowed out of the Englishman’s mouth…

 

The upbringing

 

Mike was born in 1951 in Upton, just outside Sheffield in England. He comes from a coal working family, his father worked in the mine. A hard man who taught Mike some simple rules about life. His mother, who passed a way a few years ago, was a warm person, who had the abilty to support him but also to give him a kick in the ass when it was needed.

 

At 14 years old he was picked up by Sheffield United. He was given a two years trial period from he was 14 to 16, with the possibillity of scholarship after that. United were in the first division (today’s Premiership) in England and had a proud history. Mike obviously impressed for the Blades and got the scholarship when he turned 16. There was the chance of a professional contract at the end of the scholarship.

 

The manager at the time was John Harris, a former player for Chelsea and Scotland. A manager with great respect and authority. Harris was Mr Sheffield for almost 20 years and decided most things at the club in a period of great excitement. Harris knew all about Mike when they met for the first time, who his family was, his strengths, weaknesses, everything! Harris would sometimes take off his jacket and get between the sticks in training if they were a man short.

 

New haircut

 

Being a scholar in English football was hard work. The scholars had their own dressing room and had countless tasks at the club. They did everything from polishing shoes, washing the dressing rooms and painting on the terraces. The transition to life as a scholar was special, said Mike.

 

- I got into the dressing room for my first training in 1967 with jeans, long hair and a leather jacket with the Hells Angel logo on. I changed and went outside to train. When I returned to the dressing room my clothes weren’t on my hook. All I’d been wearing had been put in a plastic bag, and in the closet I found some nice new pants, jacket, shirt and a tie. "These are your work clothes. Wear them on your way to work and back", the coach said.

 

His hair also had to be cut. He got £1 from the manager and was told to go the barber. When he got back, the manager still wasn’t happy. Mike had to go back, not once, but twice, before his hair was considered short enough.

 

Each scholar had three established professionals as mentors at Sheffield United. Mike had Tony Currie, Alan Woodward and Len Badger, all three legends at the Lane. Mike polished their shoes and took care of other practical things. At the same time they took care of him and helped him settle at the club. The scholars did loads of work at Bramall Lane and a lot more than actually playing football. It was still a happy bunch of lads that one day dreamt of playing first team football in the United jersey in front of 30,000 at the Lane.

 

 

Aged 18, after a couple of years’ scholarship, Mike was captain for the juniors, played reguarly for the reserves and trained with the first team. He played central midfield, and occasionally centre half. While Mike was happy with his progress, others weren’t. Following a cupgame for the juniors, where he’d scored twice, he came home to find his father stone-faced. Something was wrong! The club had told his dad that his ability was fine, but he lacked bravery. The willingness to sacrifice everything to get into the first team wasn’t there. He didn’t put his foot in where it hurt and lacked the required determination. Just one in ten scholars progressed to the first team. To make it you had to prove you didn’t just have the technical ability, but also the attitude, the mental strength. In one of the next trainings where the first team played against the reserves Mike showed real aggression and got stuck in for a number of tough challenges. He was then called off the pitch and told to go to the dressing room. There he found manager Harris sat with a professional contract for Mike to sign.

 

 

Playing in the first division with Sheffield United

 

 

20 years old, Mike had made his first team debut at Sheffield United, but he still had to do stuff behind the scenes, like every other youngster at the club. Mike’s job was among other things to pack the bags with the playing shirts, towels and other equipment every Friday when United played away the next day. One Friday Mike was packing when he was told he was going to be among the 12 to travel to Liverpool to play at Anfield. Mike was so excited he almost forgot about his assignment.

 

When he opened the jersey bag the next day at Anfield he realised he’d forgotten to pack the shirts! Completely distraught, he didn’t know what to do. He didn’t dare to tell anyone at United and nervously walked around outside the Anfield dressing rooms. Then a short, older guy came over to him and said: - What is it, son? Mike told the strange man his problem, that it was 1,5 hours to kick off and he’d forgotten to pack Sheffield United’s shirt because he was so excited over being selected for such a vital away game.

 

The older guy told Mike to join him and they went into a room, where they found some new white Liverpool away shirts with red trim, just like the ones Mike was supposed to have packed. The shirts were so fresh that they hadn’t even had the Liverpool logo put on.

 

 

Mike took the shirts and put them up in the United dressing room. He promised not to tell anyone about what had happened.

 

The match finished 0-0, Mike played the full game and was praised by his manager Harris. But Harris also blinked at him and said: - You may have fooled everyone else with those shirts, but you’re not fooling me. Before Mike went to the dressing room, the older guy came over, shook his hand, congratulated on the game and said he should continue forgetting the shirts since they’d played so well.

 

After everyone had showered Mike picked up the shirts, put them in a bag and went to return them. The older guy suddenly looked strict and asked: - Are you going to return filthy shirts?! Mike was told to bring them home, wash and iron them, and then send them by the post back to Anfield. When the older man had turned and walked away, the young Liverpool player Terry McDermott walked past. Mike asked who the old guy was. Terry answered with a smile: - It’s the boss! It was Bill Shankly, the legendary Liverpool manager who’d made this gesture to a totally strange youngster. The hair on Mike’s arms stood up when he heard who’d helped him. Mike did as he’d been told, and returned the clean set of shirts back to Anfield. He received a short reply back, saying “Thanks, see you at Bramall Lane!”

 

 

Wedding Bells Blues

 

When Mike got married in the middle of the season there was no honeymoon. Sheffield United played a cup game away at Carlisle on a Saturday, Mike and Vicky were wed the Sunday, United trained Monday and then played Luton in the first division on Tuesday.

 

Against Luton it was 0-0 and few minutes left. Sheffield United had a corner and the ball fell to Mike, unmarked, two yards out. He had plenty of time, but managed to shoot over. Mike got on his knees, closed his eyes, folded his hands before he crossed himself in anger over the missed sitter.

 

A press photographer managed to capture this moment with his camera and the next day a kneeling Mike made the headlines of local and national newspapers, with the title: Wedding Bells Blues. In he following games Mike had to endure chants from jolly supporters: Ding – Dong – Ding – Dong!

 

 

600 matches

 

Mike played about 600 junior, reserve and first team games for Sheffiled United in the period 1966-1979. He played in the top tier, but also in the second and third. 1966 was the year England won the World Cup. Football was maybe at it’s peak and meant a lot for the English self-esteem, after the Empire had started to crumble. Mike was captain at Sheffield United in the years from 1974-79.

 

In 1978 he was selected by Bobby Robson for an England B team to go on a four week tour to New Zealand and Malaysia. Players we remember from Match of the Day like Paul Mariner, Brian Talbot, Viv Anderson and Peter Barnes were in the squad.

 

 

Mike played six games and scored three goals on the tour. It was the year Brian Talbot was on his way from Ipswich to Arsenal. Ipswich therefore needed a central midfielder and Robson also managed Ipswich. Mike was offered a contract by Ipswich. At this point Sheffield United had been relegated to the third tier, and the chance of playing in the first divison again soon was rather unlikely. But Sheffield United turned down the offer.

 

Instead he was sold the following year to Blackburn Rovers, who had Howard Kendall as manager. Kendall said he needed a good grafter in central midfield when he was asked why he signed a third division player. Mike was there for two seasons. The first year he won Player of the Year as they won promotion to the first division, while he was injured the next season.

 

He went on to play for Grimsby Town in 1981/82. He’d taken basic coaching badges towards the end of the 70s and become player-coach at Chester, a club that was known for being a good school for players and coaches who wanted to progress.

 

At 34 years of age he received a phone call from Brian Green who was a coach at Norwegian club Start. This lead to Mike getting his first of many coaching and managing jobs in Norway.

 

 

Eirik Bakke is one who played for Mike at Sogndal before he joined Leeds in 1999. Eirik said of Mike:

- Mike is incredibly nice, even though he can appear tough. He’s got a heart of gold and was a father figure for all the players at Sogndal. A unique coach who helped me develop and prepare myself for life as a professional in England. Mike would often stay for an hour after trainings to work on details with me.

 

 

 

 Thanks to Dag Sølberg, original article: http://idrett.speaker.no/organisation.asp?WCI=wiKlubbKassaNews&WCU=550409&CatId=833500

 

List of games I have seen live.

Posted by Karl Haakon Bjerknes on October 1, 2013 at 3:25 PM Comments comments (0)

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Liste over Blades-kamper sett live siden første tur i 2004:

A COMPLETE LIST OVER ALL BLADES GAMES SEEN LIVE SINCE MY FIRST VISIT IN 2004:


1             Sheffield United-Coventry         1-1         serie      2004

2             Sheffield United-Sunderland    1-0         serie      2004

3             Leeds-Sheffield United             0-4         serie      2005

4             Sheffield United- QPR               3-2         serie      2005

5             Sheffield United-Derby              2-1         serie      2005

6             Sheffield United-Plymouth        2-0         serie      2005

7             Cardiff-Sheffield United             0-1         serie      2006

8             Sheffield United-Leeds             1-1         serie      2006

9             Man City-Sheffield United          0-0         seriePL 2006

10           Sheffield United-Tottenham     2-1         seriePL 2007

11           Sheffield United-Plymouth        0-1         serie      2007

12           Sheffield United-Crystal P          2-2         serie      2008

13           Wolves-Sheffield United             1-1         serie      2008     

14           Sheffield United-Charlton          3-1         serie      2008     

15           Sheffield United-Doncaster       1-1         serie      2009

16           Sheffield United-QPR                   1-1         serie      2010

17           Sheffield United-Blackpool        3-0         serie      2010

18           Sheffield United-Leeds              2-0         serie      2011

19           Sheffield United-Carlisle             1-0         serie      2011

20           Sheffield United-Stevenage      2-2         serie      2012

21           Sheffield United-Tranmere        0-0         serie      2012

22           Tranmere-Sheffield United        0-1         serie      2013

23           Sheffield United-Carlisle             0-0         serie      2013     

Seiere           Uavgjort       Tap                 Mål

12                   10                   1                     34-15           

Travelreport from Lars Erik Bakken: Brentford (B)

Posted by DrammenBlade on August 19, 2013 at 12:55 AM Comments comments (0)

Life after McDonald

After seeing the Blades beat Notts County on TV at the opening game of the season, we were ready for our first live game this season. We, being my father and I, decided to go to Brentford, because that is an easy trip as Brentford is a London team. The Notts County-game gave me hope of getting the best Blades match I seen live in years. I haven’t been that lucky in picking my games, and to be honest United haven’t been that good in recent years.

Then the bomb hit Sheffield. Kevin McDonald had gone to Wolves for his medical. They had triggered a clause in his contract, so he could talk to Wolves without us rejecting their bid. I told the Scandinavian Blades-Facebook page that I would talk some sense into McDonald, but it was too late. He never showed up I Brentford.

Griffin Park is known for one thing, one pub in each corner of the ground. What the trivia never says is that all four pubs are packed full of home supporters and that it’s almost impossible to get a beer there before a game. It was nice being here before Brentford starts building their new stadium, I like the older grounds better than the new ones. If everything goes according to plan Brentford will move before the 2016/17 season.

If you have ever been to Bramall Lane, and sat on the Kop you know you haven’t got much room. The away stand at Brentford is worse, much worse. I had problems sitting down at all, and 90 minutes was hell, but for a good match and three points I was willing to let that pass. But as we all know, that didn’t happen.


The match itself wasn’t the entertainment I was looking for. We lost to a Brentford-team that didn’t impress me much. They weren’t that good, but then again they were better than us. 3-1 was maybe a flattering result for them, but we didn’t deserve anything better.

George Long – He was our best player by far. He has a couple of great saves, including a penalty from Will Gregg.

Marcus Williams – What can I say. Horrible when he defends, okey when he goes forward. He beautifully made one of our few chances. I don’t know why he plays when we have McGinty, Hill and even McFadzean on the bench.

Darryl Westlake – Nervous when he has the ball, doesn’t really try to go and help is winger. I think he looks safer then Williams while defending, he even saved on the line a couple of times. He was on one of his few attacking runs when they scored 1-0, but Doyle is supposed to cover for him.

Neill Collins – I would say he is a classic British central defender, strong in the air and clumsy on the ground. Luckily for him, Brentford tried many long and high balls in the middle. He did okey and scored our only goal, a great header from a Murphy corner.

Harry Maguire – I could say the same as on Collins, but Harry looks better on the ground, except when he made a penalty.

Michael Doyle – Captain, the experienced one, the holding midfielder. Waste of space. Doesn’t press, tackle or hit a team-mate with a pass. He is responsible for the first goal. Should have tried something, instead he backs of and lets Forshaw shoot.  We would have been better off with good old Nick Montgomery.

Stephen McGinn – Didn’t really notice him at all. Not sure if that is good or bad. He is left alone in the midfield while Doyle does what Doyle does.

Conor Coady – I can see that he is a great talent. He shows some promise, but he is not ready to be our savour. He can’t go straight into the McDonald-role.

Febian Brandy – He started of lively, but went missing in the second half. He runs and runs, but he isn’t all that productive. He also has a bad habit of leaning backwards whenever he goes into another player, just waiting to be touched so he can fall down.

Jamie Murphy – I had high hopes for him when we signed him, but he has been a disappointment for me. He doesn’t really try to go past players, and it looks like he is lacking in confidence. On the other side, he actually had a couple of good corners and that is a long time since I have seen from a United-player.

Lyle Taylor – All alone on top with Brentford’s defenders, doesn’t stand a chance. Didn’t really show anything, but it isn’t easy when you are alone. I think he would benefit from playing with another striker, so he has someone to play off of.

Callum McFadzean – He came in and played about 20 minutes, didn’t really do that much.

Chris Porter – He was our best outfield player, and he only got 20 minutes. That says a lot. He won the headers, fought against the defenders and he even went on some great runs with the ball. I didn’t think I would ever say this, but he is our best striker.


All in all this was not a good match, it kind of killed my hopes and dreams of the new season. Before the game I saw us fighting for a play-off place, now I’m just hoping for a mid-table spot. We can’t go down to League 2, we just can’t.

I don’t want to end this in all doom and gloom, so I will say this. It can only get better. In the next couple of months our team will start playing football, start scoring goals and best of all we will start getting 3 pointers every game. We have a bunch of new players and maybe some more on the way. We will need to give them some time to get to know each other.

COME ON YOU RED AND WHITE WIZARDS!!!


UTB!