Johan Andersson can lead Eidsvold Turn to the quarter-finals

Johan Andersson can lead Eidsvold Turn to the quarter-finals

TOK TURN: Former top player Johan Andersson could make a big splash from the Eidsvold Cup Turn this season. Photo: Øyvind Herrebroden

He disappeared from the top of football and was on sick leave. Now Johan Andersson, 40, is a successful coach in the Cup, but he believes he could actually play in the Premier League.

– If I were healthy, I would be playing in Eliteserien by now, declared the Swede, almost 41 years old, known for his career in Stabæk and Lillestrøm.

He won gold in Bærum and ruled the midfield in Åråsen – when he wasn't injured. It was a little too often.

However, he refused to give up on his career after his last Premier League game in the summer nine years ago:

He reached 33, 34 and 35 without a club or a job, but he lived alone in Oslo and continued to train for a comeback. He estimates it was 2019 before he realized there was no longer any meaning.

-Actually, I never realized that. I was experiencing a 10 to 20 percent shortfall in recovery and tried every day to solve the problem. At least 300 training sessions, Anderson says.

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He is convinced he would have been awarded new football contracts if things had gone well. But the hip defect left him practically disabled in football.

“REHAB”: Johan Andersson trains with a medicine ball as a Stabæk player at Telenor Arena in 2009. Photo: Frode Hansen / VG

Instead, he received coaching training through the Swedish Football Association during an intense half-year commute to Stockholm. Somewhat coincidentally, he landed an assistant position at third-tier club Vrij Oslo, before Edsvold Thurn took his chance from the 2023 season.

Getting 60 percent was the Swede's first job since his time as a Lillestrom player eight years ago.

What did he really fill his days with – apart from trying to become a footballer again?

– Training in the morning. It was mostly training and friends.

-You must have lived as a student?

-I'm cheap in the process if I say so. Then I have a football career behind me, where I earn a little.

– Did you have a good employment contract while playing in Norway?

– precise. That means I didn't stress it. I was on sick leave the first year, and when I was in Vrij, I had an appointment with Mobility About job training. But there was a long period when I didn't get anything from Nav.

A quick celebration: Stabæk players Mike Kjolo (left), Daniel Nanskog, Pontus Segerström, Alanzinho, Johan Andersson and Pontus Varnerud when they claimed league gold in 2008. Photo: Daniel Sanum Löten/VG

-Where did you get the money then?

– No, it's a money-saving and cheap operation, smiles Andersson, who owns the apartment where he lives in Majorstoa in Oslo.

-What was your mood or condition at that time?

– I'm not the one who stays very Happy or very frustrated. Maybe “Street” is my mood. You can no longer get a sense of mastery through playing football, and you're a bit of an introvert, so maybe people around me noticed something. But I tried to be as normal as possible. “I'm used to getting injured and getting into that bubble and fully focusing on recovery,” he says.

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Such patience was not a bad quality for someone who had trained in vain for a return to football and received coaching training, only to return to the coronavirus-closed Football-Norge to wait for a job opportunity.

He came in Eidsvold Turn. Last year, Anderson led them to a strong promotion from the third tier and on Wednesday they will play for a cup quarter-final ticket against Sandnes Ulf. In 35 games in the Series and the Cup, Anderson has recorded just two losses.

Before the fourth round match, he meets VG over a cup of coffee. At the next table sits NRK legend and soccer seer Arne Schiee, who knows for certain that Eidsvold Turn has never been among the top eight teams in 122 years of New Mexico soccer.

Historical things have also happened in the past in Eidsvoll in May.

– 50-50, the Turn coach is considering the possibility of beating the Obosliga side at home at the Myhrer Stadium for a third cup match in a row.

It heads to the fourth round in the cup

first round: 2–0 on Fu/Fu (3rd division)

Second round: 1–0 over Mjondalen (Obusligaen)

Third round: 2–1 Ali Asane (Obuslijaen)

Fourth round: They meet Sandnes Ulf (Obosligaen) on Wednesday evening

The player Johan Andersson was unusually confident and intelligent on the ball. Coach Johan Andersson wants his teams to appear in much the same way:

– He starts with the ball. Let the opponents work and feel frustrated. The ball is what I want to control, says the Swede, and highlights his former golden coach Jan Johnson as a source of inspiration.

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Other than that, it's international football – and the Norwegian second division. Because even though he has ambitions, he envisions staying in Eidsvold Turn longer to learn more.

Back on the field: Johan Andersson himself played for Eidsvold Turn in the second division last season. Photo: Idzold Torn

– Trying to be inspired by the best. City are the best team in the world, then Brighton have absolutely massive free play, which many people try, but they don't succeed. Arsenal of course. Bologna have something with Thiago Motta and I read something about a team in Brazil. “So I keep track of it,” says Johan Andersson.

Then there was this comeback where he was training solo for years. It happened this weekend. For the Eidsvold Turn coach, he saw a need to rotate the team a bit so that they are well equipped and as rested as possible for the cup match.

The solution was for Anderson to put Anderson at centre-back. He got enough of one cap for Frigg's third division side and contributed to Eidsvold Turn's recruiting squad with one grade. But in senior football – of which Turn is a part – the actual return came with a starting place and 90 minutes in the first leg against Grorud this weekend.

And it ended this way:

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Najuma Ojukwu

Najuma Ojukwu

"Infuriatingly humble internet trailblazer. Twitter buff. Beer nerd. Bacon scholar. Coffee practitioner."

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