Sport

Ostersunds boss Graham Potter relishing "amazing" Arsenal challenge


Share this article


When Arsenal resume their Europa League campaign this month, standing in their way in the last-32 will be Swedish minnows Ostersunds.

Only founded in October 1996, they've gone from the fourth tier in 2011 to the Swedish top flight in 2016 and then into Europe this season.

At the heart of it is English manager Graham Potter, who was a team-mate of our own Kevin Kilbane's at West Bromwich Albion in the late '90s, during a playing career that also took him to Birmingham City and Southampton among others.  

He's been in charge of Ostersunds since 2011 when their adventure up the Swedish ranks began. But what drove him to start his professional coaching career in Scandinavia?

Well, he joined Kevin for a chat about that journey.

"It was a real big gamble and from a family perspective it was a huge move," he said.

Oestersund's coach Graham Potter, photographed during a training session before the 2nd Europa League soccer match at the Jaemtkraft-Arena in Oestersund, Sweden, 27 September 2017. Photo: Soeren Stache/dpa

"But I just wanted to try and just at that point, I couldn't have got any jobs really in England at any sort of level that allows you to work.

"If you go down the levels, they want to know what players you know from the level, how can you recruit them. They don't want to know about the process of learning how you've done things and what you're bringing to the football club."

Sweden has afforded Potter that chance. But how about the challenge of facing Arsenal - especially as Ostersunds will be coming off the back of their winter break?

"That's the challenge for us, Kev. We finished our domestic season on the first weekend of November and we played the Europa League until the 8th of December. So this is traditionally our pre-season."

Two training camps as well as friendly fixtures have helped to get them more up to speed.

"It's amazing," he said of the challenge of facing Arsenal.

"For us to be playing in the last-32 of the Europa League, we're not going to complain about it. 

"You can imagine the people of Ostersunds are so excited. They've sold the games four or five times over. Amazing experience for everybody here and we just want to try and represent ourselves as well as we can."

You can listen to the full interview on the podcast player.


Share this article


Read more about

Sport

You might like

Live: Title

Description

Added to queue
Removed from queue

On Air

Share

Share

Next up on queue

Title
Description
Duration

There are currently no podcasts in the queue

Go to podcasts

On Air

The Sound of the City with And...

The Sound of the City with Andy Clarke

12:00-16:00

Share

Up next

The Sound of the City with Den...

The Sound of the City with Denis Vavasour

16:00-19:00

Share

Dublin’s Top 30 with Paul Bona...

Dublin’s Top 30 with Paul Bonass

19:00-21:00

Share

Totally Irish with John Barker

Totally Irish with John Barker

21:00-23:00

Share

Now That's What I Call Sport w...

Now That's What I Call Sport with Jamie Moore

23:00-00:00

Share

The Sound of the City at Night

The Sound of the City at Night

00:00-06:00

Share

98FM'S Big Breakfast with Coop...

98FM'S Big Breakfast with Cooper & Luke

06:00-10:00

Share

Dublin Talks with Adrian & Jer...

Dublin Talks with Adrian & Jeremy

10:00-12:00

Share

The Sound of the City with Bar...

The Sound of the City with Barry Dunne

12:00-16:00

Share

00:00:00 / 00:00:00

Share on