This year’s development manager education started with a digital meeting and ended with an inspiring study visit to Atlético Madrid. At these events, and in between, the participants have had the opportunity to acquire new knowledge and make important contacts.
“It’s great that we do these things”, says Oscar Norrby, development manager at Västerås SK.

In 2021, a project aimed at the development managers in the Swedish elite clubs was carried out for the first time. At the time, the participants were five in number – a number that has risen to twelve during the 2022 education.

The program contained four parts, the first of which was a digital lecture from Andy Foster, “head of coaching” in Leeds, England. The second involved the Belgian Double Pass, which focuses on developing the clubs’ player education plans, and the third was an exchange of experience between the Swedish clubs, divided into small groups.

This week, the education ended with a study trip to Spain, to take a closer look at the academy of Atlético Madrid.

“It is very useful to have international references of this kind, there are a lot of cool things to be inspired by in a club like Atletico. But at the end of the day, football is still football and the vast majority of people do pretty much the same things and struggle with the same problems, but even that is a lesson as important as any other. The challenge will be to be adept at sorting out what of everything that Atletico does that is relevant and possible to apply in its own business”, notes Oscar Norrby (pictured below), new to his position in VSK since the turn of the year, having previously been U19-coach in the same club.

He thinks the mix of content is one of the strengths of this kind of visit.

“I don’t think the picture you get in theory always matches reality, part of that is of course the language barrier. If I had gone home from Madrid and only received the theoretical, I would have had a different view of how they work, but now that I have been there for a few days and also got to take part in training, I have a completely different opinion.”

A major advantage of the development manager education is also the opportunity to take part in how other Swedish clubs work to further develop their academies.

“The greatest strength of the final week was the opportunity to hang out and talk to each other in peace and quiet, it is impossible to get away from the fact that contact making is very important. Earlier during the project, there has been more focus on skill development and the opportunity to get references in the form of greater knowledge and knowledge of what the other Swedish clubs are doing. It has been a good combination”, says Norrby.

Thomas Hasselgren, academy developer at Swedish Professional Football Leagues, has been responsible for the project and summarizes it as follows:

“It has been fantastic to lead this project. The participants have inspired both me and each other during the year. I believe and hope that everyone feels more secure in their roles after completing the course. The arrangement this year has largely been the same as last year, and I think that the mix of international examples and exchange of experiences between each other has been appreciated. The group has grown together and you have made friends for life.”

Participants during the 2022 development manager education:
Tobias Celedon, AIK
Peter Wennberg, AIK
Christian Gentile, Djurgården
Hans Eklund, Helsingborg IF
Conny Sveijer, IK Sirius
Oscar Norrby, Västerås SK
Anders Wahrnberg, BK Häcken
Sebastian Waldenström, Brommapojkarna
Markus Tilly, GIF Sundsvall
Jocke Rydberg, Hammarby
Elias Levi, Degerfors IF
Victor Salwén, IF Elfsborg