Middelfart - let's not follow through


Apr 18, 2017
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And so the story begins. The small, quaint town of Middelfart in Denmark. Having lived in the North West of England for the last decade, it may not be too far of a stretch to up sticks and move over to Denmark. It's a tad colder and the names are harder to pronounce but I need to start my managerial career somewhere.

The only football qualifications I have are a FA Level 1 Coaching Award and I have played some Sunday League football although my career was suddenly cut short due to a horrendous lack of talent. 26 years old, yearning for adventure and a drastic change, I decided to apply for a few jobs. Even the local leagues seem to have high standards of coaches so I have had no luck. Further afield a friend of mine did some coaching in a small village near Middelfart and mentioned he knew the owner.

Long story short, a horrible campaign mixed with pure desperation meant I got a Skype interview with the Chairman Claus Hansen. All my training so far had led me to constantly reminding myself to not giggle every time the Chairman said 'Middelfart'. Some typical questions then followed and I decided to be blatantly honest. How can I say it's been a dream of mine to manage Middelfart? Who's going to believe that? Instead I keep it short and simple.

"Look Mr. Hansen, I have the drive, determination and ambition to take on the task of taking this club further up the leagues and to bring success. It may be a risk taking me on, but let's be honest it's about time for a change around here."

Fearing that I may have been a tad too arrogant in the interview, I was worried sick and continue to wait for my reply. He said he needed a few days to discuss things with the board, so hopefully there will be a decision soon.

After the 14,000 time of hitting the refresh button on my laptop, I start to worry that I may have broken it. I check my phone, still no luck. To keep myself slightly distracted I decided to do some research into the the place I will potentially be moving to.

The town of Middelfart has a population of just over 14,000. The town boasts one Church and hopefully a pub. On a more impressive note, Christian Eriksen used to live here. If all goes well, I hope to bring through some more local talent through the ranks and maybe find another famous name to add to the ranks.

1 Unread email. Could this be it?

From: Claus Hansen
RE: Job Interview

Dear Hein,

Thank you for your time and patience. Following our interview the other day, the board has further discussed the vacant manager's role. Despite a few high quality applications, we are pleased to offer you the current position. The board had commended your passion and honesty and hope this is a trait that will continue as you go on if you accept this offer.

Please could you respond at the earliest convenience, pre-season is just around the corner and we are eager to get training underway.

Kind regards,

Safe to say it didn't take long for me to reply and accept the job. What a great way to blag a job in a new country! I quickly reply with one main question. How on earth do you get to Middelfart?

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Welcome to Middelfart!
It is just after 11pm local time. I have been travelling for nearly 13 hours with delays, missed trains and struggling with the slight dip in temperature. England is cold and despite it being summer, Denmark is quite nippy so late in the evening.

The club have organised a little B&B for me until I find a place of my own to rent or buy (if this goes well). After unpacking and getting some sleep I am up first thing to get prepared for my first day at Middelfart Boldklub. I head over to the stadium and I see Claus standing outside in the car park. Great to meet him in person and to get this job underway. A quick tour around the basic facilities, we go into what will be my office. A room Harry Potter would sneer at. I would only be able to have meetings with 1 person at a time and they would have to sit on my lap. This will need to change, along with that ridiculous stadium name. My hope is that they will build a new stadium or expand this one at least.

The chairman asked if I would like a brief history of the club and seeing as I had no knowledge of Middelfart a few weeks ago, it wouldn't be a bad idea.

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Not the most prestigious as you can see, but we will soon change that.
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Middelfart Boldklub appoint unknown manager
In a somewhat surprising move, Middelfart Boldklub have made a bold statement by appointing unknown manager Hein van der Westhuizen as Manager. The Brit has no formal management qualifications and has only played as a Sunday League player. Many fans are concerned by the fact that no one has even heard of the young manager before. Jorgen Jensen, a lifelong local fan, had the following to say:

"Who? What? Why? Just why? How can this 26 year old come over here and make a difference. Shocking decision by the club. At the end of the day I still support the club but I am not getting too excited for what lies ahead"

This sentiment is echoed amongst other supporters who believe that the calibre of managers available were far more suitable than this unproven, uninitiated foreigner.

The only supporter in van der Westhuizen's corner is Gertrud Maer. The 78 year old fisherman's wife has said "We have had a real struggle lately. Maybe, just maybe, this is the drastic change we need to bring some success to the club and the glorious town of Middelfart.

It is expected that the manager will be revealed to the press in the coming days.

Well things are a bit mixed after my first few days at the club. Having a look at the squad there are some real players here which impressed me. On the other hand we are in debt and have absolutely zero youth prospects or squad depth. The saving grace could be the fact that it's a short season here.

So let's have a look at some of the players who are going to lead the team to glory and promotion.

Adigun Salami (great name)
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What a lovely little player Salami looks to be! The Nigerian will be our pivot point in midfield, like a younger, cheaper Kante.

Casper Radza
View attachment 89328 The team is quite youthful and for his age, I can't believe this kid hasn't been scouted by the bigger clubs. Seems to be a solid choice between the sticks this season.

Casper Vaerum

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Another Casper but this one is a tad older. He is the club captain and will continue to be. Our best player in terms of versatility and arguably at the same level as Salami. Casper can either partner Salami in midfield or play up front.

Peter Jul Nielsen
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A future star for the club I imagine, this lad seems to be the leading light in our weak looking defence. The left back can bomb forward and seem to be able to whip a cross in too.

Apart from these exceptions the rest of the team looks pretty poor, although they are young so could improve.
In order to boost my coaching skills, I have requested to do my National C licence but unfortunately the board are unable to pay for it. Apparently the FA won't accept fish as payment, so we will have to do with what little we have in the back room staff.

Below are our fixtures for the season. Yes, the WHOLE season. Let's crack on with the friendlies then eh? See what these boys have to offer!
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Before the friendlies get underway I needed to add some quality to the squad. I have very little money for this and the club is already in debt so I am hoping a risky addition of these two players will pay off with promotion at the end of the year.

Haydar Said
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Our first signing is Haydar Said, the 24 year old Iranian joins Middelfart on a free transfer from Avarta, who also play in the Second Division. The Iranian is hoping to impress following a disappointing stint at FC Copenhagen.

Mathias CorduaView attachment 89317
Now here is a player that I think will be a real bargain. Transferred across from Avarta as well, Cordua joins Said in the backline of Middelfart. Despite being only 21 years old, the young Dane already has 46 first team appearances under his belt and 1 goal. His physical stats look decent and the lad knows how to tackle. Sorted.

Right, preseason friendlies mean 2 things for me. Fitness and proof. Players need to get up to speed and they need to show me they deserve a place in the team. We have 6 games for the lads to show what they can do.

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Well that was a bit ****. I haven't heard of any of these teams, we were favourites in the majority of the games and bar one great performance from a striker I have already forgotten the name of, I haven't got anything else to report really. Our key players performed which is a plus but we need some serious help if this team is wanting to get promoted. Oh yeah speaking of which I had a bit of a chat with the squad, saying I fancy our chances finishing higher than mid table. These lot have the ambition of David Moyes and the determination of a wet noodle. They believe it unrealistic and we should settle for mid table. Balderdash I say, we are here to win!

It is here. The start of my professional career as a football manager. With the bookies making us favourite for promotion, I'm a bit more confused as to why the squad generally think a top half finish is ambitious. Maybe they just feel a bit insecure.

Anyway the games are coming in thick and fast as I imagine they want the games played before Denmark turns into something beyond the Wall on Game of Thrones.
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Not bad at all! 3-0 against a side predicted to do well. A hat-trick on a debut for Mads Raben. A very pleasing first game as a manager.

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Unbelievable scenes! We were written off from the start here. After conceding in the 1st minute I was tempted to just park the bus. Not today, we decided to turn that bus around and smash it right into their smug faces. Mads scored yet again and we were all over them. Extra time loomed and we should have lost but thanks to a disallowed goal we went to penalties and Casper came up big! Even more kudos to the players as they defeated the side who won the cup a few years back!

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Hard fought but we get the late win thanks to potential super sub Bjorn Arvad.

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Disappointment. We conceded early, pulled it right back and then dominated the game. Should have got 3 points.

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That's more like it. A good solid win with some solid performances all around.

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Second round in the cup against another big team, this team the league above us. What a game just a pity we couldn't get something from it.


I've just looked at the table. We are on negative points! I thought we would be top for sure but it seems Middelfart have **** the money bed. It must be finances that have left the clubs on -15 points at the start of the season. We have pulled it back a bit and are on -5 points now but really ****** off. Why didn't the board tell me? Finally found out why the boys have been so pessimistic. We need a miracle to get promoted now.​
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Jury still out on van der Westhuizen

After one month of competitive fixtures, the verdict on new Middelfart Boldklub boss is still not determined. Despite leading the club to an undefeated start of the campaign, many fans remain pessimistic about the club's prospects this season.

A good performance in the cup has given the Englishman some credibility but critics say that it was merely expected.

When asked about his first month, the manager had this to say.

"Well it's early doors here but the lads attitude has been great. We all just want to focus on a game at a time and if we keep it up, we are confident we can get a positive result to this campaign."

The young manager is looking to build on some of these foundations and will be praising the form of some of his key players. Time will only tell if the gamble pays off.

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All things considered it is not a bad start at all. Despite being the best team in the league in terms of performance, the plucky club of Middelfart is still rooted to the foot of the table. We are one victory away from 1 point. I am confident we can push up the table but the question is how big will the gap at the top be come the end of the season.

We have also made another signing. All free as he is an amateur but some good quality cover for the squad.

Rasmus Johansen
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Definitely one for the future. Hopefully we can develop him here and he can provide some good cover for the key players. Some nice stats for a young lad.

Game 1:
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It took more than an hour to breakdown a stubborn 5 man defence but a wins a win. Also a first club goal for El-Ahmar. Bad news from this game as main man Salami does his ankle in. Hopefully he can recover sooner rather than later.
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Game 2:
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Another great display. Quite aggressive with a number of cards shown both ways but we got the goals that mattered. Skipper Vaerum getting of the mark this season and young striker Boesen grabbing a brace.

Game 3:
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Well the unbeaten run could not last. We play first in the league away from home and come up just short. All 172 fans were treated to a spectacle though with goals flying in everywhere. I expect we will be battling it out with Marienlyst at the end of the season.

Game 4:
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The final game of the month sees us climb up the table after a comfortable 3-0 win against the bottom club. El-Ahmar grabs another from a set piece and Thrane (who we loaned in) opens his account from midfield. Boesen adds another goal and a fine performance. He get my vote for Player of the Month.

You're on 7 points though now, right? Easy street! You're in form and you've wiped out the points deduction nice and early - could still be a successful season.
You're on 7 points though now, right? Easy street! You're in form and you've wiped out the points deduction nice and early - could still be a successful season.

Yeah I think I am. Will post the league table in the next update this morning. Should get promoted but just depends on how big the gap is at the top

The month of October is already upon us. The season is going as well as it can really with very few hiccups. We have the best record in the league and we have started to climb up the table after clawing back our deficit.
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The other major thing to note is we are already half way through the season. View attachment 89264

With only a handful of games left in the coming month and a home game against the only team to beat us in the league, this is it. I am not 100% sure how the format works but I imagine they have a winter break and do the playoffs later on. We shall see. For now it's all about the next 5 games and getting as many points as possible.

Game 1:
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The scoreline makes it look tighter than it was (oo matron!). Skipper Vaerum got us up and running and the highlight of the game was Salami's long range thunderbolt hit with some force. Our resident Iranian right back (nutcase) got another card and has now exceeded the points allowed so is banned for one game.
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Whilst he is off to anger management, Said has also picked up his Danish citizenship from the embassy. Busy day for the lad.
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Game 2:
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A very disappointing draw. We lost the lead early doors but managed to answer before half time. After a stern team talk it seemed that my Danish was not as fluent as I thought as they didn't bother turning up. I did however get a bucket of fried chicken delivered to my house...

Game 3:
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WHAT. A. GAME! El-Ahmar decided to channel his inner Jamie Carragher and score an own goal off the first bit of play. Before we could reply, they had 2. Half time came and my angry Danish lessons were about to kick in. I spat out a host insults and threatened to give them the Phil Brown style telling off at the end of the game. Feeling embarrassed and with some tactical changes from myself, the lads came back to win! UP THE FARTS!

The only bad news is we have lost our number 1 young striker for the rest of the season effectively.
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Game 4:
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The streak continues with a comfortable win. Skipper Casper leading the way again, with our only American scoring the second.

Game 5:
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0-0. Cheers lads. Our nutcase Iranian decides to become Vinnie Jones and tries to set the record for the quickest sending off. We need to get the guy some professional help.

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The end of the month sees us right in the mix for the playoffs. Only 8 points behind Marienlyst, I don't think we have enough games to catch them. We should be able to go up though, that is if the playoffs mean you go up into the next league and not just giving you entry to the local raffle.​
I love random overseas leagues with their bizarre rules. I almost hope winning the playoff does send you on a tour of Denmark's fisheries or something similar. On a serious note though, good job - pretty stunning season considering the points deduction.
I've never know anything like it! It may indeed produce something bizarre but we shall see! Thanks, I hope that it can continue!