John Alvbåge interview – January 2011
Following their third place finish in the Allsvenskan in 2010, and ahead of the start of the new season, I chatted to one of the stars of Örebro SK: ‘keeper and fan favourite, John Alvbåge.
The fans talk very highly of Sixten Boström – how much of an impact has he had on Örebro’s improved position over the past 3 seasons?
He’s our boss and what he has done with both the team and the club is amazing; he has changed the club’s DNA. We’ve went from being a boring defensive playing team to now being an attacking, spectacular team to watch and we are successful because of it.
How important is it to keep Sixten as the manager at Örebro?
It’s very important. His style of play is still under development but we have come so far that if he stops now it would be a catastrophe.
Where did you think ÖSK would finish in the Allsvenskan last season?
I had a dream of being a top team but I didn’t think that we would become that. I was a little bit surprised but I also knew that we had it in us (to finish in a European qualifying position). If you look at our starting 11 we have top quality in every position.
Many ÖSK fans have said that it is difficult to pick out one star performer from 2010 as the third place finish was a real team effort. Is this a view shared by you and what do you think of the team spirit at the club?
That’s true, some players have been really good like Nordin Gerzić, Magnus Wikström and Alejandro Bedoya; but we have so many good players and so we can still develop and become better; all of us. And the team spirit we have is awesome.
How important is it for the club to have the opportunity to play in Europe this year?
It’s really good for the club and for us players. We have many experienced players from senior and under 21 national teams but to get experience of the top level of European football is great and I hope we can go far in the Europa League.
What do you think is needed for Örebro to keep improving?
So many things…I don’t know where to start! The club has to develop everything. We can improve everywhere but if we just look on the football side of things we have to perform better away from home. We are strong at the Behrn Arena but away we have to be stronger and right now we do need to get some more players in. We have quite a young team right now and maybe one or two more experienced players would be good for the club.
IFK Göteborg weren’t able to improve in 2010 after their runners-up position in 2009 – do you think that Örebro can maintain third or improve and challenge for the title this year?
Yes we can improve but we need some new blood in our squad. So right now it’s up to the club to buy some more quality.
What has been your greatest moment during your two spells at Örebro?
I don’t really know; I’m still waiting for that special day. But the home game against Helsingborg in 2010 was an awesome victory for the club.
What are your personal future hopes as a footballer?
I have big hopes but in reality I don’t know how far my hopes will reach. I want to play outside of Scandinavia and show everybody that I’m a great ‘keeper. My dream is to play in the English Premier League or the Spanish La Liga. I do think that I have the quality but it’s a long way to go. I must have the hopes and dreams or else I should stop playing football right now and start working in a bank or something.
You were part of the 2006 World Cup squad – do you believe that you’ll be able to play for the national team again?
Yes, why not.
Are there any young players in Sweden that you’ve played against and think that they could be ‘special’ players in the future?
Yes, we have some good young players at ÖSK like Marcus Astvald and Per Johansson. Outside of the Örebro team I think IFK Göteborg’s Robin Söder is a quality young player.
Andy Hudson – January 2011.