Östersund has had great success under the direction of Graham Potter and are now on the cusp of getting the deserved attention. However, that success is coming at a cost of seeing their best players go elsewhere. After a long journey returning from training camp, one that is the norm for Ostersund due to its location, many opt to overlook the club. However, that is changing under the watch of Graham Potter due to the run they had in Europe, and it put Ostersund on many footballers radar.
Ian Burchnall, in speaking to the Independent before boarding the plane home said “I get a lot of players contact me, and certainly from England… I would say hundreds. The phone doesn’t stop to be fair! That’s how it is. We have a good scouting network now and we’re quite clear about the players that we want.”
Ostersund FK has been on the scene for twenty-two years and has always taken the same ambitious mindset after the arrival of Daniel Kindberg, chairman of the franchise. They refuse to invest in transfers and keep their team together using methods that are unconventional such as performing in musicals. However, after making it to the final 32 in the Europa League last season under the watchful eye of Potter, the club is finally getting the attention it deserves.
That attention is resonating in the U.K where its influences have had a notable effect and seen multiple players from the U.K who seem too struggled in their careers expressing interest in playing for Ostersund. It is expected the number of interested players will rise and for sports punters, that is good news. This is especially so when considering placing bets for Ostersund with bookmakers as seen on sites such as Efirbet, an online sports betting information site. It features in-depth reviews of sportsbooks offering Europa League action.
There are seven English players on the squad at Ostersund currently, and that in itself has had an influence in turning the tide of interest. There have also been three members on the coaching staff who hailed from the U.K. As more talent arrives the number of younger talented players such as Ravel Morrison, who played for Man Utd, will likely increase.
Burchnall, who took on the head coaching responsibilities in June, commented that he thinks more English players, especially those younger fresh from the academy will see the possibilities to go to teams outside of England. Buchnall understands that those who might not have had success at one club can with another. He noted it is “all about the right environment and the right place you can nurture the talent.”
Curtis Edwards is one example of that. At 26, Edwards began his football career on Middlesbrough’s youth team. However, he was unsuccessful and left to work in construction while playing part-time with Thornaby, a team managed by his father. Fast forward four years and you find Edwards on Ostersund and seeing the success he chased in his early football career.
Edwards stated that it is not everyone’s dream to play at Ostersund. However, he added that while most enjoy playing there, others have aspirations of playing elsewhere such as those clubs they favoured as kids. He said that he feels everyone has focused targets they want to achieve in regards to top clubs even though Ostersund is doing well.
The interest and calls to the club remain high from those from the U.K. However, it has slowed down progress. Burchnall’s pragmatic approach has been key in dealing with the attention. Yet, it also saw five players being sent packing as it did Graham Potter, who is now with Swansea. That put Burchnall is a position he had to climb out of let alone leaving him big shoes to fill. How he manages that will determine whether interest from U.K players continues, but if you look at Burchnall’s past record, it is fair to suggest, the odds are with him.