Thomas Stewart at Ytterhogdals IK Part One – Start of life in Sweden

Thomas Stewart has began his role as Head Coach with Swedish side Ytterhogdals IK and as promised, Jobs4football will update on his experiences through the season covering the positive, negatives and niche experiences that he will no doubt have.

The role of Head Coach at Ytterhogdals IK was exclusively recruited by  The recruitment process was detailed with over 160 applicants from all over the world and Thomas was selected as the profile that will lead the club for the 2023 Season.

The Northern Irish UEFA A coach only landed in Sweden two weeks ago but has been very quick to get to work,

“I’m really enjoying my start to life in Sweden and trying to leave no stone unturned with getting heavily invested with the club on all aspects. We have been able to start training outside this week for the first time since everyone arrived. We are all new here, players and staff, so I am trying to gel everyone quickly and create an identity within the squad.

I’m working hard with the players to give them development and belief and we have been getting 2/3 sessions now most days. While it’s pre season, we have to find the right balance between fitness and getting the lads prepared with games as the season draws close. With the snow it has made me have to alter how we train, whether that’s at the gym, indoor at a futsal pitch or in the swimming pool. It has been beneficial for team bonding and morale.”

Having only met his squad for a number of days Thomas now has to evaluate their levels and begin to prepare the style of play he wishes to adopt at the club. In addition to that reviewing the facilities he has at his disposal which included Grass Pitches, Futsal halls, gymnasium and swimming pools.

“We played our 1st pre season game and it was a great lesson and chance to learn. While we gave a decent account of ourselves at times, we hadn’t played or trained on a pitch together until the day before. There were some positive signs and I’m excited by the group but we need to make sure we become a team, stick together and eliminate soft mistakes. That’s what the game came down to. The next game is on Saturday and I’m looking forward to us testing something new and being able to see how another team in our division play. My focus is on performance and not results and getting as many players minutes for fitness, while they understand their roles and responsibilities within the team. Ytterhogdal is a great village and community, while it’s small and only boasting one shop, it’s made for anyone who wants to fully submerge themselves into the football world without any distractions.”

Within the short time Thomas has been in Sweden there is no doubt he has learnt a lot both on the pitch and off the pitch and that will  stand him in good stead for the season ahead and for his long term coaching journey,

“For me, I have learnt so much already and look forward to the season and challenge ahead. I have met some good people at the club and can’t speak highly enough of our director of sport Duncan McKie, who had helped me settle immediately and taken care of everything for me including meetings, language barriers and the communication between us each day has been excellent and we have built well each day.”

Jobs4football look forward to the next update from the Ytterhogdals IK camp as pre season is ramped up and no doubt key decisions are made ahead of the season opener.

Good luck Thomas and Ytterhogdals IK

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