Packing my life up and jumping into a new challenge was an easy decision, the positives and the excitement of working abroad, far outweighed the safety and comfort of being back home. I wasn’t sure what to expect fully when I arrived, so I’m hoping this insight will help others, by preparing them for what working abroad could be like. So far I would have to say my overall experience has been very good but as I continue to work here, there are more things which I would like to get, in order to help enhance the club and the players training sessions.
My general working life here is similar to back home, in the sense that I have office work to do during the day, such as watching our last game, watching our next opponents, session planning, reviewing training and researching players. This is done across both the men’s and women’s team with Gregg (Men’s team manager) & Nik (Women’s team manager). Working closely with two coaches, who have the same passion and drive to succeed as myself has been a massive help whilst I have been out here.
The main difference is, all coaching from the youngest to the oldest players at the club, during the week takes place in the evenings, with the youngest players arriving at the club ready to start training at 15:00 and the final sessions finishing around 21:00. Then the over 30’s/40’s teams are on till 10pm. Due to our club not having an indoor facility we either train outside or we have certain slots at the main indoor pitch in Reykjavik, which is a fantastic facility. During the summer months, the children get a long time off school, so this allows for training sessions during the day.
An average goalkeeper training week will consist of two sessions for the U12 boys and girls, three sessions for the U14 to U19 boys and girls, then anything from 2 to 5 sessions for the men’s and women’s 1st teams, depending on the match/training schedule. As well as this there could be individual/small group sessions during the day whether that’s on the pitch, in the gym or both. Gym sessions are something that I am looking to add more of for the U19 and 1st team keepers.
We also try to attend as many games as possible during the week, to analyse teams and look for potential players. In 2018 I have attended 33 live games. Most weekends will consist of games and/or training, as well as going out to watch games live.
Away from coaching, Reykjavik and Iceland in general is great place to live. Being in the city is very convenient for shopping, going out for food/drinks etc. with the high levels or tourism, there is always something going on. I’ve also had opportunities in the mornings or days off to go a visit the main tourist locations.
Overall my quality of life over here is very good and would say it’s much better than being back home. At work I get as much contact time with the goalkeepers, if not more than back home. I find that my work is more valued by everyone and I’m not just seen as ‘the goalkeeper coach’. Not having to do things like the PMA or other unimportant tasks like that has made work even more enjoyable as well as having both the developmental side of the game and also the pressures of being in the results based business has also been a nice challenge.
Although I spend a lot of time at work, I have better balance of work/social life here than what I did back home, which has also been a massive bonus. Something which was difficult to get used to was the 22/23/24 hours of daylight during the summer, like getting back from an away game at 03:00 and having to wear sunglasses to drive home was something that will stay with me. Then during the winter, where there’s only daylight from 10:30 till 15:30/16:00, that is also something difficult to get used to.
The next piece will look at how our start to the season has gone and how it is different to back home.
For the first insight from Jamie Brassington and his life in Iceland click here