Elias Lindberg is a 16 year old Swedish footballer from Stockholm who so far has had a very interesting career that brings to the surface many questions about talent Identification , what is talent ? and how should we as coaches nurture the players development.Elias now plays his football in Malaga.
Elias ,tell me a little bit about your football career so far.
I started playing football for a local team at 6.When I was 10 I attended a football school and It was then I began to realize how much fun football was. I developed very quickly there mainly because of how we played during break time it was street football, spontaneous. We took it as serious as our official training sessions .The next step was to find a “better” club or at least what in Stockholm is called an elite club. I began playing with Hammarby 4. After a year in that team I was promoted to the first team in Hammarby for my age group. There we had a coach who was obsessed with physical training and during the season we had two sessions per week, which consisted of 8 km running, and 1h strength training. Due to the physical training I picked up a lot of injuries and that meant I missed a lot of football. So because of this training I lost my pace and decided to drop down to the 2nd team where I began to to regain my confidence and speed. We had a great coach and he helped me with my development. The training was fun and we did everything with the ball even our fitness training .The coach left at the end of the season and I didn’t want to go back to the first team
In the middle of all this I got involved in KAFA FOOTBALL which was on every Friday night.Kafa helped me relax more with my game and try out new things. I began to use my left foot more and look at the game differently.My self confidence really grew during those Friday nights with KAFA. Without KAFA I would never have developed so quickly.
I went to another local club Bagarmossen where I played in midfield and became team captain. Another club. Soon I took another step up playing for Sköndal U17 team.I was a year younger than everyone else in the team and my whole game really developed. Last summer I attended a footbal summer camp in Spain where coach Reuf Dervic. approached my father and offered to fix me trial games for some of the best clubs in the Malaga area. So I trained with Vazquez Cultural u-19 team in the Spanish junior league which is a feeder club to Malaga, Fiorentina and Genoa. They where very impressed with my game and offered me a contract. Since my dad lives down here and this was a really good opportunity I to say yes. I am the youngest in the team and I am really enjoying my football.
You never featured in the elite Stockholm City representation team
Its sad but the City team (Stadslaget) only look at the players in in the big clubs so I never got a chance to represent Stockholm. Funnily enough now that I am with a big Spanish club the National team coach for the u-16 has been in touch. He will probably come to Malaga and see me play. He could have done that a few months ago in Stockholm . It is quite strange that as soon as you go to a bigger club, you become interesting.
It seems to me that you have got a more rounded football education than many players from the Stockholms elite teams.
One advantage of not playing with the elite Stockholm teams is that you really learn how to win back the ball. You really develop your defensive skills. This has really helped my game here in Malaga.
How do you compare your Training sessions in Malaga with those in Stockholm ?
In Sweden I feel that there is not enough free play, too may drills with cones etc. Here most of our training relates directly to match situations. In Malaga it doesn’t matter how strong you are, it is all about reading the opponent and knowing when is the right moment to take the ball off him. All my physical fitness training is aimed at improving my mobility which I think needs to improve a lot.