First, let us start with a fact that, to most people, is no secret at all. I am a BK Häcken fan, a supporter who for many years stood on Sektion G and sang my team to new victories (and losses, all these losses…). I do not dislike or hate any other club, but BK Häcken is my team.

To be a fan is not something strange, most people tend to have a favorite team when they grow up, even though the relationship to the club changes over the years. I have spent big parts of my childhood in Gothenburg, but I have always felt more attracted to the small club from Hisingen Island than IFK Göteborg, one of the few giants in Swedish football / soccer. BK Häcken was the outsider, the opponent who fought against the Goliaths and a team who did this by playing, at times, fantastic football / soccer. It was not always effective, but it was certainly entertaining to look at. It was never boring to watch a game with the club from Hisingen.

Since I became a football / soccer coach, I have more of a professional view of things. Since this is my profession, I am no longer the fan who jumps up and down at the supporter section, but still the club has a safe place in my heart. For all my adult life, except for one year, I have lived on Hisingen, so I have strong connections to the island and the mentality of both the people and the club. Therefore, it has been a great honor to work for the club when I was the Head Coach for the Women’s Team, but as I said I need to have a more professional view of my football / soccer since I work with it every day.

During the last eight seasons, Peter Gerhardsson (also called PG), has been the Head Coach for the Men’s Team in BK Häcken. He is a man you either love or hate, or so it seems anyway. When he came to the club, most of the teams in the Swedish first division played a rather defensive and disciplined football / soccer. He wanted to change that and he told us many times that he was inspired by the football / soccer from the Netherlands and Spain, not England or Italy. The ball was on the ground most of the time and he wanted his team to brave and to take decisions. He did not want puppets who just followed orders, he wanted players who took responsibility.

I must admit something when it comes to PG – We have not always agreed on the same opinions. In fact, in many cases, I think that he has been a naïve coach who never coached his player to have a decent defense. During all his year, the defense was the team’s weak point, still I never felt he was willing to adjust this matter. He did not want his players to be cowards, so he stood by his philosophy.

Now, in retrospect, I think that Gerhardsson, with a more cynical view, could have achieved more on the pitch. He won a league silver and the Swedish cup, regarding of how long time he has been on the post I would have expected more. But beyond the medals we never took, I am forever grateful for his deeds. Mainly for two things – That he showed courage when everybody thought he was stupid and the mentality he brought to BK Häcken.

He may have, at times, been naïve in his football / soccer philosophy, but still he was a man of his word and always tried to play an attractive football / soccer. It was not always effective, as I said, but it takes courage to still command the players to continue to do so when the results are bad. The offensive style became a trademark of BK Häcken, something that everybody in Sweden recognizes. It is unthinkable today that BK Häcken should play a defensive style of play like Iceland did in this summer Euro 2016. Regardless of what I might think of that, it is Gerhard sons work that made many people to have respect for the club. This was not just a small team anymore, it was a contender who fought with the big clubs. All that was thanks to Gerhardsson.

My fondest memory of Gerhardsson was when I wanted to do my final exam of the UEFA A-course at BK Häcken. I were kind of nervous when I asked him, but his answers were as brave as his view on football / soccer. He said yes right away and came with suggestions on when I could come. In the end, I had my final exam in another city, but still this impression was still with me, that Gerhardsson was a positive and brave coach.

Eight long years have come to an end and today, Peter Gerhardsson is no longer the Head Coach of BK Häcken. It is a sad, but nevertheless necessary, fact. I hope PG finds a new club soon where he can bring his ideas into motion. As I said, I have not always agreed with him, but he have my respect nonetheless. Regardless of where he might end up, I will greet him with a standing ovation next time he comes to Bravida Arena.

It is the least I can do for a yellow and black hero.