Things began to settle down a bit in my head after the last game. A big club in the English Division One had wanted me, me, a 19 year old left back, or so I thought, playing for an unfashionable team in Sweden. I said as much to Richard who agreed with me, I think. What he actually said was "I know, especially as you are a bit crap."
Still, I only had 2 more games with Malmo and I promised myself that I would play my best, give it my all, in both of them.
First up was away to Goteborg, a team higher up the table. The wobbly manager, Lord Bastard, sat us down in the away dressing room and went over the team and what he wanted. It was always difficult to concentrate at these pre match meetings as I was always keen to get out there. The boss also wobbled at alarming rates when he was making a point. It was especially hard today as he had rolled his sleeves up and his arms were dancing to a completely different tune to the rest of his huge body. I shut my eyes. I was playing in defensive midfield again with Kenneth behind me at centre half.
The game started well with Soog scoring in the 15th minute. Things went from good to great as Johansson scored in the 20th minute to make it 2-0. This was especially pleasing for me as I had provided the assist, my first. What a feeling. Richard wandered over to me and told me it was a "lucky pass". He's so funny. Skoog scored again in the 2nd half to make it 3-0 and the game petered out after this.
The boss was very happy with the score and even happier that we had kept a clean sheet. I had tried to shake Kenneth's hand at the end of the match but he had given me a funny look and walked off.
Our next game, which was to be my final match for Malmo, was away at Norrkoping. The boss had kept faith with the team that had beaten Goteborg so comprehensively and his confidence in us rubbed off as we quickly raced into a 2-0 lead. Johansson scored in the 8th minute with his 5th goal of the season and then shortly after Skoog was brought down in the area. He calmly picked the ball up and then handed it to me! I must have looked like a white moose caught in the headlights but he smiled, said it might be my last chance to score in my last game and walked off. I must have looked calm as I placed the ball and began my run up but inside I was shaking. I knew where it was going, bottom right. I gave the goalie the "eyes" and he dived the other way. I had scored!
My sudden elation was rudely interrupted as my team mates all jumped on me. Even Kenneth shook my hand and said "well done mate" in a warm voice.
The rest of the half was a blur if I'm honest but I was playing well, we all were. Lord Bastard told us to carry on the way we were playing and we would win. Unfortunately Norrkoping had other ideas and attacked us from the off and it was no surprise when they scored in the 55th minute. I was partly to blame as I had sprayed a ball to Majstorovic who could only head it to their forward, who scored. Things then went from bad to worse 4 minutes later when they scored again. 2-2. We rallied after this but the game once again ended in a draw.
In both of my last 2 games I had got an 8, which I was very happy with. We had also stayed unbeaten. Richard gave me a big hug and said he would miss me and Kenneth came over, shook my hand, and told me he was looking forward to going to England. "I'm looking forward to going to England", he said.
We had a small party that night. The boss stood up in the middle of it and raised a toast to us both, wishing us well. When he sat down I could have sworn that the empty glasses on the tables jumped.
I slept well that night, happy with the goodbyes. I would miss them all, Teddy and Richard especially, but I was very excited about going to such a famous city as Sheffield. I was looking forward to the canals and all the fantastic history such a vibrant city would offer. Especially after spending all my life in Malmo.
The big day arrived. My parents, Richard and Teddy had come to see me off. Kenneth had his folks as well, all teary eyed. It was quite emotional as we both made our way through to the departure lounge and sat down.
England, here we come!