Now with 60 people on the team
Anyone who knows or has ever met Therese Sjögran knows how passionate she is about football. How soothing she finds it to listen to the background noise of a football game while she putters around the house. She started playing when she was five years old, and football has been her life’s greatest passion ever since. And Therese has a great career as a footballer behind her. She has spread the joy of football in Harlösa, Veberöd, Wä, Kristianstad, Malmö, and Harrison NJ, as well as all over the world in her blue and yellow Swedish national team jersey. Her career has now taken her to the sidelines, but from there she remains very much a part of what happens on the field.
“Life as a sports director is amazingly exciting, but also incredibly different than being a player,” says Therese about her role as Sports Director at FC Rosengård.
Therese is responsible for three teams and over 60 players and leaders. It’s time-consuming to be responsible for so many staff members, and she needs to be available virtually 24/7. Perhaps she needs to assist someone who is going on a national team assignment. Or she might need to contact an interesting player’s agents.
“It’s a lot of work and the days are long, but I like to always be available. I don’t like to switch off and take care of things later, because then I know there’ll be 100 texts and 1,000 e-mails waiting. In that case, I’d rather deal with things right away, as they happen,” explains Therese about her choice to always be there for the players, managers and agents.
The recruitment of a new player affects the group dynamics of the team, and it is therefore important that the sports director knows the team and the group well. The goal is always for a new recruit to take the team to the next level. And it’s incredibly satisfying when the team-building works and everyone sees how the players develop, improve their qualities and work together. That’s when Therese stands on the sidelines and enjoys the fruits of her labours.
“It’s always fun to find an uncut diamond. But you also feel proud if and when you can attract a big name, an established star, to the club. That’s a great feeling, too,” says Therese about her favourite kinds of recruitments.
Life as a sports director is amazingly exciting, but also incredibly different than being a player.
– Therese Sjögran
Therese has been sports director for seven years, and a lot has happened in that time. Although progress remains slow in some areas and the finances continue to lag behind, everything has become more professional. There are higher demands on the players. The club now has access to the latest technology for collecting physio data. This helps to optimise the training of each individual player.
“These past years, the players have also become more professional. They’re more focused and are aware that the market is growing and there are greater opportunities to go pro. The problem is that the base for recruiting new players is so small. There are too few girls who start playing football, and even fewer who continue past childhood,” says Therese about the recruitment base of the future.
Therese has many fond memories of the era during which she was one of the eleven players on the national team. Their 2010 Swedish Championship gold medal and the 2-1 victory against France in the 2011 World Cup bronze medal match are just a couple of many successes they enjoyed. Now she works from the sidelines, making new memories alongside the 60 colleagues she now has on her team.