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19 August 2021

Our next player to pen a blog post from Scandinavia is Steve Simpson, who is no stranger to moving abroad having done this on quite a few occasions, now...

I’m enjoying it so far. I’m finding it a lot different to England – everything is a lot quieter and it’s just a different environment to what we’re used to in an English dressing room, but we’re enjoying it and all adapting to it really well.
Everyone is still really welcoming at the club, too, so that has been helpful.
It’s always difficult when you move to another country, but I’d probably say I’m the most used to it out of all the lads because I’ve moved from three different continents. I’ve moved from Jamaica to Canada, Canada to England and now I’m living in Denmark, so I’m more used to it, but it’s still a lot different for me.
Ronald Vrabec has just taken over. I think he’s helped the team a lot, helped our structure and made us more of a team. I think the dressing room is a lot different now – he’s brought unity, structure and intensity to the team, which is what we needed.
And our assistant, Rafael van der Vaart, is great – he’s obviously a huge name. I used to watch him on TV so, to have him as a coach is just incredible. He gives us lots of advice and, overall, he’s a great person as well as a great coach, so it’s good to work with him.
Just the other day, I was doing a shooting drill after training and he came over and gave me advice on what types of drills I should do and how to improve finishing and stuff like that.
So, it shows that, even though he’s played at the highest level and he’s a big name, he’s still very down to earth to come and used his own spare time after training to help me with my extra training. I found that very humble from such a big name.

Steve Simpson in action for Esbjerg fB

We lost 1-0 against FC Fredericia on Tuesday – we didn’t finish off the chances and, in the final third, we were a bit too eager and not as composed as we should have been.
But, performance-wise, we’re doing a lot better. I think we’ve been unlucky with results because the team is playing much better, we just need to get that first win to really kick on. The signs are positive now because we’re playing better and we need to make sure that we start picking points up.
Right now, our style is more of a mid-press, so we don’t really go right up to the full-backs and invite them to press out. We wait for them to play out and come to the halfway line and then we start to really press.
It’s different to Barnsley, which is more of a man-for-man high press and step onto the first man. Out of possession, you need to make sure you’re working hard and pressing as intensely as you can.
I’ve been playing on the wing here and I’ve been enjoying it. We play 4-1-4-1, so I’ve been playing on the left or right. If the ball is on the right and I’m on the left, the manager encourages me to come in and play as a second striker because you’re not going to score goals on the touchline.
So, he encourages you to come in, but you also have the freedom to stay out wide and isolate players for one v ones.
I’m hoping that playing regularly for Esbjerg fB will put me in contention for the national set-up. It would be a huge step in my career to be able to get into the Canada team. I think performing well at this level will attract their attention so, if I’m playing well and deserve it, then I’m sure I’ll get that opportunity.
It’s a huge goal of mine that I want to achieve and I’m just working as hard as I can to do that.

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