MIKA LÖNNSTRÖM: “IT HAS BEEN A FANTASTIC SEASON FOR US”
ŠTK Fluminense Šamorín head coach Mika Lönntröm could not be much happier with the way his first season in Slovakia has panned out.
The 2. Liga came to a conclusion on Wednesday as Šamorín picked up a 1-0 win over Spisska Nova Ves in their final match of the season to secure a historic fourth place in the Promotion Group.
It was the club’s sixth win in seven matches as they finished their first season back in the second tier on a high.
Lönnström took charge of Šamorín during the midseason break in January and guided them to ten wins in 16 league matches. In total they played 23 matches in less than five months, including midseason friendlies.
“It has been a fantastic season for us,” said a very happy Lönnström. “When you look at the number of matches we played and won with our young squad of players you have to be proud.
“It’s always more difficult when you play so many matches in such a short space of time but the boys handled the hectic schedule brilliantly.
“Everyone at the club has worked so hard to ensure we achieve a high finish and I think things could not have gone much better for us.”
Šamorín is Lönnström’s first club in Europe as a head coach after spending the past six years coaching in Asia and Africa. But this is also his first experience with a club so closely connected with Brazilian football.
Since 2015 Šamorín has had a partnership with FC Fluminense, one of Brazil’s biggest clubs. The partnership involves Fluminense loaning out young and promising players from their squad to Šamorín each year.
This season they had a total of eight players loaned from Brazil with 24-year-old striker Peterson Silvino Da Cruz, also known as Peu, the standout performer as he finished the season with 22 goals. Midfielders Marlon Freitas and Luquinhas also put in sublime performances during the course of the campaign.
“These players (Peu, Freitas, Luquinhas) are exceptional talents and great characters,” said Lönnström
“They have developed massively over the course of this season and their contribution to the team has been phenomenal. I believe we will see them playing at big clubs in the future.”
Lönnström feels the more this partnership between Fluminense and Šamorín produces results the more attention it will draw in world football.
“This project is something many clubs around the world will be watching closely and some big clubs will attempt to do the same,” he said.
“It’s a great way to develop both players and coaches but it also helps them adapt to different environments and cultures.
“When you have players from different parts of the world in the same squad they learn so much from each other. Together they are developing and growing as human beings.”
But while Lönnström has overseen a smooth transition at Šamorín since taking over, he is quick to thank those who have stood by him this season.
“I have an exceptional coaching team in Thiago Macedo, Lukas Kaplan, and Juraj Balaz, who deserve a lot of credit for their hard work and I want to thank them for all the help and support they have given me.
"In the end the coaching team and the players are the ones who bring the results, not the manager.
“I also want to thank Fluminense Chairman Pedro Abad, Marcelo Teixeira (Fluminense Director), Marco Manso (Šamorin Sports Director), and Norbert Csutora (Šamorin Chairman) for giving me the chance to be part of this exciting project.
"I’m looking forward to continuing our good work together here in Slovakia.”