Det kom ett brev från Zourab Tsiskaridze!
I fought relegation 4 or 5 times before in my career to finally "fail" this season.
You can't sleep, the pressure is intense. But there is beauty in it as well, you feel alive and focused; almost like a wild wounded animal.
Constant questions circling your mind, voices in your head: Am I doing enough? Should I do more? Should I do less? We are all different in this approach, but I have a specific analytical mindset, and I can't help but battle my now demons.
When you look in the mirror, deep down you know the answer, the reflection speaks in mysterious ways. So I had to ask myself a tough question — have I done enough? A man who gives his absolute best to a greater cause, and has nothing more to give, has no regret. And in the end I feel no regret. Instead I feel gratitude.
I am grateful for the opportunity that was given to me this season. I am grateful that time and time again I was able to lace up my boots and go into battle with fellow professionals. I am grateful to have been able to play another season in my career. Grateful to the people and city of Eskilstuna that has embraced us and made us their "own". I am grateful for my health and for my family. And last but not least; I am grateful to one man, who despite the biggest waves in this storm, stayed strong and calm for all of us - Alex Ryssholm.
Few years ago we had a long conversation in his car, overlooking the academy kids playing on the field in front of us. He always repeated "It´s all about the kids". I saw the kindness in his eyes and for me it was enough to know he's real.
He shared a very deep and humble story of his beginnings of life in Sweden. And it was an inspiration to have seen how far he has come with his dream. Im saddened that he's greatly misunderstood here in Sweden.
Despite starting from zero and building from ground up, people still have misconceptions. I guess people will always fear what they don't understand. Alex is one of the kindest and most hard working people I've ever met, and he will always have my support. Thanks to him I had a job this season, was able to put bread on my families table, and had a great opportunity to play in Allsvenskan.
My career has been built on top of the failures, so whats another scar? It builds your character like nothing else. Fall 1000 times, get up 1000 and 1. At the end of the day it's an experience and a learning curve. When the dust settles, AFC shall and will get up with the help of the city of Eskilstuna, with peoples continues support in coming years.
There is always a future, but we must learn from the mistakes of the past. I want to personally thank every person who came this season to Tunavallen to support us, give us courage, strength and be the 12th man. Special thanks to AFC support and AFC boys! This is not a goodbye, but rather see you soon.
/ Zourab Tsiskaridze