Mathias Wichmann: FK Jerv, Playing with Christian Eriksen and the future

You signed for FK Jerv in 2017. How are you enjoying you enjoying your time at the club so far and how would you describe a club such as FK Jerv?

I am really enjoying myself at FK Jerv. When I signed for the club I was coming off the back on not the best period of my career with injuries so I needed to find a club that believed in me and that would give me the time and the right place to evolve and get better as a footballer.I am grateful for the opportunity that the club has given me and they also gave me the captain’s armband and I feel that I have grown as a footballer.

FK Jerv is a rather small club which I like because the club has family values in how they treat people the right way and everybody is made to feel welcome. I felt that I was part of the family from day one. We also have a small budget compared to other clubs in the division which means at times we have to put in more effort and grind to get he best out of everybody available and that is from the players, staff and everybody who works around the club and I really like working in such an environment.

Credit: FK Jerv

You came through the youth setup and went on to make first team appearances for Aalborg. How do you look back on your time at the club and do you have any special memories or highlights?

Yes, I have many special highlights from my time at Aalborg. I am from Aalborg and they will always be my club so to speak and it is a club that is very close to my heart. I grew up in the city wanting to play for the club during my childhood and I arrived at the club at a young age and my time at the club evokes a lot of memories. The ones that stand out of making my debut, scoring my first goal and being part of the squad that went on to win the double of the Danish Superligaen and Danish Cup in the 2013/ 2014 season which had never been done before in the history of the club so that was very special and we almost managed to qualify for the Champions League. We were knocked out by APOEL Nicosia in the last qualification round but we subsequently went on to have a good season in the Europa League which was a great experience for me personally.

Credit: Lars Schmidt

You have been capped by your country of Denmark at youth international level. How do you look back on representing your country and do you have any highlights or special memories?

Well first and foremost it is a huge honour to represent your country. I first represented my country for the first time at youth international level which was rather late but the thing that springs to mind is what a huge honour it was to represent your country. Unfortunately we did not qualify for any major tournaments but being around the best players in your age group was a fantastic environment and being able to see the level of other players in your age group.

I remember one of my first training sessions with the national team and Christian Eriksen joined us and he is a year younger than me and you could see even then the levels he was above his teammates and it was impressive to see and there is no doubt that he has gone on to have a fine career.

Credit: Chris 0023

You have accrued experience at club level in Denmark as well as youth international level. Could you say who are among the best players you have played with so far in your career?

Well definitely Christian Eriksen would be number one in that respect and for a short period of time I played with Nicolai Jørgensen who also played in the Netherlands for Feyenoord. He was a very good player. Also Thomas Delaney who now players for Borussia Dortmund in Germany. He has an incredible work rate. He is also a very intelligent and seems to know everything in a tactical sense. He also has good ball skills and I remember when we were younger he was not very big and I remember when he started to grow he went on to dominate on the pitch. He is a special player.

I can imagine in your position as a midfielder that you have come up against some very good opponents through the years. Are there opponents that stand out for you in terms of talent and ability?

Credit: Umut Isik

Yes, One opponent that I played against directly would be Axel Witsel now also of Borussia Dortmund. We played against one another in a youth tournament in the Netherlands many years ago when I played for Aalborg Boldspilklub and at the time he was playing for Belgian team Lokeren. He had an all round ability and he had great awareness and ball retention and movement off the ball too. He was just very involved in all facets of the midfield and in that game it appeared to be men against boys at times in that game

Finally Mathias could you say who are the coaches and managers that mean a lot to you and who have played a key role in your development as a professional footballer?

There are three coaches in particular. First the all round head of talent at Aalborg Boldspilklub Paul Erik Andreasson. He was worked at the club for more than 25 years and he was instrumental in my development. Kent Nilsen was our coach when we won the Danish domestic double. He is a very special coach in my eyes and he demanded the best of everybody at the club and I really like the way he handled things and of course I would say my current FK Jerv manager Arne Sandstø. He gave me the opportunity at the club when I needed a club in order to play regular first team football again and I really appreciated the belief he showed in me.

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