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Roy Kenneth Larsson

Every club is always on the lookout for the next unearthed gem. Sometimes, it works out, more often than not, it doesn't. Roy travelled from Norway, via Cyprus, for his one week trial in 2001.
Had a note from an ex City player recently, “Hi. My name is Roy Kenneth Larsson, and I had I trial with York City autumn 2001. I can see my name being mentioned on City Players and I got very very surprised. Who now remembers those triallists, not many. I can say that for sure. But it seems like you do. Which I am surprised over. I didn't even know there had been another Scandinavian triallist there. Have to say though, although I've had to retire due to injuries, I felt I was good enough. And that's what Mr. Terry Dolan said I was as well (while I was there). But I wasn't fit enough. And that is very true".

"From the day I was "offered" the trial to when I went over there, took 4 months. 3 of them I didn't touch a ball whatsoever".

"Just wanted to say that I was just shocked to see that someone actually remembered me. For better or worse, doesn't really matter to me. It was just fun to see my name here, mentioned together with some good names".

"Could I have done it better there??? Who knows, but I felt hell of a lot better than most of those guys. I just needed to come back physically. Thank you very much for mentioning me. It is actually honourable and fun".

"I did not get to play for the reserve side. I remember Paul Stancliffe told me on the 2nd day of training (Tuesday 6th) that I wasn't ready, so he wasn't going to play me. From his perspective I understood that perfectly. From my perspective I was disappointed. I was disappointed with myself, because I was letting myself down. And I was disappointed with him, thinking "how can you tell after just 2 days of training? I was the only one who hit the goal during the shooting drills. Top corner twice and the crossbar. I was the one who could use both feet consistently and open up for more options! Then I started thinking about another session. Something that I still, to this day, have no idea what was all about. I had done the exercise itself plenty of times. But the one thing that confused me was the language. The dialect. I couldn't understand a word he was saying when explaining the exercise. So I just decided to tag along and observe the others. Clearly I misunderstood because I couldn't get a thing right. I came to the conclusion that Paul was probably right. I wasn't ready. But I do wish he had included me in that squad. If only to give me a feel and to see how I would do in a match, especially versus Doncaster".

Read More From Yorkpress

Roy got back in touch with YCS in 2018 to update his player stats and updated us on his life on the very day that Arsenal visited Ostersunds in the UEFA Cup.

"Even though I don't follow City as thoroughly as I did, I do take an interest in City. They are, for me, a very important reminder to grab opportunities when given to you. I was sad to see their relegation last season (2017), but I'm hoping they will jump straight back up to the Conference again. It'll be tough but it's possible. As an Arsenal fan, and now living in Sweden, it was tonight's game that brought me back. I had never thought about it earlier, but when I saw Graham Potter's name in a pre-match interview I suddenly "woke up". I thought the name sounded a bit too familiar, so I started searching, and found that he was definitely there (at City) when I had my trial. I can't remember him from personal interactions, but I do remember him being there as well as Chris Brass, Lee Nogan, Alan Fettis and Michael Proctor. Two of those I remember very well were Alan and Michael, for two very different reasons".

"Alan (Fettis) because during training we had a short match with the U18s, vs the Seniors, I was staying wide on the wing, while one of the coaches (Paul Stancliffe, who in Roy’s eyes, “had the mentality of a winner”) wanted me to stay closer to the centre of the pitch. I still remember my father's words going through my head; "Stay wide, because if you do, you can use your pace and not a soul will be able to catch up with you when you get the ball. And you will get the ball!". So I did just that, I did get the ball, I plotted my run and knew exactly how to put the ball into the net, behind a capped goalie. Big part of that is because I was also a promising goalie, in spite of me being very small, where my biggest strength was 1v1 situations and reflexes. I was very good at reading goalies and strikers. The coach didn't like the fact I didn't listen and called an offside. I did not like that at all but since I was new I didn't say anything. The future could've looked a bit different had he not done that. I understand him completely though. I was a young coach on the side as well, 4 years before my trial. I would have done the same had it been one of my players".

"Michael (Procter), I remember for the impression I got. Probably a bit harsh and unjustified, but there and then I didn't see anything special about him. And the way he conducted himself was the kind of a wannabe prima donna. But that was the young me with the lack of experience".

"Although I didn't really interact with him a lot, I did like Chris Brass. He did become a cult hero. I got the impression of him as a very professional player and person. He took responsibility where it was needed and gave you that feeling of wanting to be around him. I wish he had been more successful as player manager. He's still young though and can still succeed somewhere should he decide to continue down the managerial road". Players who don't succeed in England seem to find their footing in Scandinavia, relatively often. More often than not it's not about the quality of the player but the combination of players, and a bit of luck as well, of course. I tried to convince some of my footballing friends to push for trials, as some of them were much more talented than me. But they were afraid of failing. I guess they would feel ashamed if they did. Which is too bad".

"I'm pretty sure at least 3 of them could've made it, probably, at Championship level, with some hard work, dedication and some luck".

“There's a tiny little story behind my reason for choosing York City. There were about 12 clubs ready to offer me a trial. They ranged from today's Conference to League 1 and a couple of clubs in Scotland (although now I can't remember what the other clubs were). I chose York City because of 2 tiny details. The guy who helped me out getting a trial lived in Newcastle and drove me to York. Back in Norway, my best friend had, 6 years earlier, gone ballistic because he lost a bet at the bookies. It was THAT game vs Man United. Being an Arsenal fan I found that hilarious and so I found it the most appealing. I still remember a tiny little "trophy" standing there, at Bootham Crescent, when I was given a little tour of the stadium”.

After his trial, Roy stayed in York for another couple of weeks. He says, “Having come directly from Cyprus after working as a Hotel Entertainer (animator), I didn't have a lot of money. I was in York with an Italian colleague of mine, who was working in the same entertainment team as me in Cyprus. We stayed at (I think) York Youth Hostel for a few days, before we found a flat at Bishopthorpe Road. We lived there for a couple of more weeks. But being short on money we had to get an income. I went to Adecco to see if they could help me out. I took a computer test and eventually landed, as a substitute, at Norwich Union. There I was basically sorting and filing documents while inputting data into their digital system. Didn't bring me much joy as I was mostly staring into thin air most of the days. Not much to do. After 1 1/2 week there, or so, I started calling home to Norway. I was wondering if my family could help me out bringing me home. I realised that I was at a standstill with a huge risk of going backwards in life. Over the next few days I was in touch with my father who was trying his best to sort out a ticket for me, be it with boat, plane or whatever. Then one day (I have no idea what date), my father telephoned me. He had managed to get a ticket for me, so I could go home to Norway. I asked him when? He replied: "This afternoon!". Whereupon, of course, I started asking about how, when and where. The response wasn't too assuring. He told me I had a flight from London to Trondheim at 5pm. When I asked him from which airport I would be departing, he hesitated a bit and said: "London?!". He had no idea there were multiple airports in and around London. As this was around 9-10am I realised I didn't have much time for dallying around on the phone. I basically told my father "ok" and started getting ready. Ran back to the flat (as it was a public phone I used) and started packing the stuff I had. My Italian colleague came back from work while I was packing and I basically told her that I had to leave "now". I asked her if I she could give me my half of the deposit for the flat as I would be needing it to be able to go home. As kind as she was, she understood the situation and gave me the money. I ran to the train station and started looking at trains to London. While I was looking at the myriad of times, trains and tables I was also thinking about which airport I was supposed to go to. I had no idea which airport. My father certainly didn't know. But after carefully thinking about my options I came to the conclusion that it had to be London Gatwick. I was fairly certain they didn't fly to Trondheim from Heathrow, as the airport at Trondheim, at the time, wasn't very big. But what about London Stansted? That's pretty much when I decided to follow my gut feeling and go for London Gatwick. I had just about enough money for a ticket. If my memory serves me correctly, I did get a ticket for a train that went all the way to Gatwick airport. I could be wrong though. I was mostly worried about going to the wrong airport. My parents didn't have much money either, so if I messed up there, I would probably risk being stuck in London without roof, food and money. I had no idea what the time was, but it took me 2-3 hours to get to Gatwick. My father had told me the airline I would be flying with. I can't remember now which airline it was though. But I got to the airport, sat down on a bench and took a much needed breather. After that I went to the check-in counter for the airline. I gave them my passport and voílà! I had a boarding pass in my hand. My gut feeling had, thankfully, been spot on. During all this I had been completely oblivious to what the time was, but I managed to get to the airport with a little over an hour to spare. The time was 3:45pm. And 3 hours later I was back in Norway. Home! So, when I say hastily I mean it in the sense of that one hectic day. From a calm morning at 8am in York to, all of a sudden, be in Norway 10 hours later was a weird experience. A fun one though”.

Roy’s one regret (apart from not making the grade with City)?. He left York so quickly, he forgot to take his Yorkshire Evening Press which featured his story along with a big photo. The Yorkpress online archive carries the story, but not the picture. So, if you can help ….

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