28-year-old Norwegian Kim Rénningstad, who has just started his coaching career this season, did not hesitate to leave his homeland and come to Lithuania, where he immediately moved to the top of Dzukija football club Dainava and his first victory in the past Week. An unexpected nickname, wrestling footballer, life in Alytus and Dzéké Tankus coach told the club official website.
Coach, you are a pretty charismatic person, and that’s why the club supporters called you Jurgen Klopp of Dainava. What do you make of it? Do you like the new nickname?
First, I want to thank you for the nice words. Jürgen Klopp is one of the best coaches in the world and is also highly appreciated by all Liverpool club supporters. So if I can feel the same appreciation here in Alytus, I feel honored. My job is to exercise. And my performance should be judged by the way we play, but of course it’s great to hear fans like me, and compared to one of the most charismatic coaches in the world, it’s a wonderful compliment to me.
Do you have authority in your life? Maybe one of them is Jürgen Klopp?
I never had a single person to compare and try to be like that. In my opinion, every coach is unique because of his own thinking, but of course everyone is surrounded by their own environment, other trainers and people who have some influence. My character is a mix of hard work and dedication to football. I learned that from my coaches, who grew up with them and work with them. I’ve only been on this planet for 28 years, so it’s difficult to pin down certain personalities.
There were two very dramatic games. In the last of them – they managed to win the first victory in the last minutes of the game. Although the team is still quite young, she does not hesitate to show character. What can Alytus Dainava fans expect in the future?
Football is a thrill, sometimes things are not going as well as it gets, and sometimes with hard work it can get fantastic results. For me and my footballers both games were special, I can share any moment with these young, fantastic people who are very close to me right now. They showed character from my first day in Alytus. We also saw that in both duels when the players scored goals at the end of the match. We have five footballers playing in our national teams and I see no reason why this number could not grow, not to mention the Lithuanian national team. This club has a bright future, so we must constantly make the right decisions for the future of football. Players can not be satisfied where they are, they always have to think about the step up. It takes time,
In the last game against Vilniaus Vytis Emanuel Puzakinas and Renatas Banevicius were replaced due to injury. What is your health status? Will these players show up in the upcoming game?
Yes, I was forced to volunteer to change Emanuel and Renata. Em was diagnosed with an ankle sprain that will keep him from playing for at least three weeks, but he’s already working professionally with club physiotherapist Justin. Nothing terrible has happened to Renatas and he is training with full power.
The first league is not very popular and watched in Lithuania. How does it feel to lead a second division team?
I think the First League is very popular. Of course we are lucky enough to have the best fans in the country, so I can not talk about other clubs and teams. I love Alytus as a city, I like the people who work in this club, not to mention “hungry” and energetic footballers. It is a very great combination. And I’m here to make this city, the club and the footballers even better.
They talk about Alytus – they have been living in Lithuania’s sixth largest city for two months. What was your first impression on arrival? What can you say about the city and the people now?
Oh yes, time is running out very fast. Every day was devoted to football – with over 60 training sessions over these two months. Although Alytus is far from the largest city to live or visit, it is a city with a huge heart for sports. That’s the most important thing for me. The players here are really loved, and the approval I experienced when I came to Alytus was something I had never dreamed of. I look forward and try to meet new people every day to find out more about the area.
Alytus DFK Dainava game visit last season was one of the highest in Lithuania – only s’duva Marijampola and Algiris Vilnius came. Do you think that this will be the case again this year?
In Europe, the two played in Europe – and this is one of the long-term goals of our association. I want the Alytus Stadium to be complete with every home game. I promise that I will do everything in my power to make everyone worth 90 minutes of the game that comes into the stadium, with the exception of the support team. If we have such fans and one of the most beautiful stadiums in Lithuania, there should be no reason why the above mentioned clubs are more successful than we are.
Of course we will not fight tomorrow morning in Europe, but step by step, training after training, week after week, year after year, decision making, we will make sure that we are moving in the right direction. Immediately upon my arrival, I felt a close relationship with the Alytus’Dainava ‘leaders Rimas and the Ydrnas, who work for the club to achieve the best. I can tell you that they are very focused and have a good plan for this and next season. Together we work for the future, which is a very exciting process with these young players we have in our team.
Finally, we would like to ask about the most active DFK Dainava fans – Dendakai Tanks. What was your first impression when you saw and heard them? What do you make of it?
You are fantastic! I’ve just heard that they are coming and seeing recordings from last season, but I can testify that what they do before, during and after the game is fantastic. Supporting the most active fans and supporting the players on the field is simply invaluable. I am very grateful to you for your great support. The flesh runs over the body, feels his faith and dedication to the club, which they share unconditionally in singing and dancing. Words are hard to describe, how cool they are, and the louder the fans, the more energy we get. The season has started brilliantly, but as in normal life, we all want tomorrow to be even better. I am very happy to see her back in Vilnius on Sunday!