Premier League coach Björn Hamberg believes Carl Starfelt has ideal foundation for Celtic success

By Euan Davidson

July 23, 2021

Carl Starfelt has the footballing education to thrive at Celtic, according to noted Swedish coach Björn Hamberg.

Hamberg, who’s enjoyed his own meteoric rise in football, has watched with interest as Starfelt has risen up the ranks.

Formerly of IF Brommapojkarna, Celtic defender was snapped up by IFK Göteborg in 2018. It was barely a year before Russian titans Rubin Kazan signed the Swede up.

Now, Carl Starfelt is with Celtic. Hamberg coached with Graham Potter at Östersunds, Swansea and now with Brighton. He’s kept an eye on Starfelt as he progressed through the Swedish football system.

And he believes the Bhoys might’ve bagged themselves a bargain. The Brighton coach said [via Daily Record]:

“I know Starfelt well and I first noticed him when he was a young boy coming through at IF Brommapojkarna and IFK Gothenburg. My first opinion of him was his physicality, he’s a big strong boy.

“He played at IF Brommapojkarna who are renowned for football playing defenders.

“They are the most well known club in Sweden for the youth and how they develop players for the modern game and bigger clubs.

“There were five players from the starting XI with the Swedish national side who have a background as youth players at that club.

“He’s grown up with a culture of playing out from the back, that continued at Gothenburg.

“He will be comfortable in that system with Celtic and I wish him well in Scotland.”

Praise indeed for Celtic man Starfelt, from one of Sweden’s top coaches

Hamberg has his own interesting story. He set up his own football team, BK Bjorner, aged 20. He worked as a player-coach, while doing shifts in a supermarket. Only six years later, he was at Östersunds [Training Ground Guru].

Now, he’s a coach for one of the Premier League’s chief tacticians. And he reckons there’s real leadership potential in Starfelt.

Photo by Athena Pictures/Getty Images

He continued [via Daily Record]:

“Even from a young age you could see that [Starfelt] had huge leadership skills.

“When he emerged with IF Brommapojkarna he was always ready to put his front foot forward and was demanding things from others.

“I was struck by how vocal a leader he was on the pitch for someone at such a young age.

“Celtic may have lost that type of leader this summer with the likes of Scott Brown and Kris Ajer moving on but there are different ways to lead.

“Starfelt is one of those types of boys who wants to bring others with him on the pitch with his attitude and determination. To lead by example as a defender is a real strength and that is what Celtic are getting with this player.”

With Celtic losing two key dressing room leaders in Brown and Ajer, it’ll be interesting to see how quickly Starfelt can put his stamp on the culture at Celtic.

One thing’s for sure: he comes highly recommended. He may just be the defender we’ve needed.

In other news: stats guru and former Brentford analyst reveals the club watched Ajer for years