Graham Potter, coach of Östersund.
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Graham Potter, coach of Östersund. Credit: Björn Nordquist/Sveriges Radio
Östersund's players celebrate their 2-0 victory( 3-3 aggregate victory on the away goal) against Paok of Greece.
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Östersund's players celebrate their 2-0 victory( 3-3 aggregate victory on the away goal) against Paok of Greece. Credit: Robert Henriksson/TT

The Englishman behind Östersund's European football adventure

Östersund coach Graham Potter: This tops the lot - it was very special
6:42 min

Östersund, a small Swedish town better known for skiing than football has written its name in European football history- and it's all down to an Englishman, Graham Potter.

Graham Potter carved out a decent career below the top flight of English football, playing for the likes of Birmingham City, Stoke City, West Brom and Macclesfield.

But it is in Sweden, as a manager, that the 42-year-old from Solihull is carving out a reputation.

Taking the small northern town club of Östersund from the fourth tier to the top flight of Swedish football inside five years and winning a domestic cup, Potter's players are now rubbing shoulders with bigger teams in Europe and winning.

After seeing off Turkish giants Galatasaray in a previous qualifier for the Europa League, Östersund reversed a 1-3 first leg play-off in Greece last week against Paok Thessalonikia. They won 2-0 in the return leg at home last night to go through to the group stages of the Europa League for the very first time.

"That was an unbelievable last few minutes that's for sure. It was a great relief to cross the finishing line. I'm full of pride. The players and the fans were fantastic. It's been an amazing journey," Graham Potter told Radio Sweden.

OSK have been drawn against Athletic Bilbao, Hertha Berlin and Ukrainian Zorja Luhansk in the group stages of the Europa League, which starts 14 September.

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