CLARK TRIALING AT STABAEK
Steve Clark could become the latest yank at Stabaek as the goalkeeper is currently on trial with the Norwegian club.
Clark graduated from Oakland University in Oakland, Michigan where he and Northampton Town's Seb Harris led the Golden Grizzlies to two consecutive NCAA tournament appearances.
Following his college career, Clark says he began a long and winding road of a brief stint in the PDL with the Michigan Bucks and in the USL with the Charleston Battery followed by a trial in the UK.
"After I finished with Charleston, I had my sights set on Europe," Clark recounted to YA. "So I saved money and sold a lot of things and left for England on December 1st to train with Bradford City. I don't have proper papers to sign there but went just to train. I did very well at Bradford City and the coaches Stuart McCall [head coach] and Nigel Martyn [goalkeepers coach] wrote me references on my play with them. Both of their names carry a lot of weight as both were great players."
The netminder's time with the League Two club served him well enough to take a stab at a possible opening for a position with the Norwegian club which is also the home of fellow Americans Mikkel Diskerud and Erik Benjaminsen.
Clark mentions that his college connections played a major part in landing a trial with the Eliteserien powerhouse which has turned out to be longer than he ever expected.
"I flew to Norway on December 30th to stay with a couple good friends that I know in Norway, both of them also played at Oakland," continued Clark. "I was given the number to the goalkeeping coach at Stabaek by yet another Oakland grad in Norway! I called him up and we agreed for a two day trial and it has now turned into a 14 day trial which concludes [Friday].
The Michigan native has every reason to feel optimistic about his chances of landing a contract with Stabaek by swaying public opinion in his favor with his hard work on the field which has clearly impressed the brass at the club.
"[Steve] is making a very impression here. He is a very positive guy and very likable, " said Stabaek spokesperson, Jorgen Roll, to YA.
As for Clark himself, he feels that his performance on the field has spoken the most volumes.
"I have played great and impressed thus far. I even took third in the beep [fitness] test on the team which helped earn the respect of the players and coaches", he said of his time at Stabaek.
What has also aided the 23 year old is the help of his compatriot Diskerud who has gone out of his way to show Clark the ropes at the club and help with any language barriers.
"Mikkel and the guys on the team have been fantastic. We have been joking and laughing since day one. Everyone has gone out of their way to translate any drills or info that is pertinent, " concluded Clark.
Clark will hope to learn in the next several days whether or not Stabaek has extended him a contract offer. The Eliteserien season begins in March.