THERE cannot be many, if any, Premier League club coaches who are younger than the star striker.

That is the case now at Albion. Glenn Murray is 35, Bjorn Hamberg 34.

It does not bother the Swede in Graham Potter’s management team – nor should it.

He is the longest-serving member of the threesome head coach Potter has brought with him from Ostersunds and Swansea, pre-dating Scots Billy Reid (assistant) and Kyle Macauley, whose area of expertise is player recruitment.

Potter clearly has faith in Hamberg. They have been together since Ostersunds’ extraordinary rise from the fourth tier to the first, the Swedish Cup and knockout stage of the Europa League, which included beating Arsenal at The Emirates.

Hamberg had been a midfielder, then coach and manager in the lower echelons of Swedish football with BK Bjorner and Froso IF when the opportunity arose to work with Potter.

“I’d never met Graham,” he said. “I remember saying to the chairman when he offered me the job ‘I don’t know the guy, so I am going to be an assistant to a random guy from England?’.

“The chairman laughed and said to me ‘You will love this guy’.

“I panicked the first time I met him, because I couldn’t speak English! He asked me about my favourite system. I don’t have one, it’s probably the same now.

“I remember the first training session the first thing we did was a clever little drill which I had always seen but he twisted it in a way that was new. “Probably he earned the most respect from me by calling every player by their name straight away. We had two twins in the team and he even got them right!

“It’s small things, but you see the same things now. It wasn’t a show, it’s just him, genuine and well prepared every day. That caught my eye straight away.

“Attention to detail and he cares about the human being, understanding problems, background.

“Quite a lot of them played against Arsenal. It takes time to build that kind of relationship between a manager and a player, it doesn’t just happen with football, you have to work on a different level now. Probably that’s the best thing, real empathy.”

Hamberg is not daunted by working with Premier League players, a different world to the one he inhabited initially at Ostersunds when they were part-time.

“That’s my background, dealing with those players,” he said. “That’s how I grew up. I played with quite a few of them myself when I was younger.

“Ostersunds had always been in the third tier, so they’d either had English players on loan from Wigan or Swansea, young players, and the Swedish players mainly worked. One of them delivered Sushi, someone was working at a supermarket.

“So for me that was normal. The abnormal bit was having the chance to work full-time with players, train at 11 in the morning.

“For me it just comes down to individual relationships. You have to earn the trust and almost prove to anyone that you are there to help them.

“The big difference is they are full-time, you can meet them before training, go through everything and after training spend half-an-hour again. That gives you a better chance to make that connection with people.

“At under-15 and the team I had in the seventh tier, they still want to learn and improve, that’s common at any level.”

The Argus: Swede Bjorn HambergSwede Bjorn Hamberg

Hamberg likes to use technology to get his points across to players in one-to-one conversations. “More the actual clip than maybe the stats,” he said. “I work a lot with clips. The player can speak, we’ll have a discussion around it.

“At the end of the day the player should feel comfortable on the pitch, not stressed. And when the stress kicks in it’s natural.

“How we work is if they get a chance to influence their own game, they can take more control, more responsibility, when things are tough they feel they can challenge themselves as well, that kind of progress for me is key, that communication with the players.

“Sometimes it’s hard for Graham to speak to everyone. He’s got the team, the media, a million more things on his list than I have.”

As for those tender years, that does not cause Hamberg any discomfort.

“It doesn’t come down to age, does it really, if you are young or old,” he said. “Obviously Glenn has just had a fantastic season in the Premier League and has prepared himself all the way to still be that good at that age.

“Hopefully me, from the other end, I have fought to be at this stage. It’s just hard work.”