Photo: Elena with her agent Michael Kallback of Neverland Management, at the presentation in Salou, Barcelona | Credit: Beijing BG Phoenix FC.
Elena Sadiku leaves Hammarby for China!
Elena Sadiku has signed a 1 year contract as the assistant coach with focus on fitness, with the Chinese club Beijing BG Phoenix Football Club, where she will assist Manager Kim Björkegren.
Elena Sadiku, who has played almost 10 years at the top flight of Swedish football, most recently in Hammarby IF, just published a heartbreaking Instagram post a few weeks back, where she declared that she had to retire from football at the age of 25, after severe injuries. For the past years Elena have had 12 knee-surgeries and 2 more to come, which made it impossible to once again, against all odds, make yet another comeback. Prior to the 2018 season, Hammarby announced that Elena would become the U19 assistant coach for the club, a job that she now resigned from, to pursue a new challenge outside of Sweden.
Elena Sadiku was born in 1993 in Bochult, Germany and moved to Sweden with her parents in 2001. She started her football career in LdB Malmö (Known as Rosengård since 2013) and since then she represented Kristianstad DFF, Eskilstuna United and Hammarby IF. She also has 14 caps for the Swedish youth national team on her resume, and has participated in UEFA Champions League.
During the past years, Elena has outside of playing professional football, educated herself and worked as a licensed personal trainer, and she is currently undergoing the exams to become a licensed fitness coach as well. That set of skills, her experience as a player, combined with her passion of developing herself has been crucial in the clubs selection of Elena. Elena Sadiku will immediately join Beijing BG Phoenix FC as a trainer, with focus on the fitness and diet part of the daily operations, where she will work closely with Kim Björkegren, the clubs Manager. Elena has already joined her new team, at the training camp in Salou, and she will re-locate to Beijing in a few weeks time. First she will go back to Sweden on the 12th to finalize some of her exams.
-“I decided to sign for Beijing BG Phoenix as it’s a really big opportunity for me, to work as a fitness coach, and to assist Kim Björkegren as a trainer in the daily operations. To be able to work with this on a full-time basis, without having to have 1-2-3 other jobs outisde of football, gives me the best opportunities to develop and to focus on this assignment. Im sure I will learn very much, and to get a great deal of experience while in China. Im sure my 8 years of playing at the top level and my knowledge about fitness coaching will be the main benefits for the club when hiring me. My experience from training to prevent injuries, and rehab training will also be an asset for the club. My ambition for this season is to to develop the girls body-control, increase their physics, and to develop everything within that area. The fitness parts in China is not at the same level as in Europe, and Im going to bring my experience to develop that in our club now. At the same time, Im really sad about leaving Hammarby, and I feel great love and appreciation for the club as they have been very supportive to me during my hard times of going thru retirement. I hope that this is not a farewell to Hammarby IF, the club that I feel so much for, and more that its more of a -see you later- thing. I also want to thank the club for believing in me, mostly the Manager Kim Björkegren who I look forward to working with, but also the owners and the directors. Finally, I especially wants to thank my agent, Michael Kallback, who has supported me from day one. Thru my career as a player, as a support while I was at the hospital and mostly during the time I had to find another path after taking the hard decision to retire. Without him, I wouldn’t have been here today, and Im deeply grateful of the fact that I have an agent that I also can consider as a friend and a brother.” Says Elena Sadiku
-“Once again we’re breaking barriers within the women’s soccer. Few weeks ago we finalized the deal of Kim Björkegren to Beijing who became the first ever Swedish coach in the Chinese Women’s Super League, and now, we’ve finalized the transfer of Elena Sadiku to the club, just a few weeks after her retirement and she become the first ever European female to ever coach in Chinese Women’s Super League. After Elenas hard experiences in the past years, this transfer makes me and our entire company very proud, and we’re sure that Elena, with her education, experience and ambitions, will be the perfect fit to work with Kim Björkegren in Beijing” Says Elenas agent Michael Kallback of Neverland Management.
-“Since I signed here, we have been looking for a trainer, who could focus on fitness and diet counseling. Elena Sadiku has been our number one choice the entire time, and her experience within the area would be very beneficial for us. She joined us a few days back at the training camp here in Salou, Barcelona, and she has immediately had an positive impact on both the club but also the management and directors. She spreads a lot of positive energy and she has a really great charisma. Already after 1 week with the team, she speaks some sentences in Mandarin, and I wont be surprised if she can have conversations in Mandarin within a few months, shes very ambitious in everything she does and constant wants to improve. She will be a great asset to the club” Says the clubs Manager Kim Björkegren.