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Last Updated: Thursday, 29 December 2005, 12:49 GMT
Where are they now?
By John Sinnott

Uwe Rosler
Rosler has already enjoyed considerable success as Lillestrom coach
Former Manchester City striker Uwe Rosler has always adopted a positive outlook on life.

It is a trait Rosler has needed in bucket loads as he has rebuilt his life after discovering he had cancer at the age of 34 in May 2003.

He had joined Norwegian club Lillestrom in 2002 following spells at a number of clubs, including Kaiserslautern in Germany and Southampton.

And he was still playing when he was told he had a tumour in his chest.

The diagnosis came two days after what was to turn out to be Rosler's final professional game - a 1-0 win over Bodo/Glimt - with the German-born striker scoring the goal.

When I watch Stuart Pearce on the touchline I think I'm a bit like him
Lillestrom coach Uwe Rosler

"I couldn't run and I was struggling to breathe in that game so I was sent for an X-ray and the doctors discovered there was a big tumour in front of the lungs," Rosler told BBC Sport.

"I started chemotherapy and in a few weeks I had lost the body that I had worked on for over 25 years.

"I lost 12 kilos and all my muscles - it was a very strange feeling.

"The doctors told me that normally the cancer I had was very aggressive - but that it would respond to chemotherapy.

"I didn't want to know the percentage, I just wanted to know I had a good chance of survival."

While he was recovering Rosler decided he wanted to manage and he began to study for his coaching badges in Germany.

"I missed football so much when I was recovering and as I couldn't play any more my only chance was to coach," he added.

"When I applied for the Lillestrom job I didn't expect to get it but I had a little bit of luck as the club had some financial problems and I was in the right time at the right place.

Uwe Rosler
Down but not out - Rosler in his Manchester City playing days

Lillestrom's financial difficulties meant Rosler was only able to sign one player for the new campaign.

But in his first season in charge the club reached the Norwegian Cup final and finished fourth to qualify for the Royal League - a Scandinavian version of the Champions League.

"I'm really thankful to start at this level," said Rosler. "In the summer we beat Leicester 5-0 in a friendly and by qualifying for the Royal League we're regarded as one of the 12 best teams in Scandinavia.

"When I watch Manchester City manager Stuart Pearce on the touchline I think I'm a bit like him.

"I'm quite active on the sideline and I demand a lot of professionalism from the players.

"I try to find the right balance between encouraging people and giving them credit and pushing them to make them understand that what is good today is not good enough tomorrow.

"With more experience - and in the years to come - I'll get better and better.

"I learn every day, about myself, about the players, about the game. We've had a good year and we're heading in the right direction.

"We have a three-year plan for Lillestrom to re-establish them as a top team and win something.

"I want to compete against the best as I did when I was a player."

Rosler signed for City in a 500,000 move from Nuremburg in 1994 - after originally arriving at Maine Road on trial.

He was the leading goalscorer in his first three seasons at the club and over four years scored 64 times before joining Kaiserslautern in April 1998.

During his four years at Maine Road, Rosler became a cult hero, so much he starred in a video looking at his life in England with City to help promote the German language in this country.

And a return to England or his homeland remains a distinct possibility.

"Germany or England would be a dream for me as a coach," he revealed.

"I have to work hard but, with a little bit of luck, it's something I hope I can achieve."


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