BY RICHARD CAWLEY
Ronnie Schwartz reckons that Charlton Athletic are too big a club for League One – and is intent on playing his part to ensure they don’t stay there.
The 31-year-old Danish striker got off the mark for his new club with an accomplished finish in Tuesday’s 4-4 draw with Rochdale.
Schwartz earned the nickname ‘plaffeministeren’ due to his prolific scoring record for Randers. A rough translation is ‘the minister of shooting’.
His first sermon came after just 34 minutes of League One football as he found the top-right corner of the net with a first-time strike.
“In Denmark I was called plaffeministeren – it is another word for shooting. I think I said that I’m shooting on every ball, every angle or distance. In that moment the name occurred and it’s been used for a long time now.
“I score goals. All my 18 goals last season were in the penalty box. That is where I will be.
“You can have 90 minutes where you do nothing and then you have to be ready. I try to stay sharp all game. Working really hard for the team can also put you in some good positions.
“I was told to be close to Chuks [Aneke] – physically he is a real handful. He laid it off beautifully. I was really happy to see it go in.
“It was the perfect strike, the perfect build up.”
Schwartz had been a target for the Addicks in the previous transfer window and flew to London to have a medical and discuss personal terms.
His fellow countryman Thomas Sandgaard – who acquired the club in late September – showed persistence to get a deal back on track for January.
“It’s always been a dream for me to come to England,” said Schwartz, who was top-scorer in the Superligaen last season for FC Midtyjlland. “When I was here before it was a bit of a blur, because it was in between the previous owner and Thomas taking over. It was a difficult time at the club.
“In the end it was my decision not to come because I had some personal things in my life at the time. After Thomas took over we still kept in touch. That’s the reason I’m here today, because I was still willing to talk to Thomas and he was the same with me.
“It’s a massive club with massive history. It’s a club that should not be in League One, that’s for sure. The aim for the season is to get up. The stadium is unbelievable.
“I was [in the directors’ box] at the game with only 2,000 fans – Wimbledon at home. I can’t believe what it will be like with 20,000 or 25,000. It’s going to be an amazing stadium.
“Hopefully in not too much time we can have fans back.
“It needs to at least be a Championship club. Thomas has some big dreams and hopes for the future. I like that. I want to be part of the new Charlton, if I can call it that, to rebuild it back to where it once was.”
Other Danes to pull on the red shirt during the club’s Premier League heyday are Claus Jensen and Dennis Rommedhal.
“Claus Jensen had an impressive career for Charlton,” said Schwartz. “If I can do half of the things he did here then I’ll do a good job. He was one of the real fans’ favourites. It’s a name people mention a lot. I hope when I’m finished here they will say some of the same things.”
Schwartz’s girlfriend has stayed in Denmark due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We have the same issues in Denmark so it’s not been a big thing to adjust to,” he said.
“The most important thing is we can still have football. A lot of people want to have that bit of joy.
“There’s a lot I want to see in London, but hopefully in a couple of months it can be a lot better.”
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