November 03, 2007: Formula Divison 2007 aftermath:



No. 1: NSÍ Runavík
In their 50th anniversary year, NSÌ won their first ever championship, so the timing was perfect.

Most experts had rated HB as red hot favorites to retain the title, but NSÍ had put together a very strong team that was ready to take advantage if HB were to slip up. – And HB did slip up!

NSÍ was a much more balanced team this season compared to so many other seasons. Especially influential Serbian midfielder Nenad Stankovic, whom they had brought in from Skála, was one of the main contributors to that. NSÍ had also invested in other quality players, like offensive players Jónhard Frederiksberg from Skála and Hjalgrím Elttør from KÍ Klaksvík. And to mastermind the whole operation, NSÍ acquired the Faroe Islands' most winning coach, Jóhan Nielsen, who had been waving his magic wand at Skála the past seasons and made Skála to a top team. And under Nielsen's guidance, NSÍ's youth players blossomed, and the team now had the perfect blend of youth versus experience and attack versus defense. – A very strong collective that was very difficult to break down.

After winning their first 3 matches of the season, NSÍ seemed to enter some kind of a mini-crisis as they seemed to have it difficult on away soil, losing 3 away matches in a row (although it should be noted also, that 2 of them were against strong opposition, HB and EB/Streymur). But after beating GÍ away from home in round 8, NSÍ went from strength to strength and lost only 1 more match all season. When you have that that kind of consistency, then you have championship material.

In the summer break, NSÍ sold their top scorer, Brazilian striker Anderson, to title rivals B36 Tórshavn, which seemed a bit odd, but although Anderson had scored 9 goals in 16 rounds, he had actually only scored in 4 matches. Therefore it wasn't any real loss for NSÍ, and actually Anderson only scored once for B36, so he wasn't any bonus for them either.

And the selling of Anderson was made even less important when NSÍ made a deal with HB Tórshavn to loan striker Christian Høgni Jacobsen for the rest of the season. Jacobsen was the Formula Division top scorer in both 2005 and 2006 when he played for NSÍ, but switched to HB for the 2007 season. But in HB he had only scored 3 times, and as HB were already out of the championship, he was allowed to join NSÍ for the rest of the season. But he'll be back with HB in 2008.

At the end of the season, NSÍ's legendary goalkeeper Jens Martin Knudsen, the bobble hat goalkeeper, now 40, announced his retirement from top flight soccer. He retired from international soccer in May 2006 after a friendly match against Poland.

It's not known who will stand in goal for NSÍ next season. NSÍ have a capable young goalkeeper in Tórður Thomsen, who was on loan at B68 Toftir playing in the formula division in 2006. Coach Johan Nielsen usually doesn't mind giving youngsters trust, but the goalkeeper's position is of course a very exposed position and therefore NSÍ might opt for some more experience and bring in a new goalkeeper.

But NSÍ will probably need a new bomber for next season. This season, the goals were evenly split between several players in several positions, but I wouldn't bet too much of my money on NSÍ next season if they don't have a real goal-getter. Next on NSÍ's top scorer list after Anderson, who is no longer with NSÍ, was actually central defender Óli Hansen who scored 7 goals (3 on penalties). – But that's the wrong order, when defenders are the top scorers!

But regardless of how NSÍ will strengthen their team, we can be certain that NSÌ will be right up there again next season, because they proved towards the end of the season that they have a broad squad of quality players that without problems could cope with the absence of Nenad Stankovic when he got injured towards the end of the season.





No. 2: EB/Streymur
EB/Streymur made a very solid start to the season, winning 7 of their first 8 matches with 4 clean sheets, but when Rumanian forward Sorin Anghel got injured in EB/Streymur's victory over NSÍ in round 7, EB/Streymur were without both of their best front-men, as Arnbjørn Hansen had been sidelined before the start of the league with a broken foot. This took its toll and EB/Streymur started to slip down the table. After Arnbjørn Hansen returned in round 13 and Sorin Anghel in round 15, EB/Streymur picked up momentum again, and from a 4th position they overtook HB and B36 and ended the season as runners up. – The same position as last year when they so dramatically lost the title in the last minutes of the season, but this time they came from behind, and that is a lot more fun.

In August, EB/Streymur won a frantic Cup final 4-3 against HB. This was EB/Streymur's first ever major trophy.

EB/Streymur also had their European debut when they played against Finnish outfit MyPa-47 in the UEFA Cup. EB/Streymur did relatively well and lost 1-0 in Finland and drew 1-1 in the 2nd leg.

Although EB/Streymur have had 5 successive years under Polish coach Piotr Krakowsky, EB/Streynur have decided not extend his contract. Instead EB/Streymur have signed a contract with Sigfríður Clementsen, who led B36 Tórshavn to the championship in 2005 and the cup title in 2006. Piotr Krakowsky will next season be in charge of FS Vágar in the 1st division.

Clementsen is well sounded tactically, but hopefully he will not put a damper on EB/Streymur's often attractive and positive play by being over tactical. But EB/Streymur should be in for a shout of a top placing again next season.





No. 3: B36 Tórshavn
B36's made a miserable start to the season when they were ousted from the Cup tournament by newly promoted Formula division team AB Argir already in the second round.

But that match B36 were without gifted Ivorian born forward Amed Davy Sylla. And B36 with and without Sylla just wasn't the same. But in the league however, B36 got better and better, and especially B36's defense was impressive. But their attacking play was maybe a bit simple, and heavy burdens were laid on Sylla's shoulders to get the necessary goals. Although Sylla did well, that recipe maybe became too simple in the end and they couldn't keep up with the pace of NSÍ Runavík.

In the summer break, B36 bought Brazilian forward Anderson from title rivals NSÍ, for whom he had scored 9 goals, but Anderson was never a success in B36 and scored only 1 goal.

At the end of the season, goalkeeper Jákup Mikkelsen announced that he will leave B36 and return home to KÍ Klaksvík next season. B36 have a talented youngster in Jóan Pauli Jakobsen as a possible successor (he deputized twice this season - when Mikkelsen was shown the red card - and did well), but it's doubtful if B36 will opt for such an inexperienced goalkeeper next season. He's only 18.

It's also unclear if Amed Davy Sylla will be in the Faroe Islands next season, and many rumors suggest that Fróði Benjaminsen will be leaving B36 to join another Faroese club next season.

Neither is it clear who will be coach next season, as this season's coach, Kurt Mørkøre has not been asked to continue.

But undoubtedly, B36 will have their checkbook ready to fill in the blanks for next season.





No. 4 HB Tórshavn
For HB, the season was in reality over almost before it had started. After beating Skála 5-2 in style in the opener, they crashed to successive home defeats against newly promoted B71 Sandoy first, and then GÍ Gøta in the following round. HB never really recovered and were doing catch up for the rest of the season. Midway through the season, HB fired their Polish coach Krszyztof Popczynski, who in his first season for HB had led them to the championship the previous year with positive and attractive play. Popczynski's assistant, Albert Ellefsen, took over for the rest of the season and, and after a string of 6 wins in a row, (not least with the help from forward Andrew av Fløtum who re-joined HB after several years in Danish soccer) HB managed to close the gap to the leaders for a while, but when HB then met some of the stronger teams in the run-in, HB lost again and fell from a comfortable bronze position to 4th place at the end of the season.

HB still had the chance to rescue the season with the cup final against EB/Streymur in August, but after a 7-goal thriller, HB stood empty-handed as EB/Streymur won 4-3. HB's start was disastrous, as they were 2-0 down after only 5 minutes, and after 20 minutes it was 3-0. But HB staged a great fight-back and almost leveled to 4-4 in the dying moments of the match, but this wasn't to be HB's year.

In the Champions League qualification round, HB met neighboring champions from Iceland, FH Hafnarfjørður, and lost 4-1 in the first leg in Iceland, but managed a goalless draw at home.

In all, a dismal season for HB. By many pundits, they were deemed as the strongest favorite before the start of the season, not least because they had signed previous 2 seasons' top scorer, Christian Høgni Jacobsen from NSÍ Runavík. But Christian Høgni never really settled in a HB-team that never really settled. And midway through the season, having netted only three times for HB, Jacobsen went back on loan to NSÍ, whom he helped secure the championship. – However, he'll be back with HB next season.

But it wasn't HB's attack that didn't produce the goods, as HB were the league's most scoring team with 59 goals for. – That's 7 more than champions NSÍ's 52. But at the other end, HB were miserable and conceded no less than 34 goals. That's 10 more than NSÍ. HB managed 6 clean sheets through the season compared to NSÍ's 9.

In an article on October 20th, we made some speculations whether HB were going to name former HB captain, Rúni Nolsøe, 36, as new coach. We called it a long shot, but it seams like the shot went straight into the top corner, as HB last Wednesday announced that they had signed a 2-year contract with Nolsøe, who with his 347 matches has the record for most played matches for HB. After retiring as a top flight player in 2005, he started coaching, and in his first season in 2006 he led 1st division side AB Argir to the runners up-place and hence promotion to the Formula Division, and this season he has guided B68 back to the Formula Division by winning the 1st division emphatically

Undoubtedly, one of the first things in the coach's mind will be to bolster HB's defense. You just cannot win titles without a reasonable defense.





No. 5: GÍ Gøta
With the material GÍ have, 5th place was probably the best GÍ realistically could have hoped for. Most of GÍ's points were won on away-soil, as GÍ only won 3 matches at home all season. But away from home they only lost 3 times, strangely enough.

Two thirds into the season, GÍ signed Danish striker Christian Lundberg (he played for KÍ Klaksvík from halfway into the season last season), but if he had arrived earlier, GÍ could maybe have won a few more matches at home, as Lundberg has proven to be nothing but a "lean mean scoring machine". In 11 matches for GÍ, he scored 13 goals. And that's for a mid-table team. How many could he have scored for a top team? And will anyone of the top 4 be tempted to invest in a semi retired 37 year-old former Danish top-flight player? Well, he can surely still crank up the goals.

It's not known yet who will be coaching GÍ next season. Last two seasons' coach, Petur Mohr, is not continuing. But whoever the coach is, it will be very difficult to break into the top 4 next season.





No. 6: Skála
Skála had a disastrous start to the season, losing all of their first 4 matches. This resulted in the sacking of coach Dragan Kovacevic, and former Faroe Islands international and current national team assistant coach John Petersen was named as new coach. Skála won the next 4 matches (with a clean sheet and a 16-year-old goalkeeper) and drew the next against B36 and climbed to safety in no time and stayed there. John Petersen will be in charge again next season.

After coming from nowhere, Skála rose to the top of Faroese soccer in no time, and in 2004 and 2005 ended in 3rd and 2nd place, respectively. But that honeymoon is probably over for Skála. One of the main reasons for Skála's troublesome season this year was that several of their best players had switched to other clubs. Especially the loss of Serbian midfielder Nenad Stankovic took its toll. Also forward Jónhard Frederiksberg and Johan Troest Davidsen left. They all switched to NSÍ (Davidsen, once an Everton trainee, is originally an NSÍ player, however). And to make it all worse, coach Jóhan Nielsen went the same way and guided NSÍ Runavík to their first ever championship.

Although Skála did get a few new players, they didn't have the same quality of those who left. Skála have also announced that they will probably not extend the contract with their Serbian players. One of them, defender Milic Curcic, has just signed with KÍ Klaksvík.





No. 7: KÍ Klaksvík
KÍ's ambitions are always high. But often higher than their material really allow. They set themselves high goals in 2006 with what they called “vision 2009” – a plan to make KÍ champions by 2009! Part of that plan was English coach, living in USA, Tony Paris, who led KÍ to the championship title in 1999.

2006 went ok for KÍ; 4th place in the league and a Cup final which they however lost to B36 Tórshavn. The plan was to build on that and climb a place or two in the table this season, but it all soon went horribly wrong for KÍ. After taking 7 points in their first 4 matches, KÍ only won 1 of their next 10 matches and were getting dangerously close to the relegation zone. This resulted in the sacking of the coach, Tony Paris. New coach, Eyðun Klakstein (former KÍ player) had it difficult in the beginning, but slowly KÍ started to get a few victories under their belt and climbed out of the relegation battle and ended a disappointing season in 7th position.

KÍ have already started to strengthen their squad for next season, and their first signing is Serbian defender Milic Curcic from Skála. And earlier in the week KÍ announced that goalkeeper Jákup Mikkelsen, who has played the last 3 seasons for B36 Tórshavn, will be returning to his childhood club next season. But KÍ already have one of the better keepers in their team; Meinhardt Joensen, who has been 2nd and 3rd goalkeeper for the national team for the last 2 years. Joensen is a much too good a goalkeeper to place on a bench in the Formula division, so hopefully KÍ will sell him. It is not yet known if forward Paul Clapson (joint 2nd on the top scorer-list) will continue for KÍ next season. But regardless of that, KÍ will need to strengthen their team considerable if they have any intention to be in the top 3 or 4 next season. But anything above 5th place seems unrealistic at this point.





No. 8: B71 Sandoy
As a newly promoted team, B71 was a one of the usual suspects for going down again. However, they soon opened up a healthy gap between themselves and the two other favorites for the relegation spots, AB Argir and VB/Sumba, and in reality never got into trouble, as they for the most kept that buffer on around 6 points at least. Midway through the season, B71's coach Dusan Mokan quit because of personal reasons, but not because of bad results. Veteran player, Eli Hentze took over as coach, and he will also be coach for next season. At the end of this season, midfielder (forward in his earlier years) Eli Hentze retired as a player after having played 21 seasons for B71's 1st team.

B71's is partially based on local players, many of them young, and partially foreigners; 4 of them from Brazil – amongst them, Clayton Soares, one of the best strikers in the Formula Division.

Although B71 ended the season just 1 place above the relegation line, they played a major part in deciding the championship by beating 3 of the top 4 teams. Only eventual champions NSÍ did they not beat, so maybe that in itself proves that NSÍ were the only rightful champions.

B71 will have roughly the same team for next year. At the moment they are on the outlook for a central defender however, as Dane Anders Rasmussen will be returning to Denmark.

B71's main goal for next season will probably again be to stay above the relegation line and then hope to improve on this season's 8th place (3 more points, then B71 would have been 6th), but the start to the season is often very important, because the tendency is often that if you first get suckered into the relegation zone, it can often be very difficult to escape that “black hole” as all factors then seem to go against you, almost as per some physical law.





No. 9: AB Argir
AB Argir were always considered as maybe the most certain team to be relegated. Although AB tasted some success by knocking B36 out of the cup in the 2nd round, AB just didn't have the quality to stay in the formula division.

Midway through the season, AB tried their luck by sacking coach Oddbjørn Joensen, replacing him with Sigfríður Clementsen, B36's successful coach in 2005 and 2006, but like his predecessor, Clementsen faced an impossible task. AB also brought in a lot of new players midway through the season, but also that was to no real avail.

However, AB might make a speedy return to the top flight.





No. 10: VB/Sumba
VB/Sumba had been cheating relegation for a couple of years now, but finally they ran out of luck. After winning the opener against AB Argir, hopes were high, but those were soon turned into despair, as VB/Sumba lost the next 9 matches on the trot. There was no way back for VB/Sumba.

VB/Sumba's preparation for the season hadn't been the best, as their intended coach, Serbian Tomislav Sivic, had to withdraw his commitment to VB/Sumba because of sickness in his family shortly before the season started. Instead, Sivic's assistant, Predrag Prsic, accepted to take over Sivic's coacing duties.

Two thirds into the season, Predrag Prsic caught the headlines when he in a match between VB/Sumba and EB/Streymur stormed onto the pitch and hit EB/Streymur's Hans Pauli Samuelsen on the cheek with a clenched fist. The incident was actually taken to court and earlier in the week, Prsic was sentenced to pay a fine of 1500 DKK. – The prosecutor had demanded 30 days in prison for the coach!

After the season, VB/Sumba and TB Tvøroyri have been planning a merge for their 1st teams, and the proposal was put to the vote in the two clubs. In VB/Sumba, a clear majority voted yes, but the majority of the members of TB Tvøroyri voted against the proposal, and therefore no merge will be done with TB. Also the smaller club VB Royn was part of the merge-plans, and they voted yes.

But with or without the merge, VB/Sumba shouldn't take to long to return to the Formula division.


Finally, we'll take a look at some statistics to wrap up the 2007 season.


We'll start with the final table; no explanation needed for that.

No.

Team

P

W

D

L

F

A

GD

PTS

1

NSÍ Runavík

27

19

4

4

52

24

28

61

2

EB/Streymur

27

17

3

7

58

33

25

54

3

B36 Tórshavn

27

15

7

5

47

23

24

52

4

HB Tórshavn

27

15

4

8

59

34

25

49

5

GÍ Gøta

27

11

5

11

46

53

-7

38

6

Skála

27

10

4

13

27

40

-13

34

7

KÍ Klaksvík

27

9

6

12

44

47

-3

33

8

B71 Sandoy

27

9

5

13

39

49

-10

32

9

AB Argir

27

4

5

18

30

55

-25

17

10

VB/Sumba

27

2

5

20

27

71

-44

11

NSÍ Runavík qualify for Champions League

EB/Streymur qualify for UEFA Cup as cup winners

B36 Tórshavn qualify for UEFA Cup

HB Tórshavn qualify for Intertoto Cup






And below we have the table sorted by home and away matches. That's pretty self-explanatory too. But note that some teams play 14 home matches and other 13. The same with the away matches. The top 5 teams in the 2007 Formula Division will get 14 home matches next season.


Table sorted by home and away matches

Home

Away

Team

P

W

D

L

F

A

GD

PTS

Team

P

W

D

L

F

A

GD

PTS

NSÍ

14

11

2

1

33

13

20

35

EB/Str.

13

9

1

3

27

16

11

28

B36

14

8

5

1

27

10

17

29

14

8

3

3

30

26

4

27

HB

14

9

1

4

36

18

18

28

NSÍ

13

8

2

3

19

11

8

26

EB/Str.

14

8

2

4

31

17

14

26

B36

13

7

2

4

20

13

7

23

14

6

3

5

29

26

3

21

HB

13

6

3

4

23

16

7

21

Skála

13

4

2

7

11

17

-6

14

B71

14

6

2

6

24

26

-2

20

B71

13

3

3

7

15

23

-8

12

Skála

14

6

2

6

16

23

-7

20

13

3

2

8

16

27

-11

11

13

3

3

7

15

21

-6

12

AB

13

2

3

8

19

27

-8

9

AB

14

2

2

10

11

28

-17

8

VB/S

13

2

1

10

10

24

-14

7

VB/S

14

0

4

10

17

47

-30

4






The most scoring team in the Formula Division 2007 was HB Tórshavn with their 54 goals. That tally is especially based on their home matches (here they scored 36), because away from home they only scored 23. GÍ Gøta was the most scoring team away from home with their 30 goals. Those goals were also the foundation under GÍ's fine away form. Only EB/Streymur got more points away from home. But do take in account that GÍ played 14 times away compared to only 13 of the other best performing away teams.

No team was undefeated at home during the season. Champions NSÍ lost only once, though; 1-2 against Skála. Also B36 lost only once at home; that was in the last game of the season against neighbors HB. (It's probably unnecessary to mention that no team was undefeated away from home either).

B36 was the team with the best defensive record with 23 conceded. That's 1 better than NSÍ. But B36 had far more clean sheets with their 12 compared to NSÍ's 8. B36 at one staged played 6 matches in a row without conceding; the matches were from round 14 to19 against EB/Streymur (H), GÍ (H), HB (A), B71 (H), Skála (A), VB/Sumba (H). In the remaining 10 matches of the season, B36 only held 1 more clean sheet.

The team with the worst defensive record was not surprisingly relegated VB/Sumba. They conceded 71 in 27 matches. That's 2.6 in average.

Only 3 matches of the 2007 Formula Divisions were scoreless. These matches were: Skála - B71, VB/Sumba – HB and B71 - VB/Sumba.

In total 429 goals were scored in the 135 matches. That gives an average of 3.2 goal per match.Of those 429 goals, 36 were scored on penalties. That's 8.4 percent.

9 of the 429 goals were own goals. VB/Sumba tops that area with 3 of the kind. HB made 2 and the other 4 were split between Skála, KÍ, EB/Streymur and B36.

The biggest win of the season were 5-0 victories: GÍ - Skála 5-0 and KÍ - VB/S 5-0.

The highest number of goals in one match was 9 when KÍ beat VB/Sumba 6-3.

7 hat tricks were scored in the league. Anderson scored 2 of the kind for NSÍ (in one match he score 4 goals.). The other hat trick makers were: Magnus Olsen (B71), Amed Davy Sylla (B36), Clayton Soares (B71), Andrew av Fløtum (HB), Christian Lundberg (GÍ), Milan Kuljic (HB) and Arnbjørn Hansen (EB/Streymur).

Top scorer in the Formula Division 2007 was Amed Davy Sylla with 18 goals (none on penalties).Runners up were Arnbjørn Hansen of EB/Streymur and Paul Clapson of KÍ with 14 goals each. Neither of them scored any of them on penalties either.

Right behind them was GÍ's Christian Lundberg with 13 goals (2 on penalties). But Lundberg only arrived late is the season and therefore scored his 13 goals in only 11 matches.

But Arnbjørn Hansen's record is almost equally impressive as he was out with a broken foot in the first 14 matches of the season and therefore scored his 14 goals in only 15 matches.

5 players scored for 2 clubs during the 2007 season (own goals not included:-). Anderson scored for NSÍ and B36 (9+1), Christian Høgni Jacobsen scored for HB and NSÍ (3+5), Hendrik Rubeksen scored for AB and GÍ (1+4), Allan Mørkøre for B36 and AB (1+3), Ove Nysted for B36 and KÍ (1+2).

And finally some statistics about Formula Division Champions 2007, NSÍ Runavík:

NSÍ biggest win of the season was a 4-0 victory away to GÍ Gøta.
9 times NSÍ won by the 1 goal.
9 times NSÍ won by 2 goals.
3 times NSÍ won by 3 goals
1 time NSÍ won by 4 goals.

3 times NSÍ drew 1-1
2 times NSÍ drew 2-2

2 times NSÍ lost by 1 goal
2 times NSÍ lost by 2 goals

8 times NSÍ held a clean sheet.


And that's it folks :-) The end of the 2007 Formula Division.

- But the season is not quite finish though, as the Faroe Islands still have the international against Italy on November 21.

And also in November is when the Players of the Year awards are handed. You know were to get the news as always…

Tonight , several of the Formula clubs have their end of season party and this is where they often reveal some of the players for next season. Some big announcements are expected tonight.

However, SoccerAndEquipment.com will (probably) not reveal that news quite yet though, as we'll be gearing down to our usual end of the month-updates. So be sure to visit back then.

- However, we will write about the Players of the Year Award before that though, and also about the Italy – Faroe Islands Euro qualifier.



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