June 28, 2007: Formula Division news:
HB Tórshavn sack coach Krzyzstof Popczynski
Soccer is a cold, cruel and unforgiving world for coaches. Not least in the Faroe Islands. Because after 15 matches of the Formula Division, 4 of the 10 coaches have now been sacked. The 4th was HB Tórshavn's Krzyzstof Popczynski, who was given the boot after yesterday's loss to B36 Tórshavn, which more or less put an end to HB's title hopes.
This stands in great contrast to last year's season, where Popczynski unexpectedly led HB to the title and where HB played their most attractive soccer since 1998, really.
And after HB then signed the Formula Division's top scorer for the last two seasons, Christian Høgni Jacobsen from NSÍ Runavík, HB were by most experts (and amateurs – and there probably isn't that much difference between those two parties:-) made strong favorites for retaining the title this season.
And it started according to plan when HB in style beat Skála 5-2 in the league-opener. But then it went wrong for HB in the very next match when they were given a 3-0 whipping at home by newly promoted B71 Sandoy. And that loss was succeeded by yet another home-loss to GÍ Gøta, and since, HB has mostly been struggling and achieving very few highs (beating NSÍ and EB/Streymur at home), but many lows (losing again to B71 and GÍ and drawing against bottom team AB Argir).
This string of poor results meant that HB could not afford to lose yesterday's match against B36, if they were to play any part in this season's title race.
Well, HB lost and Krzyzstof Popczynski is now HB's 3rd coach that has been sacked since 2002, when Rumanian Ion Geolgau (who won the double with HB in 1998) was sacked, while HB were still leading the table (HB still managed to win the title with a new coaching duo), and in the closing stages of his second season in 2005, Dane Heine Fernandez was given the boot after he had steered HB to the title the previous year.
Krzysztof Popczynski, from Poland, came to VB Vágur in 1999 and was their playing coach until 2003. In 2000 he steered VB to the league title. In 2004 and 2005 he was playing coach at GÍ Gøta, who won the Cup title in 2005. For HB, he was only coach, not player.
HB's assistant coach Albert Ellefsen will be taking care of the team until a permanent solution has been found.
Andrew av Fløtum returns
At the same time as HB announced that the coach had been sacked, HB announced that they had signed a contract with forward/midfielder Andrew av Fløtum, 28, for the rest of the season. Andrew, originally from HB (league top scorer and player of the year in 2002), joined Danish 1st division club Fremad Amager in 2004, where he has played until now. Fremad Amager was last week relegated to the 2nd division. He has won 22 caps for the Faroese national team and scored 1 goal.
Although Andrew av Fløtum is a terrific player with good technical skills, it can seem a bit odd that HB sign an offensive player, because where HB have had most of their problems is in the defence. That was not least evident in yesterday's match against B36.
The table also shows that it's not goals HB cannot score. They have in fact scored more goals than any other team, but at the other end, in defence, HB have been dismal!
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