January 31, 2009: January Round-Up:
In this month’s update: Transfers and signings as always. Faroe Islands face Iceland in a friendly international. But who’ll be Faroese coach? Clubs have started playing training matches.
No national coach yet
Around the New Year, the president of the Faroese Football Association said that the new coach for the national team would be appointed on the 2nd of February the latest.
Well, that’s on Monday.
10-14 days ago, several of the Faroese media reported that they could say for sure that the new coach for the Faroe Islands would be 44 year old former Scotland international Colin Calderwood, who was sacked at Nottingham Forest on Boxing Day.
But it looked like the media had jumped the gun, because about a week ago Calderwood became a member of the coaching staff at Newcastle United in the Premier league.
But there is some speculation that Calderwood will still become Faroese coach; just that it will not happen immediately, but that he will start when his contract with Newcastle expires in June.
However, that solution would undermine the terms the Football Association had originally set, where they said that a coach for the national team should reside in the Faroe Islands so he could keep a constant eye on the players. If Calderwood doesn’t arrive until sometimes in June, then the half of the league will already have been played. And moreover, the Faroe Islands face Serbia in a World Cup qualifier on 10th June. Who should prepare the team for that match? And who should pick the team?
All this could suggest that Colderwood will not be the man.
According to the press, two other men have been in consideration for the job. One is a Dane called Flemming Seritslev. He has among other things been assistant coach for the Danish National team from 1992 – 2000 and head coach for the Danish U-21 team from 2000 – 2006.
The other candidate is Luka Kostic. He is originally from Yugoslavia, but has been living in Iceland for almost two decades now and has an Icelandic passport. In addition to having coached several clubs in Iceland, he has been Iceland’s U17 coach from 2003-2008 and U21 coach from 2006-2008.
But we’ll just have to wait and see what the outcome will be. It might still not be on Monday. But when we know, we will post the news on the website the soonest (we will not wait for the February roundup).
Just like last year, the Faroese national team is going to meet Iceland in a friendly match in the Kórinn indoor arena in Kópavogur, Icaland. The match will be played on Sunday 22. March.
But will it be without a coach?
Last year, Iceland won 3-0 at the same venue (match report).
Kick off 5th April
The Formula Division kicks off on April 5th. The matches in the first round are:
EB/Streymur – 07 Vestur
HB Tórshavn – B68 Toftir
B36 Tórshavn – AB Argir
NSÍ Runavík – KÍ Klaksvík
Víkingur – ÍF Fuglafjørður
Champions EB/Streymur should have no problems in overcoming the newcomers from 07 Vestur.
Last season, B68 managed to bag 4 points against HB, but they were all earned at home. In Tórshavn, HB won 5-0. At home, HB should also be considered favourites to claim victory again this season in the opening game.
B36 should be too strong for AB. However, when AB was in the Formula Division in 2007, they managed to beat B36 2-1 at home. And before the league had started, AB also ousted B36 from the Cup competition by winning in Gundadalur, B36’s home ground.
It will be interesting to see how KÍ get their campaign underway. What are they made of this season? Will they again be involved in the relegation battle? At home, NSÍ should be too good for KÍ.
Last season, in the 3rd round, ÍF managed to beat Víkingur in Gøta for the first time since 1980. (Until last season, those matches were against GÍ Gøta, as Vikingur is the result of the merger between GÍ and LÍF ). IF ÍF can find their best form from last season, then anything can happen in this game.
So far the Football Association has only released the fixture list for the first round of the league.
Club news - mostly transfers and signings:
The Formula Division newcomers have signed striker Hendrik Rubeksen from HB Tórshavn where he scored 5 goals last season. Rubeksen has before also played for AB Argir and GÍ Gøta.
Rubeksen is meant to replace the Pole Andrzej Stretowicz, whose contract has not been extended for 2009. Stretowicz scored 15 goals in the 1st division last season. He was no. 3 on 07 Vestur’s goal scoring list, behind Jens Erik Rasmussen with 24 and Tór Ingar Akselsen with 23 goals.
AB have been busy on the transfer market of late in quest of bolstering their squad ahead of their second try in the top flight where they likely are going to struggle as they did in 2007.
A few days ago they signed 20-year-old midfielder John Hansen from B36 Tórshavn, where he mostly spent his time on the bench or was not in the 1st team altogether.
Earlier in the month, AB signed 19-year-old offensive player Rasmus Nielsen from B71 Sandoy, who were relegated last season.
For a few weeks, AB have had Tehe Aristide from the Ivory Coast on trial. He’s a central defender. If AB decides to hold on to him, he will be the second Ivorian in AB as his friend Evrard Ble has been with AB since the summer of 2007.
B36 have two new defenders in the squad; 23-year-old Poul Arni Jacobsen who has been playing for GÍ Gøta and Víkingur in previous years, and Fróði Clementsen, who last season played with EB/Streymur, where he mostly was second choice. He has previously played for B36, for example in 2001 when B36 won the championship. He has also been at AB Argir and B68 Toftir.
One of B36’s most evident problems last season was their goal scoring abilities. So far, B36 have not signed any striker, but coach Heðin Askam said to B36’s website that they were thinking about. We’ll see how it ends.
B68 have made a major signing in securing the services of Serbian Nenad Stankovic from NSÍ Runavík. When in the mood, Stankovic is a fantastic player, but he wasn’t always in the right mood in 2008. But in 2007 he was a very influential player in NSÍ’s title-winning team.
From 2004 to 2006 Stankovic played for Skála and was one of the main factors to Skála’s rise to the top, reaching the 3rd place in 2004 and the runners up spot in 2005.
From ÍF Fuglafjør, B68 have gotten hold of Debes Danielsen, who mostly plays in midfield.
33 year old midfielder Mikkjal Thomassen has announced that he has retired from football at the highest level. Problems in his Achilles' tendon forced a premature retirement.
In the last couple of years, he was 1st choice in midfield for the national team. He started his career at HB Tórshavn but moved to rivals B36 Tórshavn in 1998. He also played for B68 in 2004 before he returned to B36 in 2005. Last season he then moved to EB/Streymur.
He was elected for the national team squad under Allan Simonsen in 1997, but as he turned up a few minutes late for a gathering, he was given a fine, but which he refused to pay (as the good policeman he of course is:-) – he wasn’t a policeman back then, however).
But in 2006 Thomassen was given a recall to the national team where he appeared 10 times.
Ahead of the match against world champions Italy in 2006, an Italian interpreter had an expired passport. He had then called the police station in Torshavn to get things fixed. After the problem was sorted out, the Italian interpreter asked the policeman if he was going to watch the game. "No, I'm going to play!", the policeman answered – and the policeman was of course Mikkjal Thomassen.
As you can guess, the Italian interpreter was quite surprised that a player on the national team would have a normal job.
The rumour has it that EB/Streymur have been trying to sign B36’s Brazilian left back Alex dos Santos. In the radio on Saturday, EB/Streymur chairman Rólant Højsted didn’t deny the rumour. Time will tell how this story will end. The transfer window closes on 19 February.
However, B36 played their first training match today against Víkingur, and Santos was not in B36’s line up. Víkingur won 2-1.
Forward Hendrik Rubeksen who scored 5 goals for HB last season has joined 07 Vestur.
With KÍ’s supporter club’s website, www.blaabylgjan.com (the blue wave), ÍF’s coach Jón Simonsen has boldly said that ÍF’s aim for 2009 is nothing less than the double!
ÍF have two new players in their fold for 2009. Defender Viggo Johannesen and defender/midfielder Poul Ennigarð, who both have played with ÍF earlier. Ennigarð has mostly played for GÍ where he was one of the dominating players. Johannesen has a past at NSÍ also.
On the other hand midfielder Debes Danielsen has gone to B68 Toftir. Danielsen has earlier played for NSÍ and Skála.
After 21 years in KÍ’s first team, veteran Harley Bertholdsen, who will turn 40 in March, has called it a day.
Another veteran is 34-year-old Arnold Joensen, but he is instead aiming for a comeback after a few years where he hasn’t prioritized football that much. The winger made his debut in the top division in 1991, aged 16. A year that KÍ won the title with a very young team.
There is still no news on Rógvi Jacobsen’s future. Before Christmas, KÍ and the striker mutually agreed on annulling the contract, which was supposed to run to the end of 2010, because KÍ simply couldn’t afford to pay. Some have suggested that Jacobsen will still play for KÍ, but let’s wait and see happens...
As mentioned above, player of the year in 2007 Nenad Stankovic has moved to B68 Toftir. But with their two new midfielders from B68 and ÍF, Jann Ingi Petersen and Høgni Madsen - who both were in the national team last year - NSÍ’s midfield should be in fine shape.
Last season’s goalkeeper Tórður Thomsen has said that he’ll probably be playing in Denmark in the future. He didn’t say exactly where, but either in 1st or 2nd division. In NSÍ’s goal, Thomsen has been replaced by Meinhardt Joensen, who last season was between the sticks at B36.
Faroe Islands right back, 23 year old Jónas Tór Næs, who joined NSÍ midway through the season has left again. On January 19th, he went on a trial at Norwegian 1st division club Notodden BK. After his first week there, he was asked to stay for another week. On Saturday (January 31) he was in the starting line up in a friendly match against Hamarkameratene. He was substituted at halftime. The score line was then 0-0. Notodden went on to win 2-0. We’ll follow the progress of this story to see if Notodden will offer Næs a contract. Find out about it in our next update, late February.
Only Víkingur left, but we have nothing from them as such. Well, just to write something, we can mention that they played a training match against B36 on Saturday. Víkingur won 2-1, after leading 2-0 at half time.
The clubs started playing training matches on Saturday. You can see the results under the link Pre-season Friendlies.
We have probably forgotten something, but this was this month’s round up. See you at the end of February. (However, if you wan’t to find out who becomes the next Faroe Islands coach, then visit us early next week. At least that´s when the Football Association has previously said they would unveil the coach).
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