June 2011 Round-Up:

22 June, 2011
HB Tórshavn and coach Julian Hansen part company

HB announced late Tuesday evening that the club and coach Julian Hansen had parted company after some dismal results for the club this season, where HB are currently in 6th position, only 3 points clear of the relegation line.

Hansen released last year’s sacked Icelandic coach Kristján Guðmundsson with only 6 matches remaining of the season, and with 5 wins and a draw, HB secured their 21st league title. A few days ago HB announced that assistant coach Magni Mohr had resigned because he was moving to England to work as a teacher at a university.

HB also announced on Tuesday that Sigfríður Clementsen have been appointed coach for the rest of the season. Clementsen has earlier guided B36 Tórshavn and EB/Streymur to national titles as well as cup titles.

European Preview 2011/2012

NSÍ Runavík paired with Fulham, losing Europa League finalists in 2010

The draw for the Europa League was held on Monday and the lucky winner was NSÍ Runavík who were paired with Premier League club Fulham. – Well, at least NSÍ think they were lucky, although Fulham was maybe the strongest team they could meet. But strangely, many of the Faroese clubs prefer to meet big clubs where they stand no chance of winning, instead of meeting lesser clubs where there actually is a chance for going through.

Fulham had not qualified for the Europa League originally, but were given a place through the fair play system.

As NSÍ’s home ground, við Løkin, is not approved for European matches, their home match will be played at the neighbouring Svangaskarð stadium in Toftir. It will probably be the last competitive match on the real grass at Svangaskarð as it has been decided to replace it with artificial grass in the future.

The first round first leg match will be played in England on 30 June and the return match in the Faroe Islands on 7 July.

When Manchester City played against EB/Streymur in 2008, a crowd of 5400 attended the match at Tórsvøllur which by far is a record for a European club match in the Faroes.

Usually, a crowd of 500 for a European match is a quite healthy one.

In comparison, less than 2000 spectators attended the European qualifier against Estonia earlier in the month.

Although City were not that big in 2008 (they’re still not, really, are they?), the Premier League is very popular in the Faroe Islands. However, Fulham might not be enough to attract 5000+ spectators as City did.

Another thing is that EB/Streymur played their first leg match in the Faroes, while NSÍ will visit Fulham on away soil for their first leg game. A heavy loss in England might spoil an otherwise interesting meeting in the Faroes.

Many Fulham supporters would be interested in coming to the Faroe Islands to see the match, but very expensive air fares will wreck it for most.

But there are alternative ways to get here. Here are a few creative examples on a Fulham forum!

There are a bunch of threads related to the NSÍ vs. Fulham match on the Fulham forum here.

As a curiosum, the match against NSÍ will be Fulham manager Martin Jol’s first competitive match for the club after he has released Mark Hughes. Hughes’ first competitive match when he was manager at Manchester City, was the European game against EB/Streymur in 2008.

NSÍ have competed 6 times in Europe earlier. Their best result was their second leg 1-0 defeat of Georgian champions Dinamo Tbilisi at home in 2008, although Tbilisi went through on aggregate.


HB Tórshavn meet Swedish champions Malmø FF

There aren’t many European draws without HB Tórshavn. No exception this year, although it might be a different story next year as HB are struggling in the league this season.

This time the current Faroese champions have been drawn against Swedish champions Malmø FF.

HB and Malmø enter the competition in the second round and the 1st leg match will be played in Malmø on 12 or 13 July while the second leg will be played on 19 or 20 July at HB’s home ground at Gundadalur Stadium with artificial grass.

Malmø, who are currently no. 5 in the Swedish Allsvenskan, 5 points adrift of leaders Helsingborgs IF, should have no problems of beating HB who are in their worst condition for decades, and are lingering in 6th place in the table, only 3 points clear of the relegation line.

The European matches rarely tempt HB-spectators to attend, and it won’t be different this year. Especially not if HB are heavily defeated in Sweden.

In 2006 HB managed a 0-0 draw away to Swedish club Elfsborg in the UEFA Intertoto Cup, but had already lost the home-leg 4-1.

During the years, HB have had quite a few decent results at home. Last season they beat Champions League group-phase hopefuls Red Bull Salzburg 1-0 at home. Unfortunately, the damage had been done in the 1st leg where HB had lost 5-0 in Austria.

In 2004 HB beat Georgian opposition FC Wit 3-0 at home in Champions League qualifying, but again the damage had been done in the first leg away from home where HB had lost 5-0. That away-match often is the Achilles heel of Faroese clubs competing in Europe.

A 2-0 win for HB in the first leg of the UEFA Cup against Finnish side VPG Vasa in 1998

generated high hopes for the return leg in Finland, but once again HB found it difficult away from home and lost 4-0.

In addition to this, there have been a few draws as well.

But then there is the one very embarrassing result for HB: A 10-0 (!) defeat away to Norwegian club Tromsø IL in the Intertoto Cup in 1995.

HB participated in European football for the first time in the 1993/94 season where they met Latvian team RAF Jelgava and lost 1-0 away, but were given a technical 3-0 win at home because the Latvian team never showed up in the Faroe Islands and HB therefore progressed for the second stage of the tournament.


Icelandic opposition for ÍF Fuglafjørður

ÍF Fuglafjørður, who compete in Europe for the first time, have a interesting tie on their hand with Icelandic outfit KR Reykjavík.

Although the level of Icelandic domestic football is generally not much higher than the level of Faroese football, Iceland do have a slight edge, however, and ÍF have to be at their very best to get anything out of the games. But it will be a big surprise if the Icelandic team does not go through.

ÍF qualified for the Europa League with a 4th place in the league which was secured with a goal deep into added time on the last day of the season.

The first leg will be played in Gundadalur, Tórshavn on 30 June and the reverse in Iceland on 7 July.


EB/Streymur await winner of FK Banga Gargždai vs. FK Qarabağ Ağdam!

Cup winners EB/Streymur are playing in Europe for the 5th time in succession since their first participation in 2007/2008.

EB/Streymur’s opponents this time will be the winner of the 1st round match between FK Banga Gargždai from Lithuania and FK Qarabağ Ağdam from Azerbaijan.

Especially the team from Azerbaijan have gotten some really impressive results in the past few years and have reached the play-off stage (that’s 4th qualifying round) of the Europa League in the last couple of seasons.

As cup winners, EB/Streymur enter the Europa League in the second qualifying round. The first leg is played at home on 14 July while the 2nd leg is played away on 21 July.

11 June, 2011

Faroe Islands seeded in second-lowest pot for the World Cup draw

When the draw for the World Cup 2014 in Brazil will be made, the Faroe Islands will not be placed in the lowest group of countries as it has been in the past. This means that the Faroe Islands are sure to end up in a qualifying group with one of these countries in it:

Wales, Liechtenstein, Iceland, Kazakhstan, Luxembourg, Malta, Andorra, San Marino.

That again means there is a massive opportunity for the Faroe Islands to earn 6 points if the opposition will be some of the weakest teams in that pot. That would especially be San Marino. Andorra, Malta, Luxembourg and Liechtenstein are possible six-pointers as well, while it will be more difficult against Wales and Iceland.

The seeding for the World Cup draw are based on FIFA’s World Ranking for July, which has not yet been published, but the website www.football-rankings.info has already made the calculations and claims there will be no radical enough alterations to change the seeding.

Most will be surprised to see Iceland and Wales seeded below the Faroe Islands, but this only again shows how ridicules FIFA’s World Ranking system is.

And it’s not fair that some countries, like the Faroe Islands, have played 7 matches in the Euro Qualifiers while others have only played 4 even though the ranking system to some extent takes into account the number of games (see here, how the FIFA ranking list is being calculated).

And guess what? Norway – HA HA HA HA, yes Norway - will be in the highest seeding pot. Nuff said!

The seeding pots for the 2014 World Cup qualifying draw are as follows:

Pot 1: Spain, Netherlands, Germany, England, Portugal, Italy, Croatia, Norway, Greece

Pot 2: France, Montenegro, Russia, Sweden, Denmark, Slovenia, Turkey, Serbia, Slovakia

Pot 3: Switzerland, Israel, Republic of Ireland, Belgium, Czech Republic, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Belarus, Ukraine, Hungary

Pot 4: Bulgaria, Romania, Albania, Georgia, Lithuania, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Austria, Poland

Pot 5: Armenia, Estonia, Finland, Cyprus, Latvia, Moldova, FYR Macedonia, Azerbaijan, Faroe Islands

Pot 6: Wales, Liechtenstein, Iceland, Kazakhstan, Luxembourg, Malta, Andorra, San Marino

The draw will be held on 30 July 2011.

Let’s hope for this group:

Faroe Islands
San Marino

One of the 9 groups will only contain 5 teams, while the rest has 6. Cross your fingers for the Faroe Islands not getting the group with only 5 teams. Then they will not get a team from the lowest pot.

Subject to that www.football-rankings.info are correct in their calculations!

02 June, 2011

Høgni Eysturoy drafted into Faroese squad

National coach Brian Kerr has drafted 20-year old right back Høgni Eysturoy into the Faroese national team for the first time after seeing the defender impress in the Under 21 draw against Northern Ireland last Tuesaday.

Eysturoy has also impressed in the right back position for B36 Tórshavn this season, although he previously has played in a more offensive position.

01 June, 2011

07 Vestur and coach Jógvan Hendrik "Hegga" Samuelsen part company

07 Vestur announced yesterday that they had sacked coach Jógvan Hendrik "Hegga" Samuelsen.

Reasons were not given, but if we take a look at the table, it reveals that 07 Vestur occupy 9th position which means relegation. But that is not worse than what was always expected – by most.

Today 07 Vestur have announced that they have appointed 70-year old Jóhan Nielsen as new coach.

Nielsen is the most winning coach ever in the Faroe Islands with 12 national titles under his belt: 8 with HB from 1968-1988; 3 with GÍ Gøta 1993-95 and one with NSÍ Runavík in 2007. He was also the coach who guided Skála to the runners-up position in 2005. He’s been away from coaching since his 2008 season with NSÍ.


ÍF Fuglafjørður and 07 Vestur appoint new coaches

ÍF Fuglafjørður announced this evening that they have appointed Símun Eliasen and Rúni Nolsøe as new coaches to replace Abraham Løkin who resigned because of a new job opportunity outside football.

Rúni Nolsøe has some experience from the top division as he was coach for HB in 2008. Prior to that he was coach for 1st division teams AB in 2006 and B68 in 2007 and guided both of them to promotion to the Vodafone Division. Last season he was coach for FC Hoyvík in the first division, but resigned halfway through the season. The previous year he coached 07 Vestur’s second team, playing in the second division.

Símun Eliasen’s experience as coach comes mainly from coaching HB’s second team in the first division 2009 and 2010. In 2005 and 2006 he was player-assistant-coach for ÍF Fuglafjørður.

Both of them have won titles with HB as players.

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