March 31, 2009: March Round-Up:

A relatively short edition this time now the league opener is only 3 days away. Víkingur and ÍF Fuglafjørður play on Friday evening.

Faroe-match costs Austrian coach Karel Brückner his job

Most countries love playing against the Faroe Islands because it’s usually 3 certain points for them. On the other hand, when those countries don’t win, their coaches are often in deep trouble.

The first coach to experience this was off course Josef Hickersberger who lost his job after losing 1-0 to the Faroe Islands in 1990.

And now the 1-1 draw with the Faroe Islands in October last year has cost Karel Brückner his job as coach for Austria.

However, it’s not only the Faroe match that cost Brückner his job, but a string of bad results in the current qualifying campaign. Austria started the campaign very well by beating France 3-1 in the first match, but the next 3 matches have only produced 1 point. – This was not enough, the Austrian football association deemed.

Brückner has been replaced by Dietmar Constantini. Brückner was coach for the Czech Republic from 2001 to 2008.

Goalkeeper Jákup Mikkelsen played his last international match?

In last month’s round up, we wrote that Jákup Mikkelsen said that he would end his international career at the end of year.

We also wrote: “The question is then if he [Mikkelen] will retire as 1st choice goalkeeper or if he will have become reserve for Gunnar Nielsen, who is knocking heavily on the door.”

This might now already have happened.

Because when caretaking coach for the Faroese team, Heðin Askham, promised Gunnar Nielsen that he would be in goal in the match against Iceland on March 22, Jákup Mikkelsen announced his retirement from the national team because he had no interest in being a benchwarmer at his age (he is 38).

However, there seems to have been some misunderstandings involved in the communication between the two parties.

On Monday morning (March 16), Jákup Mikkelsen told the media that the caretaking coach had promised Gunnar Nielsen the spot in goal for the rest of the World Cup qualifying campaign (although the coach was only appointed for the one match against Iceland).

But Heðin Askam denied that, and said that his decisions only applied for the Iceland match.

And subsequently Mikkelsen has said that if that was the case, then he might reconsider his decision to retire.

But under any circumstance, it will be difficult to deny Gunnar Nielsen the spot as 1st choice goalkeeper now as he played outstandingly in his debut against Iceland.

Gunnar Nielsen to Wrexham on loan from Manchester City

Meanwhile, Gunnar Nielsen who signed for Mancester City in February, has been loaned out to Wrexham (managed by Dean Saunders) in the fifth tier of the English football league system, also known as the Conference National, for the rest of the season.

Nielsen walked straight into the starting line up for the match against Histon on Saturday (Match report here). Although Nielsen had a fine game, amongst other saving a penalty in injury time, it wasn’t enough to deny Histon a 1-0 win. You can read an interview with Gunnar Nielsen on Wrexham’s website here, and hear a podcast on a Wrexham fan-site here, which includes an interview with goalkeeper Nielsen (a bit more than halfway into the podcast).

With the loss, 10 placed Wrexham will now find it very difficult to reach the play-offs, as they trail no. 5 Kidderminster with 8 points with only 8 matches to go.

Although Nielsen has now joined Wrexham, most of his training will still be going on at Manchester City. About two days a week he will train with Wrexham.

Football Association monitoring the finances of 3 Vodafone clubs

According to UEFA regulations, all top division (as well as second tier) clubs must prior to every season receive a license to be allowed to play. Usually that is not a problem, and wasn’t as such this year either, but the Faroese Football Association has told that they are monitoring the finances of 3 Vodafone clubs. If the bottom line becomes too bloody, the clubs can be punished – anything from dropping points to be relegated.

No Atlantic Cup this year

Apparently, the annual contest between the champions of the Faroe Islands and Iceland – the Atlantic Cup - will not be held this year. The event has had an uncertain life since 2006 after having been held every year since 2002. In 2007 the match was cancelled, and last year the match was arranged in a hurry at the last moment, but didn’t seem to be taken very seriously – which it rarely has, really.

And as it looks, no match for Atlantic Cup will be played this year.

You can read about the history of the Atlantic Cup here.

Gilli Sørensen returns home from Aberdeen

In last month’s round up we mentioned the 3 Faroese youngsters at Aberdeen, but one of them, Gillur Sørensen, has now returned home to play for TB Tvøroyri in the 1st division. On Saturday he scored twice in TB’s 6-0 cup-win over NÍF Nólsoy.

Transfer window’s closing delayed again

Although the closing of the transfer window was once more delayed so that it would stay open until 26 March instead of 12 March, not much has happened on the market in the last month. It’s not like in the Premier League where a ton of signings are made at 23.59 on the last day.

Below we have listed two signings and a retirement:

B36 Tórshavn
B36 Tórshavn have signed Ibrahim Koroma - or just Brima Korona, as he is usually called - from Sierra Leone. Brima, who is meant to sharpen B36’s attack, is 24 years old and has spent his last 10 years in Swedish football where he has played around 60 matches in the top division, Allsvenskan. However, in the last couple of seasons he has played in the lower divisions in Sweden. Brima has also played for Sierra Leone’s national team.

B68 Toftir
Experienced defender Arnbjørn Danielsen (35) has announced his retirement from top football. Danielsen made 8 appearances for the national team (a while ago, now). He’s also played for B36 Tórshavn earlier in his career. But B68 shouldn’t suffer too much as they have a decent squad now and youngsters are also coming through the ranks.

HB Tórshavn
HB Tórshavn have acquired 29 year old Jón Nielsen from 07 Vestur. Although he’s a versatile player, HB’s interests are mostly for his defensive abilities. In 2007 Nielsen made a few appearances for AB Argir in the Formula Division, as the top division was called then. Apart from for AB, Nielsen has only played for different clubs in the island of Vágar, where he is from.

Well, that wraps up this month’s round up. And now it’s only 3 days to go until Víkingur and ÍF Fuglafjørður kick off the 2009 Vodafone Divison on Friday!

We’ll try to have a preview ready sometime before Friday.

See the full fixture-list for the 2009 Vodafone Division here.

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