May 31, 2009: May Round-Up:

No time for an introduction for this month’s update, so we´ll just jump straight to it:

Jón Rói Jacobsen retires

Centre back Jón Rói Jacobsen has decided to retire from the national team, only 26 years old. The reason for his decision is that he will be concentrating on his medical studies from now on. “You shall never say never”, Jacobsen said when he announced his decision, but it’s unlikely that we’ll see him back in the Faroese team.

Jón Rói Jacobsen is originally from HB Tórshavn and his talent was obvious for all to see from an early age. He debuted for HB's senior team in 1999 as a 16 year-old, and showed maturity well beyond his age in HB's troublesome 2001 season. The following year, he scored 12 goals for HB in the 18-match league to win the title.

National coach Allan Simonsen was also impressed with the youngster, and in June 2001 he became the youngest player to have played for the Faroese national team, when he came on against Switzerland in a World Cup qualifier. (This record has since been broken).

Those years, Jacobsen had been used both as a striker and defender. He did equally well in both positions. But since his 2002-season for HB, his place has been in defence, for both club and country.

After the 2002-season, Jacobsen joined Michael Laudrup's Brøndby IF in Denmark on loan. But he struggled to get into the 1st team, and a torn knee-ligament, which kept him out for months, didn't help either.

In the summer of 2004 he signed a contract with BK Frem in the 1st division and was voted player of the club in 2005. AaB Aalborg in the Superliga had noticed Jacobsen's stable performances for Frem, and in December 2005 Jacobsen signed a 3 year contract with AaB and was part of the team that won the Danish title in 2008, although much of the time was spent on the bench.

After the season Jacobsen re-joined BK Frem in the 1st division where he still is. Jón Rói Jacobsen is therefore not part of the team which takes on Serbia on 10 June.

Brian Kerr makes first selection

Brian Kerr has picked his first squad for the world cup qualifier against Serbia on 10 June. His initial squad was 23-man-strong with another 5 players on stand by. The final squad for the Serbia match will be named after a training-match against the U-21 team on Wednesday 3 June.

The initial squad:

Jákup Mikkelsen(GK), KÍ Klaksvík
Meinhardt Joensen (GK), Jóhan Troest Davidsen, Einar T. Hansen, Jann Ingi Petersen, Hjalgrím Elttør, Bogi Løkin, NSÍ Runavík
Bartal Eliasen, ÍF Fuglafjørður
Egil á Bø, Marni Djurhuus, EB/Streymur
Atli Gregersen, Súni Olsen, Víkingur
Fróði Benjaminsen, Jóhan Eivind Mouritsen, Andrew av Fløtum, HB Tórshavn
Palli Augustinussen, VB/Sumba
Jákup á Borg, B36 Tórshavn
Gunnar Nielsen (GK), Manchester City
Jónas Tór Næs, Hvidovre (DK)
Atli Danielsen, FREM (DK)
Christian Høgni Jacobsen, AB (DK)
Christian L. Holst, Silkeborg(DK)
Símun Samuelsen, Keflavík(IS)

On standby:
Herbert í Lon Jacobsen, B36 Tórshavn
Levi Hanssen, Arnbjørn Hansen, EB/Streymur
Andreas Lava Olsen, Víkingur
Páll Mohr. Joensen, HB Tórshavn

However, a couple of names have already been scratched from the list because of different reasons.

24-year-old Marni Djurhuus is one of them. He actually retired from the international scene in 2007 having appeared 6 times for the Faroes. Nothing has been mentioned about any comeback from him, so therefore it was a bit strange that he was selected this time.

Jákup á Borg will be out of action for 3 weeks because of a hamstring injury.

How the case is with goalkeeper Gunnar Nielsen is a bit unclear, because he was expected to be out of action for several more weeks because of a broken hand. Maybe Kerr just wants to say hello to the player and get to know him.

But goalkeeper Jákup Mikkelsen is back in the team (after he had announced his retirement earlier this year) and will undoubtedly be between the sticks in the forthcoming match against Serbia.

As René Tórgarð of EB/Streymur is out injured, Kerr has had to go deeper into the hierarchy for a reserve goalkeeper and his choice fell on NSÍ goalkeeper Meinhardt Joensen. Joensen is maybe not in his best form, but as there is a limited number of keepers to choose from, Joensen is maybe a natural choice after all, as he has been in the squad previously.

And then there are some unexpected, to say the least, selections also. For example Jóhan Ejvind Mouritsen. His talent is obvious, but it’s a long time since he really has made his mark in the top division. He has also not been in HB’s starting line up during the last weeks.

Not many would have predicted that Kerr was going to pick midfielder Palli Augustinussen from 1st division club VB/Sumba. – However, Augustinussen has earlier made one appearance for the Faroe Islands. That was back in 2002 in a friendly against Poland.

Also centre back Atli Gregersen is a surprise selection. Several years ago he expressed his disappointment when he wasn’t selected while he played in the Danish 1st division.

8 years ago, then 18-year-old Gregersen said these words to Faroese newspaper Dimmalætting:

“I’m aware that I maybe will have to wait a while for my chance in the national team – just look at such a good player like Súni Olsen, who finds it difficult getting a place in the team – but to get into the national team is absolutely an ambition.”

- Well, 8 years later that dream has now been realized. At least partially, as the provisional 23 man squad will later be reduced to 18 players.

But if there were some surprising selections for the squad, then it was almost shocking to learn that Andreas Lava Olsen was only on the standby list as he has shown much more on the pitch than so many other players who have been selected.

Another noticeable absence is last season’s top scorer Arnbjørn Hansen. However, he has been fighting injuries this season and hasn’t really produced the goods so far, so it’s was maybe not so unexpected that Hansen would be skipped this time.

The first training session will be on Tuesday, 2 June and after a training match against the U21 team on Wednesday, Brian Kerr will name his final 18 players.

However, the selection proves that it’s Brian Kerr who has made the selection himself and not some assistant – although he has sought advice from them. Whether that was good or bad we’ll know after the Serbia match…

Tony Paris sues KÍ Klaksvík for 1,000,000 DKK

Former KÍ Klaksvík coach, Englishman Tony Paris, who is now living in the USA, has sued KÍ for more than 1,000,000 DKK which he claims KÍ owe him after sacking him a few matches into the 2007 season. He claims that the 4-year-contract was irredeemable.

Paris had been coach for KÍ in two periods - first in 1977-1978 and again in 1999 when he led KÍ to the double - before he was hired again in 2006. KÍ did well in their first season where they reached 4th spot in the league and qualified for the cup final which they lost 2-1 for B36 Tórshavn.

But when KÍ had dropped to 8th place in the table a third into the 2007-season, KÍ lost patient with Paris and fired him (you can read about that initial story in more details here).

The case in court will start in a few months time.

Faroese veterans draw 2-2 with Icelandic veterans

On 16 May a Faroese national teams with veteran players played against their Icelandic counterpart.The result was 2-2.

Iceland took an early lead thanks to a fine long range effort from Tómas Ingi Tómasson. Halfway thorough the first half John Petersen put the Faroes in front with two goals in quick succession. But some 10 minutes into the second half Iceland equalized to 2-2 which became the final result.

The Faroese players were:

Name - Faroese caps - goals - (period)
Jens Martin Knudsen (GK) 65 - 0 – (1988-2006)
Kaj Leo Johannesen (GK) 4 – 0 (1991-1992)
Hans Fróði Hansen 26 – 1 (1998-2004)
Jens Christian Hansen 44 – 3 (1994-2002)
Uni Arge 37 – 8 (1992-2002)
Sámal Joensen 25 – 0 (1997-2007)
Jens Erik Rasmussen 25 – 2 (1988-1997)
John Petersen 57 – 6 (1995-2004)
Allan Mørkøre 54 – 1 (1990-2001)
Allan Joensen 8 – 0 (1995-2003)
Pól Thorsteinsson 37 – 0 (1997-2004)
Gunnar Mohr 7 – 0 (1989 – 1993)
Øssur Hansen 51 – 2 (1992-2002)
Jákup Eli Olsen 2 - 0 (1992-1997)
Kári Reynheim 27 – 2 (1988-1995)
Magni Jarnskor 27 – 0 (1989-1998)
Bjarki Mohr 1 – 0 (1993)
Jákup Símun Simonsen 5 – 0 (1991-1992)

An interesting note is that first-half goalkeeper was Kaj Leo Johannesen, who is now (what is equivalent to) the Faroese prime minister – in Faroese the title is Løgmaður.

Another interesting note is that Jens Erik Rasmussen who turns 41 on 02 June still plays in the Faroese top division. He actually played in the league less than 24 hours after this match and remarkably scored two goals (against KÍ Klaksvík)!

Seven of the Faroese players were part of the that which beat Austria in 1990: Jens Martin Knudsen (GK), Kaj Leo Johannesen (GK)(bench), Jens Erik Rasmussen (bench), Allan Mørkøre, Gunnar Mohr (bench) Magni Jarnskor (bench)and Kári Reynheim.

Sam Malson interview is a website which follows English football players playing abroad. On 25 May they had an interview with B36’s English striker Sam Malson. You can read the whole interview with Malson here.

Your name in KÍ Klaksvík history?

Are you a KÍ Klaksvík fan? Then you can get your name written into KÍ’s history book – literally!

By paying 2,000 DKK you will get your name printed in the book which KÍ are writing on their history which started in 1904. For that amount you will also get a numbered and signed edition of the book when it’s published sometime in the autumn (it will be in Faroese language, of course).

There will be two volumes. The first is published this autumn, as mentioned, but it’s not clear when volume 2 will be published. If there will be any profit, it will all be donated to KÍ’s youth work.

KÍ was founded 24 August 1904 and is therefore the second oldest football club in the Faroe Islands ( TB Tvøroyri was founded in 1892). However, in the beginning KÍ was not a football club, but a tennis and athletics club. Also crocket was on there repertoire. It wasn’t before 1911 that KÍ started playing football. – But as their results are at the moment, maybe KÍ should return to just playing crocket… :-)

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