November 30, 2006: November Round-Up:

Preparations are fully underway for next season and in this round-up, we'll mention some of the transfers that have taken place in the last month. And for the first time, a Faroese soccer player has written an autobiography. Also a few lines about the U-21 national team, which will now be established.

HB Tórshavn
The rumor had circled for a long time and now it has become official. The top scorer for the last two seasons, ChristianHøgni Jacobsen from NSÍ, has signed a 2-year contract with HB Tórshavn. With this signing, HB's already formidable attacking resources have now become almost scary. On paper, HB certainly look to be the team to beat next season. – But of course, matches are not played on paper but on the field, and there, HB's opponents will maybe find out that HB's defense is not unapproachable. – At least if they don't make a defensive signing.

NSÍ Runavík
But with Christian Høgni Jacobsen now off NSÍ Runavík's pay-list, NSÍ can afford to spend some of that money on otherplayers. And spent, they have! In last month's round-up we mentioned several of the signings NSÍ have made and this month, they have signed another high profile player, Hjalgrím Elttør from KÍ Klaksvík. When in the right mood, Elttør is among the best offensive players in the Faroe Islands. But his mood fluctuates...

And this is not the last signing NSÍ will make before next season, as they have announced that they are on the outlook for a class-defender.

Jóhann Troest Davidsen, who was on loan to Skála for the second half of last season, has also returned home to NSÍ, and so has Debes Danielsen, who also played for Skála. (Before the start of last season, Johann Troest Davidsen returned home to NSÍ on loan from Everton, where he had recently switched his trainee contract to a senior contract).

Skála have a new Serb in their squad; 28 year old Slavisa Kaplanovic. He is meant to be replacement for Nenad Stankovic, who signed for NSÍ last month. Stankovic was one of the main contributors to Skála´s bronze in 2004 and silver in 2005, and not before Stankovic arrived late in the 2006 season, did Skála escape the relegation zone. But now, Skála think they have found his replacement in Slavisa Kaplanovic. Kaplanovic is an offensive midfielder and said to be strong with the head. His 190 cm could indicate that, too. He has previously played in the best and second best divisions in Serbia and also had a short spell in Iceland in 2004, before he moved back to Serbia.

KÍ Klaksvík
KÍ Klaksvík have signed 2 new players this month, both from GÍ Gøta: Gunnar Nielsen and Kaj Ennigarð.

Gunnar Guillermo Nielsen, which is his full name, is from Argentina. He joined ÍF Fuglafjørður in 2004, after he had played in Denmark for several years. Last season, he played for GÍ Gøta. In his youth days, he played for Boca Juniors home in Argentina. Gunnar Nielsen plays either as a forward or as an attacking midfielder. With his good technical skills, he can be difficult to mark. In 2006 he scored 7 goals for GÍ Gøta.

Kaj Ennigarð is a 22 year old defender and emerged as one of GÍ's most important players last season. He will definitely be an asset for KÍ.

AB Argir
AB Argir, who play their first season ever in the top division, have named their new coach. His name is Oddbjørn Joensen.

Last season he was coach at TB Tvøroyri in the second best division. Previously he has been coach at both KÍ and HB in the best division. He also had a spell with AB in 1999.

In last year's December round-up, we wrote about Súni Fríði Barbá's annual club transfer, and he isn't disappointing us this time around either. Now he is back with AB Argir, where he also played in 2005. This season, he was runner up on the top scorer list with 15 goals for B68 Toftir (who still were relegated), 3 short of Christian Høgni Jacobsen from NSÍ Runavík. In addidition to his forward-role, he will also be assistant-coach. From 1991 to 2006, Súni Fríði has played for 5 clubs and this is his 11th transfer since 1991! In addition to AB, he has also played for HB, B68, GÍ and NSÍ.

AB have also signed 23 year-old forward Hendrik L. Rubeksen from HB. Hendrik has long been a promising talent, but unfortunately his career has been marred by long term injuries for years.

And AB have also signed goalkeeper Danny Rasmussen from HB, where he has mostly been substitute. Danny played a few games for HB's first team in 2004. One was a Champions League qualifier which HB won 3-0 against FC WIT Georgia, and in his debut away to GÍ, he was outstanding in the important match that HB won 3-1 and which meant that HB took the lead from Skála on the table and stayed there to the end of the season and won the championship. However, Danny is no stranger to AB as he played there in his youth.

VB/Sumba, who have been close to relegation the last two seasons, have appointed Tomislav Sivic as their new coach for the next two years. And he just might be the right person to make sure that VB/Sumba stay clear of relegation next season.

Tomislav Sivic, who is from Serbia, is not unknown to VB (now emerged with Sumba), as he was VB's player-coach in 1996. Hethen moved to B36 Tórshavn the following year and steered B36 to their first championship since 1962 as player-coach. In 2000 and 2001 he coached KÍ Klaksvík before he left the Faroes again.

Since then, Sivic has had a short spell as coach in the Serbian league and for 3 years, he was coach for the Serbian U-17 national team. Earlier this year, he reached an agreement with the soccer association of Uganda to become their nationalcoach, but when he came to Africa to sign the contract, Sivic didn't recognize the things they had agreed on and therefore refused to sign and subsequently parted company with Uganda.

Sivic, who has now become 39 and not playing anymore, was well known for his temper, but his no-nonsense approach to soccer is probably going to do VB/Sumba no harm at all. He will possibly also take a player or two with him from Serbia, to strengthen VB/Sumba's squad.

B71 Sandoy
Serbs are popular in the Faroe Islands, because B71 Sandoy have also appointed one of those as their coach. His name is Dusan Mokan and is 36 years old. At present, he is coaching FC Lokomotiva Brcko in the second division in Bosnia Herzegovina. But in 2007, he will be coaching B71 in the Faroese Formula Division.

Runners up, EB/Streymur have picked up brothers Símun and Hanus Eliasen from ÍF Fuglafjørður.

Símun plays mainly in the central defense. In 2005 he returned to his childhood club ÍF, after two very successful seasons with HB Tórshavn in 2003 and 2004, where he hardly set a foot wrong and helped HB secure the championship both years.

His younger brother Hanus has more of an attacking role, and in the last game of the season against HB, he showed his potential, when he on his own challenged HB's defense several times.

Julian Johnsson retires
One of the best Faroese players in the last decade, Julian Johnsson, who will become 32 in January, has retired. He announced that when he presented his just finished autobiography.

In the 2005 season, when Julian was player-coach for B68 Toftir in the second best division, he got a nasty knee injury which kept him out of soccer for nearly a year. He returned to the pitch well into the 2006 season and also made a comeback to thenational team, but he wasn't really fit, and after acknowledging that his knee didn't hold up for soccer anymore, he decided to call it a day.

But Julian didn't just sleep his days away while he was injured. No, he wrote an autobiography about his soccer life.

The title of the book is "The Faroese from Denmark". The title refers to when Julian as a 10 year old moved from Denmark to the Faroe Islands and his struggle to become accepted by his schoolmates, among other things because he didn't speak thelanguage. But Julian didn't just give up, but fought for his acceptance, and mainly on the soccer ground, he won hisschoolmates' respect and was gradually accepted.

And this fighting spirit has always been Julian's trademark. He has often been referred to as "the man who could run the sunblack". (The book is only available in Faroese language)

Julian started his soccer career in Denmark as a 5 year-old and played in the same team as Thomas Gravesen, who now plays forCeltic after a short spell with Real Madrid. They were also friends until Julian moved to the Faroe Islands when he was 10, and although Gravesen visited Julian in the Faroes as teenager, their friendship gradually faded away.

Julian played with HB in the Faroes until he joined B36 in 1996 and the year after helped them win their first championship since 1962. In 1998 he joined Kongsvinger IL in Norway and switched to Sogndal IF in 1999. In 2001 he joined Hull City in the English 3rd division. In 2002 he was back with B36 in the Faroes again before he moved to IA Akranes in Iceland in 2003.

After 2 seasons in Iceland, he returned to the Faroe Islands in 2005, where he was appointed player-coach for B68 Toftir in the second best division. His coaching went well, as B68 ended in first place and were promoted to the top flight, but it wasduring the 2005 season he received the knee injury, that now has forced Julian Johnsson to stop his playing career. He played his last match for the national team on September 2nd 2006 away to Scotland where the Faroes were beaten 6-0. Julian Johnsson played 64 times for the national team and scored 4 goals.

U-21 National Team
For the first time the Faroe Islands will have an under-21 national team. This has long been the wish of the soccer association, but the wish hasn't materialized before now, mainly because of economical reasons.

This is a great advantage for the senior team, as the young players will now get some more experience before they are thrown on the pitch in a match on the highest level. Up until now, there was no step between the U-19 team and the senior team.

The draw for the U-21 European Championship qualification takes place on December 13. The groups will be made up of 4 and 5 teams in each. The first matches will be played in the summer of 2007. So far, no coach has been named. The Faroe Islands are now represented in all age groups, U-15, U-17, U-19 and now, U-21 also.

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