November 30, 2007: November Round-Up:

Although in the midst of the silly season, preparations for next season have of course started long time ago. But so far, the transfer market has been relatively quiet, though. – At least when it comes to high-profile transfers. But a couple of those have gone through though. We also report about the merging of some of the clubs. But let's start with some national team news:

International friendlies
The Faroe Islands have arranged two friendlies against Iceland and Luxembourg next year. The match against Iceland takes place in March in an indoor arena in Kópavágur, Iceland. The match against Luxembourg is at home and will be played in May/June.

Merging of clubs

GÍ Gøta have merged with the neighboring 1st division club LÍF Leirvík. The team, which will play in the Formula division, will next season be called GÍ/LÍF. LÍF had their high-days in the eighties, playing 8 years in succession in the top division from 1982 to 1989. In 1986 they reached the cup final which they lost 3-1 against NSÍ Runavík. But except from a single year in 1993, LÍF have struggled to reach the highest level again. In addition to the advantage of having more players to choose from for the merged team, it will also be cheaper to run a merged club than running two separate clubs.

FS Vágar – new name
Also FS Vágar 2004 in the 1st division have merged with SÍ Sørvágur, also in the 1st division. This story is a bit complicated as this is not the first time these clubs have merged. In the Island of Vágar, there used to be 3 clubs. SÍF Sandavágur, MB Miðvágur and SÍ Sørvágur. In the nineties, all 3 merged and played under the name FS Vágar. But later, MB and SÍ withdrew from the collaboration again.

But what was left of FS Vágar never abandoned the dream of a strong team from all the island of Vágar, so they could compete for a place in the top division, and in 2004, they re-launched FS Vágar under the name FS Vágar 2004 – but still without the two other teams from the Island, MB and SÍ.

But now SÍ is ready to give it a try again, and FS Vágar 04 are also expanding the club to also include the nearest villages on the neighboring island of Streymoy (it's connected to Vágar with a sub sea tunnel). The official foundation of the club was on 6 November 2007. The name for the new club has not been decided, but it will compete in the 1st division.

VB/Sumba/Royn, but not TB Tvøroyri
We have mentioned earlier that there was also a plan to merge the clubs from the island of Suðuroy, but in TB Tvøroyri, the oldest club in the Faroe Island (founded in 1892), the members decided against the proposal. But the smaller club Royn Hvalba was positive and will be part of the already merged VB and Sumba who have competed under the name VB/Sumba for a few years. But Royn will not contribute as much to the cooperation as TB would have. – If anything at all, as Roynd didn't compete in any division in 2007.

Transfer news:
The transfer marked has not been too busy so far; however, there are a few to report, including a couple of high-profile signings. We'll take the Formula Division clubs in 2008 in alphabetical order.

B71 Sandoy
Danish central-defender Anders Rasmussen has returned to Denmark after one year in the Faroe Islands, but so far B71 have not found a replacement for him.

B36 Tórshavn
B36 is looking for a new goalkeeper as national team keeper Jákup Mikkelsen has decided to return back home to KÍ Klaksvík. Also defensive skipper (sometimes midfielder) Fróði Benjaminsen is lost for B36 as he has decided to join neighbors and archrivals HB Tórshavn. Also defender Kenneth Jacobsen, who lost his place in the starting line-up last season to youngster Jóhan Gunnarson, is leaving; he'll play for AB Argir in the 1st division next season.

As for Formula Division's top scorer, Amed Davy Sylla, it's not clear yet whether he will continue in the Faroe Islands or not. Most likely he will not.

But the door swings both ways and to replace Benjaminsen in the defense, B36 have signed Serbian player Dimitrije Jankovic who played with VB/Sumba in 2007.

In addition to this, B36 will also have a new coach next season, as Kurt Mørkøre is not continuing. Successor will be Heðin Askam, who has no experience from the top flight before, but he is however current coach for the Faroese U21 team.

So far B36 have been relatively quiet on the transfer market, but expect them to be ready with the checkbook for a quality player or two.

B68 Toftir
B86 who return to the top flight after a year in the 1st division have signed Danish attacking player Jacob Bymar. Bymar is no stranger to Faroese soccer as he scored a lot of goal for KÍ Klaksvík in 2003 and especially 2004 when he became no. 4 on the top scorer list with 9 goals in the then 18 match-league. Bymar is now 25, but in his youth days, he played for the Danish U-16, U-17 and U-19 national team.

According to B68's website, they have also signed two players from Senegal, who were on trial earlier this year.

New coach for B68 is Bill McCleod Jacobsen. He hasn't got experience from the highest division, but he is currently one of two coaches for the Faroese U21 team.

EB/Streymur have so far signed 3 new players for next season. U21 Faroe Islands midfield player Levi Hansen from Skála (where he has been for a couple of seasons after he switched from B36) , midfielder Høgni Zachariassen from ÍF Fuglafjørður, where he has been among their better players and defender Fróði Clementsen who comes from relegated AB Argir. He has previously played for EB/Streymur as well as B36 Tórshavn.

Defender/Midfielder Símun Elsiasen, who came to EB/Streymur last season from ÍF Fuglafjørður, has announced his retirement.

EB/Streymur have a new coach this season in Sigfríður Clementsen who in 2005 and 2006 led B36 to the League Championship and Cup title. He has replaced Piotr Krakowski who after 5 years at the helm at EB/Streymur is going to FS Vágar.

Hanus Jacobsen has returned to GÍ, or GÍ/LÍF as it is now called, after a year with AB Argir in the 2007 season. Talented Youngsters Andreas Lava Olsen and Sølvi Vatnhamar, both Faroe Islands U-21 players, who only have played for LÍF in the 1st division, will now get the opportunity to show their worth in the Formula Division.

So far it's not known who will be coach at GÍ/LÍF for next season. Last season's coach, Petur Mohr is not continuing.

ÍF Fuglafjørður
From ÍF there is not much news. The newcomers are expected to get a troublesome season. One of their better players, Høgni Zachariassen has joined EB/Streymur.

HB Tórshavn
HB are looking to make a mends for their miserable season last year, and have acted on their defensive weaknesses clear for everybody to see the last couple of seasons, and have Fróði Benjaminsen from B36. Although he can also play in midfield, he is surely intended to bolster HB's defense.

HB have also signed a 3 year contract with 18 year-old Rógvi Poulsen from AB Argir.

Going through the other door is Tór-Ingar Akselsen (named HB's best player in 2007), who has decided to return home to the new FS Vágar 2004, who don't have an official name at the moment, in the 1st division.

HB have a new coach this season in Rúni Nosøe, former HB player who retired in 2005. Also he is short of coaching experience from the highest division, but two years at AB Argir and B68 Toftir that both ended in promotion to the best division persuaded HB to opt for their former captain.

KÍ Klaksvík
As mentioned above, goalkeeper Jákup Mikkelsen has decided to return to childhood club KÍ Klaksvík. But KÍ are already blessed with another good goalkeeper, Meinhardt Joensen, who is 3rd goalkeeper in the national team. But Mikkelsen will undoubtedly be KÍ's no. 1 choice. So far, KÍ have announced that Joensen is staying put, as he is contracted with KÍ for another season, but let's wait and see if not Joensen will switch to another club after all… Contracts can be terminated.

But KÍ have also invested in 26 year-old Serbian defender Milic Curcic who has played for Skála since 2005

NSÍ Runavík
So far NSÍ have not used any money on the transfer market. However, they have extended the contracts with most of their players for next season.

But one player who has not extended his contract is legendary goalkeeper Jens Martin Knudsen, the bobble hat-keeper. The reason is that he has decided to retire from soccer at the age of 40. It's not clear yet if NSÍ is opting for a new goalkeeper or if they will use what they have in their squad now - Tórður Thomsen, who was on loan at B68 in 2006, where he got Formula Division experience, or Pedrag Stankovic, brother of Nenad Stankovic. The latter we don't know much about. – "Evil tongues" suggest the latter is only part of NSÍ because of his brother, Nenad Stankoic, player of the Year 2007:-) Striker Christian Høgni Jacobsen, who played the last part of the season with NSÍ on loan from HB Tórshavn has returned to HB, so NSÍ are likely on the outlook for a striker.

Skála have been very quiet since the end of the season, but they have before stated that they will not be renewing contract with their Serbian players. One of those, Milic Curcic has gone to KÍ Klaksvík, as mentioned above.

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