Norwegians aiming for strong debut at Euro Cup
Tuesday, September 18 2012 @ 02:53 am ACST
Contributed by: Aaron Richard
Making their debut at this year's Euro Cup will be Norway, and with a few years worth of domestic growth under their belt, hopes are high that the Norwegians can take the next step and join the ranks of Europe's established footy nations.
National team coach Adam Pearce is bringing an all-local squad to Scotland for the tournament, and took some time out of his schedule to speak to WFN about his squad's preparations.
"We've been working really hard to try to promote the game and hence we have put together a team of 16 locals (including one Swede and one Dane) to take on Europe. We really didn't want to rely on Aussies to make a team so I am happy we got there in the end without them. It ended up being quite easy to find a group of guys to represent their country.
"We started a new 3 team league this year called the Kenguru Cup (Kenguru means Kangaroo in Norwegian) by splitting up our Oslo Crows team into Oslo East and Oslo West as well as the team in Ås, which is a university town 30 minutes out of Oslo. Tonight is the 5th and final round and Ås and Oslo East are on the same points but ahead on %. So it's going to be an interesting night!
"My aim with this league was to eventually get 3 standalone clubs in the Oslo area. Even though all the Oslo guys train together, hopefully the East West thing will create a bit of rivalry and then we can split totally in a year or 2.
"Players to watch out for: Eivind Myrvold - player from Ås who has a handball/soccer background. Can play midfield, forward or back, he's strong but versatile and very skillful. Atle Mengshoel Brevik - solid defender who very rarely gets beaten. Tor Ivar Amundsen - after living in Victoria for a few years, he has a passion for the game (and Hawthorn) which shows in his endeavour on the field.
"With the Kenguru Cup starting this year, I think it has attracted a lot of new players, especially in the Ås team The coaching staff in Oslo and Ås have worked really hard to teach the guys the minor rules of the game as well as improving kicking and handball skills. And it has really shown in the recent games we have played.
"We have had separate national team trainings so we can get the feeling of what its like "without" the usual Aussies training beside them and the result has been great. The standard of training has been good and with one more session in the final week, we will be fine tuning our tactics and game play. Many of the guys have also been doing extra running sessions as well as checking out as many of the AFL games as they can online or on Eurosport TV."
Coaching the team along with Pearce is his fellow Australian David Stone, with local Anette Smith acting as trainer.
Pearce is optimistic the Norwegians can make an impact in their first appearance. "Even though we have drawn maybe the toughest group in the tournament, we still have our hopes high. The average games played by our guys will be a fraction of those for the other teams but we know if we can be hard at the footy - like a viking - and stick to what we have learnt, we can surprise anyone! So watch out Europe!!"