The new Faroese season gets under way in midweek, and while reigning champions HB Tórshavn look like strong candidates for a 21st title, B36 Tórshavn coach Sigfrídur Clementsen feels he has "a side that can compete at the very top".
Icelandic coach Kristján Gudmundsson has been charged with leading HB this time around, and has strengthened his side with a rash of winter signings. EB/Streymur's Levi Hanssen and fellow Faroese international midfielder Símun Samuelsen, who also played under Gudmundsson at Keflavík, have both come in. While defenders Rógvi Holm – an Under-21 player previously in the youth team at Aberdeen FC – and Thórður Steinar Hreidarsson, from Iceland, plus the versatile Tór-Ingar Akselsen from relegated 07 Vestur have also joined.
However, while HB beat Víkingur 2-1 in the Faroese Super Cup a couple of weeks ago, a 1-0 defeat by B36 in the Faroese Cup first round on Saturday showed that they were not invincible. The arrivals of forward Hjalgrím Elttør from relegated KÍ Klaksvík, Bárður Olsen from EB/Streymur and experienced Serbian defender Dimitrije Janković's return have made B36 a force to be reckoned with, especially with coach Clementsen – who led them to the 2005 title – back in the saddle.
B36 endured one of their worst seasons in recent memory in 2009, finishing one place above the relegation zone, but the eight-time champions are hoping to put that behind them this time round. "If we get things to work, then I think we have a team that can compete at the very top," said Clementsen. "It's up to us to see how quickly we can get things going."
Champions in 2008 and runners-up last time around, EB/Streymur should also be in the mix but Jógvan Martin Olsen's Víkingur may find it difficult to improve on last season's third place, with winger Andreas Lava Olsen having joined Danish side BK Frem. However, the arrival of Serbian midfielder Nenad Stanković has allowed Súni Olsen to take up a more attacking role. He shone in that position with a hat-trick in a cup game against B71 Sandoy at the weekend, including two goals in extra time.
Promoted B71 gave Víkingur a game in the cup, but they may struggle over the course of a season. Having lost their four Brazilians since their relegation in 2008, they have come back with four Serbians and Polish coach Piotr Krakowski, who won the title when playing at B71 in 1989 and is regarded by many as the best player to have ever graced the Faroese league.
Meanwhile, fellow newcomers FC Suduroy – previously VB/Sumba – are feeling optimistic with chairman and former goalkeeper Bjarni Johansen explaining: "The goal for most newly promoted teams is to stay up. How can we do that? Well, we only have to win a few matches, then everything will be fine."
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