Pre-season Faroese title favourites HB Tórshavn have opened up an ominous five-point lead at the top of the table with one third of the 27-game season elapsed.
Out in front
The country's most decorated club with 19 league championships, HB have dropped only five points in their opening nine matches and defeated KÍ Klaksvík 4-2 on Sunday for their fourth successive victory. Remarkably, HB still have their critics, who bemoan the lack of free-flowing football and imagination in Sámal Erik Hentze's side. The statistics do not lie, though, as striker Páll Mohr Joensen pointed out: "It may well be that we have not always played as attractively as many would like, but the table shows that we are the top team so what exactly is playing well? I'd rather have the points in any case."
HB's strength lies in set-pieces, situations which have yielded around half of their 23 goals so far. Rasmus Nolsøe's corners and free-kicks have caused defences no end of problems, allowing defender Hans á Lag and midfielders Fróði Benjaminsen and Milan Kuljić to make their presence felt in the final third of the field.
Allied to Nolsøe's dead-ball prowess has been the form of 19-year-old winger Rógvi Poulsen, who joined from AB Bóltfelag last season. Having caught the eye in 2008, the left-sided player has taken his game up another level and is sure to be in the thoughts of national coach Brian Kerr, who was appointed last month.
HB have not had everything their own way in 2009, though. Vikingur knocked them out of the cup at the quarter-final stage, meaning HB have won the trophy they lifted 25 times between 1955 and 1998 just once in the last eleven years. Nevertheless, Hentze's goal is ending HB's three-year wait for a league title. "I know what it's about here and what is required − the championship," said the 37-year-old, who assisted Rúni Nolsøe last term before assuming sole charge at the start of the season. "Therefore I will not say that I wasn't ready, because I am. I know what it's all about at this club and I am going to do my part so that I will be invited to the next annual party."
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