Double winners last term, EB/Streymur are looking to salvage something from a disappointing 2009 campaign under a new coach as the season draws to a close in the Faroe Islands.
With 18 of their 27 games played, EB/Streymur are fifth – four points and one league place adrift of a UEFA Europa League slot for 2010/11 with a game in hand. Beaten 3-2 by Víkingur in a thrilling Faroese Cup final on 29 July, their chances of silverware are effectively nil, but they may yet take solace in earning a place in Europe for next season.
EB/Streymur's title defence has not gone according to plan, and following a 3-2 defeat by B68 Toftir in their 12th game, coach Sigfrídur Clementsen conceded their championship ambitions were over. "We can forget about the title," he rued. "Now our focus is on our European games and the cup final. After that we'll have to consider what we want and how the team will look next year."
That forward planning saw 35-year-old captain Egil á Bø increasingly confined to the bench, with Clementsen eager to find his long-term replacement. The Faroese international duly brought forward his retirement a few days before the cup final, saying: "When the coach said he wanted to use the players who would be here next year, I decided to quit."
Clementsen and his assistant Magni Mohr were to leave the club in the wake of the cup final loss. In their stead came Hedin Askham, the former B36 Tórshavn boss who has been coaching the Faroe Islands' Under-21 team and was caretaker with the senior side as they beat Iceland in a friendly game in March.
Askham swiftly recalled Bø, reinstating him as captain and calling him "the epitome of EB/Streymur". After his side thrashed KÍ Klaksvík 7-0 in his first game, the coach said: "This was some of the best football I have seen a Faroese team play. The attack was a real delight to watch and the defence was completely solid."
That joy was to be short-lived. EB/Streymur lost their next two games and it took an added-time goal to earn them a 1-0 win against bottom side 07 Vestur at the weekend. They now face the four sides above them in their next five games, kicking off with an away fixture against leaders HB Tórshavn on Wednesday. The pressure is on.
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