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Season review: Norway

Published: Monday 9 November 2009, 11.56CET
Having won only one of the previous four titles, Rosenborg BK stamped their authority on the Eliteserien again in 2009, with Aalesund FK defying the odds by claiming their first Norwegian Cup.
by Eivind Aarre
from Stavanger
Season review: Norway
Rosenborg cruised to their 21st Norwegian title in 2009 ©Rosenborg BK
Published: Monday 9 November 2009, 11.56CET

Season review: Norway

Having won only one of the previous four titles, Rosenborg BK stamped their authority on the Eliteserien again in 2009, with Aalesund FK defying the odds by claiming their first Norwegian Cup.

Having won only one of the previous four Norwegian titles, Rosenborg BK stamped their authority on the Eliteserien again in 2009, with Aalesund FK upsetting the odds by claiming their first Norwegian Cup. On the flip side, Fredrikstad FK, FK Bodø/Glimt and FC Lyn Oslo were all relegated from the top flight.

Champions: Rosenborg BK
After a two-year barren patch, the Trondheim side claimed their 21st national title, with coach Erik Hamrén abandoning the Black-and-Whites' traditional 4-3-3 formation to introduce a midfield diamond which, for some, marked a betrayal of the club's footballing ethos. Results, however, spoke for themselves: Rosenborg were undefeated when they beat second-placed Molde FK 2-0 to claim the title with four games to go, and Hamrén was offered the job of coaching the Swedish national team. He will coach Sweden and Rosenborg in tandem until 1 September 2010 before moving back to his home country full-time. "I have really enjoyed my time in Trondheim and I was delighted to win the league, but it has always been a dream to coach the national side," he said.

Cup final: Molde FK 2-2 Aalesund FK (aet, Aalesund win 5-4 on penalties)
Runners-up in the league, Molde went into the final as favourites, but their local rivals had other ideas. Molde took the lead and looked to be home and dry when Aalesund had Fredrik Carlsen sent off, but the underdogs refused to give up, equalising inside 90 minutes and again in extra time to take the showpiece to penalties. Molde striker José Mota was the only player to miss, setting up Amund Skiri to score the winner. "My players were fantastic," said Aalesund coach Kjetil Rekdal.

Player of the Year: Makhtar Thioune (Molde FK)
Signed from Sarpsborg 08 FF, Senegalese midfielder Thioune proved to be Molde's driving force in his first season in Norway's top division, and was voted the league's top performer. Fulham FC centre-back Brede Hangeland, meanwhile, was Norway's Player of the Year, saying: "I am very honoured to receive this award. There were many good players nominated."

One to watch: Mads Stokkelien (IK Start)
The 19-year-old striker was not even included in the Kristiansand side's squad at the start of the season, but injury problems gave him his chance and he grabbed it with both hands, scoring wonderful volleyed goals against SK Brann and Sandefjord Fotball, the latter being voted the Goal of the Season by his fellow professionals.

Surprise package: Molde FK
Not ranked among medal candidates pre-season, Kjell Jonevret's outfit nonetheless played some of the most attractive football in Norway this season. With Thioune masterminding play from midfield, strikers like Pape Pate Diouf and Manchester United FC-bound Mame Biram Diouf made Molde a match for anyone on their day, with a 5-0 demolition of Rosenborg in the Norwegian Cup quarter-finals their most emphatic performance.

Leading scorer: Rade Prica, Rosenborg BK (16)

Number: 26
The number of Eliteserien games Rosenborg went unbeaten. They had won the gold medals before Start beat them 3-2 at Lerkendal in the 27th game of the season.

Quote
"Empty, empty, empty."
Fredrikstad coach Tom Nordlie explains how he felt after his side's defeat by local rivals Sarpsborg 08 in the promotion/relegation play-off.

 

Last updated: 10/11/09 11.25CET

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