Skullerud takes up Norway reins

Tor Ole Skullerud will lead Norway into this year's UEFA European Under-21 Championship finals after stepping up from his assistant role following the departure of Per Joar Hansen.

New Norway Under-21 coach Tor Ole Skullerud (centre) with NFF sporting director Nils Johan Semb on his left and NFF general secretary Kjetil Siem to his right
New Norway Under-21 coach Tor Ole Skullerud (centre) with NFF sporting director Nils Johan Semb on his left and NFF general secretary Kjetil Siem to his right ©NFF

Tor Ole Skullerud has been appointed Norway coach ahead of this summer's UEFA European Under-21 Championship.

The 42-year-old has signed a contract until the end of 2014 and had been assistant coach to Per Joar Hansen, who took over the reins at Rosenborg BK in December after leading his country to the finals via a 5-4 aggregate victory against France in the play-offs.

"I am very excited to take over such an exciting group of players – I feel it is realistic to aim to qualify from the group," said Skullerud, who was also previously second in command to Øystein Gåre and took temporary charge for the team's final three qualification matches for the 2011 finals after the former FK Bodø/Glimt trainer passed away.

"We have focused on continuity and Tor Ole was our first choice," said Nils Johan Semb, head of elite football at the Football Association of Norway (NFF). "We are sure that he will continue the good work of Per Joar Hansen."

Norway will face hosts Israel in the opening game of the finals in Netanya on 5 June before further Group A meetings with England and Italy.