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Berntsen handed Norway challenge

Published: Tuesday 28 December 2004, 16.01CET
Former international defender Bjarne Berntsen is the surprise choice as coach of Norway's women's team.
Published: Tuesday 28 December 2004, 16.01CET

Berntsen handed Norway challenge

Former international defender Bjarne Berntsen is the surprise choice as coach of Norway's women's team.

By Eivind Aarre

Bjarne Berntsen is the surprise choice as the new coach of Norway's women’s team and will lead the side at the UEFA Women's European Championship next summer.

High hopes
The former Norway defender has no previous experience of the women's game, but feels he is up for the job. Speaking at today’s press conference, Berntsen said: "I have already received input from many sources, and will also seek advice from previous coaches Per-Mathias Høgmo and Åge Steen."

Plenty of experience
Berntsen, who represented his country as a defender in the early 80s, has a fine coaching reputation. He led Bryne FK to a Norwegian Cup triumph in 1987, and became director at Viking FK in 1989. He was coach at Viking from 1992 to 1995, and returned to the club as director in 1999. He held that post until a recent reorganisation saw him part company with the club, having also had a brief stint this year as caretaker coach.

Eight teams involved
Norway will be one of eight teams competing in the WOMEN'S EURO 2005 to be held in north-west England next June. The draw for the final round will take place at the City of Manchester stadium on Thursday 19 January, with England, Denmark, Finland, France, Italy, Sweden and title-holders Germany also involved.

Last updated: 29/12/04 14.55CET

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