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NSÍ prepare to mount Faroese defence

Published: Tuesday 25 March 2008, 18.02CET
With the new Faroese season kicking off at the weekend, NSÍ Runavík are eager to defend the title they won in 2007 despite some heavyweight competition.
by Hans Pauli Joensen
from Torshavn
Published: Tuesday 25 March 2008, 18.02CET

NSÍ prepare to mount Faroese defence

With the new Faroese season kicking off at the weekend, NSÍ Runavík are eager to defend the title they won in 2007 despite some heavyweight competition.

With the new Faroese season kicking off at the weekend, NSÍ Runavík are eager to defend the title they won in 2007 despite some heavyweight competition.

Provincial heroes
NSÍ became the first side from outside the capital Torshavn to win the title since VB/Sumba in 2000 and while they have lost experienced defender Pól Thorsteinsson and legendary bobble-hatted goalkeeper Jens Martin Knudsen, they have signed three new players from Serbia and have proved that they have goalscorers all over the pitch. Having done the same when asked about his side's title hopes all last season, captain Óli Hansen once more said of NSÍ's ambitions for 2008: "We'll take it one match at a time."

Encouraging results
Runners-up in both 2006 and 2007, EB/Streymur will be hoping to go one better under 35-year-old coach Sigfrídur Clementsen, who led B36 Tórshavn to the title in 2005. With new signing Mikkjal Thomassen on board they have already played NSÍ twice in pre-season, losing 4-0 with ten men in the Super Cup before knocking the champions out of the Faroese Cup with a 1-0 win. Along with HB Tórshavn, who have bolstered a fragile defence with the signing of B36's Fróði Benjaminsen, EB/Streymur will be the main pretenders to NSÍ's throne.

Draining resources
The loss of Thomassen and Benjaminsen as well as Ivorian top scorer Ahmed Sylla, who has moved to Maltese side Birkirkara FC, has reduced B36's hopes of a title charge this season and they are likely to be battling with KÍ Klaksvík and newly-formed Víkingur in mid-table. Founded with the merger of GÍ Gøta and LÍF Leirvík, the new club have already been forced to let Brazilian coach Dido go as he lacked the right coaching credentials to work in the Faroe Islands, but his former assistant Anton Skordadal will look to pick up the pieces.

Yo-yo club
At the bottom, promoted B68 Toftir, B71 Sandoy and Skála already look destined to be fighting for survival with ÍF Fuglafjørdur, who have bounced between the top two divisions for a number of seasons. Promoted again last season, ÍF are still seeking a permanent replacement for coach Jón Simonsen, who retired for personal reasons, but his temporary stand-in – former ÍF star Abraham Løkin – is optimistic. "If I carry on as coach, ÍF will finish a long way up the table," he said, adding: "I believe we're capable of becoming a fixture in the top flight." All will be known when the season ends on 25 October.

Last updated: 09/12/17 14.52CET

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