Finjord replaces Pellerud as Norway coach

Even Pellerud has resigned as Norway coach and has been replaced by his assistant, Roger Finjord, in time for UEFA Women's EURO and Olympic qualifying.

Even Pellerud (left) and Roger Finjord at the Women's World Cup
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Even Pellerud has resigned as Norway coach and has been replaced by his assistant, Roger Finjord.

Pellerud, 62, returned for a second spell as Norway coach in 2012 having previously led them to 1993 UEFA Women's EURO and 1995 FIFA Women's World Cup victory when in charge from 1989 to 1996. However, he has decided to relinquish the reins, allowing 42-year-old Roger Finjord to take over with qualifiers for UEFA Women's EURO 2017 and the 2016 Olympics imminent.

"I think the chances that we would qualify for the Olympics are greater without me as coach," said Pellerud, who coached Canada and Trinidad & Tobago between his two Norway stints. "The team must go up a notch to make it. I no longer have the energy needed to implement the additional guidelines required. Therefore it is only appropriate to entrust the job to someone else."

Finjord, who steered Stabæk to the Norwegian women's title in 2010, joined the national-team set-up in 2012. He inherits a squad that, after exiting the Women's World Cup in the round of 16, will travel to the Netherlands from 2 to 9 March for a mini-tournament against the hosts, Sweden and Switzerland to decide Europe's third Olympic berth. Before that, however, UEFA Women's EURO 2013 runners-up Norway begin 2017 qualifying away to Kazakhstan on 22 September, with Austria, Israel and Wales also in Group 8.

"I am very proud to take over this team," Finjord said. "The goal is to qualify for the Olympics, and hopefully be able to compete for a medal."

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