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post #1 of 238 (permalink) Old April 5th, 2007, 13:02 Thread Starter
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The Aalesunds FK 2007 season thread

On Monday the 9th of April 2007 another season of Norwegian football will start. For only the third time in history Aalesunds FK will take part in the Norwegian top league. Despite being formed in 1914 and coming from a respectably sized city by Norwegian standards (largest city between Bergen and Trondheim, one of the top 10 cities by population, and the main center for about 250.000 people in a country with less than 5 million citizens) the club had never managed to reach the kind of heights everyone in Ålesund (the city) and Sunnmøre (local area) expected.

The 80's and 90's saw many legendary coaches and players, and several near promotions. However, towards the end of the 90's the club had not only reached a new low both financially and in results on the pitch, they had also started planning for the future. Out of near bankruptcy new money had started flowing the club's way, sponsors both local and American (Reidar Tryggestad emigrated from Ålesund as a kid, and is a multi millionaire now) was taking part in the rise.

Young promising players were given new contracts, a couple of solid and experienced (if not brilliant) players from other parts of the country signed up for the club, alongside Paulo Dos Santos from Cape Verde and US soccer. Talented coach Geir Hansen had decided to step down, but the man with the big words Ivar Morten Normark signed up instead on the verge of Hansen's crew reaching promotion back to the second highest level, after an unprecedented two years on the third level. Not long afterwards, the club finished an all year international level sports hall, and John Arne Riise was sold to Monaco for a lot of money, and the club's future looked even more promising.

To make a long story short, the club got promoted in 2002, finally reaching the Norwegian top league. The club made headlines this season, for reaching the semifinal of the cup, for the promotion, and for getting 10.000 people into a stadium that shouldn't hold more than a few thousand. However, with keeping the squad nearly intact, staying up proved difficult, and the club got relegated in the very last round of 2003. History repeated itself, and after another promotion in 2004, the club once again got relegated in the last round of the season in 2005. That season did see a new stadium, a near 11.000 seater with top level artificial grass, which was filled to the brink every single round.

A new coach (Per Joar Hansen) and new players were brought in for the 2006 season, which saw another promotion, a record 15 out of 15 home matches nearly sold out, and seven wins out of seven possible to start the season.

The year is now 2007, and what is AaFK's situation now? Bigger budget, more professional and experienced players than ever before, sold out stadium for every match, every single match televised, players from four continents, and a deep desire to be successful.

In its traditional orange with blue (tango colours, due to heavy trade between Ålesund city and Argentina early in the 20th century, and continued trade with South America to this day), Aalesund, fans and players alike, will come out fighting this season and will not accept defeat easily. Only survival is acceptable, and only real success is satisfactory.
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post #2 of 238 (permalink) Old April 5th, 2007, 13:09 Thread Starter
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Squad:

Keepers
Adin Brown
Andreas Lie
Roar Husby

Defence
Joakim Alexandersson
Gustave Baheten Bahoken
Haraldur Freyr Gudmundsson
Peter Werni
Benjamin Kibebe
Enar Jääger
Mattias Nylund
Amund Robertsen Skiri

Midfield
Trond Fredriksen
Dag Roar Ørsal
Karl Oskar Fjørtoft
Magnus Kihlberg
Denis Selimovic
Erlend Holm

Attack
Lasse Olsen
Joakim R. Austnes
Tor Hogne Aarøy
Jonathan Parr
Thomas Pedersen
Dede Anderson
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post #3 of 238 (permalink) Old April 5th, 2007, 13:12 Thread Starter
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League matches 2007:

09. April AaFK - Start Color Line Stadion
15. April Sandefjord Fotball - AaFK Storstadion
22. April AaFK - Fredrikstad Color Line Stadion
29. April Odd Grenland - AaFK Odd Stadion
07. May AaFK - Lillestrøm Color Line Stadion
13. May FC Lyn Oslo - AaFK Ullevål Stadion
16. May Strømsgodset - AaFK Marienlyst Gml. Gress
28. May AaFK - Viking Color Line Stadion
10. June Tromsø - AaFK Alfheim
17. June AaFK - Stabæk Color Line Stadion
20. June Brann - AaFK Brann Stadion
24. June AaFK - Vålerenga Color Line Stadion
01. July Rosenborg - AaFK Lerkendal Stadion
22. July Start - AaFK Sør Arena
29. July AaFK - Sandefjord Fotball Color Line Stadion
05. August Fredrikstad - AaFK Fredrikstad Stadion
12. August AaFK - Odd Grenland Color Line Stadion
26. August Lillestrøm - AaFK Åråsen Stadion
02. September AaFK - FC Lyn Oslo Color Line Stadion
16. September AaFK - Strømsgodset Color Line Stadion
23. September Viking - AaFK Viking Stadion
30. September AaFK - Tromsø Color Line Stadion
07. October Stabæk - AaFK Nadderud Stadion
21. October AaFK - Brann Color Line Stadion
28. October Vålerenga - AaFK Ullevål Stadoin
04. November AaFK - Rosenborg Color Line Stadion
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post #4 of 238 (permalink) Old April 5th, 2007, 16:44 Thread Starter
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Keepers

Adin Brown
Big American that arrived in Ålesund ahead of the 2003 season. At the time he was a little overweight but soon made an impact, turning out to be one of the most valuable players of the past two seasons. At his best he's like a wall, and extremely agile for such a big man (196 cm). He has suffered from injuries, mostly related to repeated head injuries he got before joining AaFK. He'll turn 29 this summer, and recently signed a new contract with AaFK which will hopefully keep him here for several seasons.

Andreas Lie
Nine years the junior of Brown, Lie is considered one of the biggest talents in Norwegian football. Fighting for a permanent spot on the Norwegian U21 team, he started getting a little upset that he was a permanent reserve in AaFK last season. He's bound to put up a good fight, but what we saw of him last season was unfortunately not up to Brown's quality. At his age Lie should still be improving though.

Roar Husby
A typical third keeper. Solid backup happy to be making a living off football. Will probably feature often for the reserve team, and probably hopes to get some first team action.
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post #5 of 238 (permalink) Old April 5th, 2007, 17:18 Thread Starter
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Defence

Joakim Alexandersson
After a decade in the Swedish top flight, he was brought in before last season to strenghten the defence. Instead he struggled to get any real playing time, and ended up being another argument for those wanting to limit the number of foreigners in Norwegian football. Does he really deserve the place in the squad instead of a local talent? Well he's got something to prove this season, and has put in some good performances in training matches. At 31 don't expect him to blossom like a flower, but with his size and experience he can always do a solid job.

Gustave Baheten Bahoken
Gus has one national team match for Cameroon, and at his very best he is unique and fabulous. However, his average performance leaves a lot to be desired, and amid ongoing reports that he has wanted to leave the club for over a season he's not the most popular player. He's the kind of player that can dribble himself out of a phone box, or run across the entire pitch and pass perfectly to one of the strikers, but he can also loose the ball way too easily in dangerous positions, or be horribly out of place in defence. Nevertheless, with his raw natural talent he is currently the first choice for the left back. position.

Haraldur Freyr Gudmundsson
Halli is the kind of player and central defender that everyone hoped Alexandersson would be, but without the same experience. Big and strong, seldom makes mistakes, always reliable, and a real fighter. Really fast strikers are his worst enemy, and he then tends to hold on to their shirts more than what most referees allow. At 25 he is no longer the big talent he was when he came to AaFK, and it's now time to take the next step, and play himself into national team contention for Iceland.

Peter Werni
While fairly new in Ålesund, he is the most experienced Tippeliga player that AaFK has in the squad, with ten seasons playing for Lillestrøm SK. He is loved and adored by the fans for his charisma, honesty, loyalty and passion for the game. Last season after he scored a goal he ran around the whole pitch clapping and screaming at the crowd, who obviously went nuts with joy. As a central defender or right back he is like a rock, but might be dragging it on in years at 33. While one might question his potential, no one would question his stability. His worst performances are nearly equal to his peak performances, and you always know where you've got him.

Benjamin Kibebe
Kibebe had a great season for Tromsø IL in Tippeligaen last season, and is expected to fill the right back slot for AaFK. As a new signing it's always difficult to fully realize what kind of impact he will make in the league for the club, but coach Hansen has put a lot of confidence in the Ethiopian in training matches this spring. Like most of AaFK's defenders he's big and considered reliable.

Enar Jääger
At only 22 Enar has already played 18 national team matches for Estonia and has played in the Russian top league. He's a completely new signing and has never played a match for AaFK, as he just recovered from an injury he's been struggling with. If AaFK's defence has struggled in previous seasons things are certainly starting to look serious now. Let's hope that Enar will make a massive contribution.

Mattias Nylund
A very exciting left back with one national team match for Sweden. Sadly he suffered a massive injury to his leg last season, but before that he had played a major part in AaFK's extremely good opening of the 2006 season. He is sometimes so offensive that he makes Roberto Carlos look like a keeper, and gave me some serious breathing problems when AaFK lost the ball in midfield last season. However I've hardly ever seen a more talented "second wing" when he and AaFK are at their best.

Amund Robertsen Skiri
Not yet 30 and he has got almost a lifetime behind him in AaFK. In the middle of all of this he left the club, won the league with VIF (the team taking more points in average when he was on the pitch than any other player apart from Steffen Iversen - MVP), and returned to AaFK amid the protests of most of the VIF fans and players angry about the management letting him go. In Ålesund is was hailed as the return of the king. At only 178 cm he is small to be a central defender, but no one would dream to take him out of the team. He is a giant on the pitch, and if he was only a bit faster he would be playing for the national team now.
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post #6 of 238 (permalink) Old April 5th, 2007, 17:51 Thread Starter
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Midfield

Trond Fredriksen
Born and raised in Ålesund, ten seasons in the first team, and captain in 2006. No one runs more than Trond, none of the players love the club more than Trond, and no one has a bigger pressure on them to perform. After a match against Molde last time AaFK was in Tippeligaen Trond received heavy criticism from a large amount of fans, for sloppy passing and anonymity. I don't know what it is about Trond that makes him so easy to criticise, but it was certainly not true. I could see it, and AaFK's head coach at the time proved it by making a deep analysis of the game. No one ran more, no one was involved in more passes, no one had a higher plus in their +/- involvement list (one plus represents one good involvement, and one minus represents one negative event), no one won
more duels, and no one was more involved in creating the situation behind AaFK's two goals. This was a typical performance by Trond, which often has been described by people saying "I'll admit that he works hard but he is too sloppy". Well, after two relegations I'll admit that it might be time to try something new, and this season Trond will likely warm up the bench more than he will run.

Dag Roar Ørsal
Local boy Ørsal has played for AaFK's two main local rivals Hødd and Molde, and once is reported to have said that he will never ever play for AaFK. Yet one year ago he signed for the club, and made a respectable season in 2006. He's got a kind of sleak way of playing football and can be a great connector between the defence and attack. Wasted his talent in Molde with injuries and limited playing time, but seems to have gotten a new spring in AaFK. Is likely to start the season in midfield for AaFK.

Karl Oskar Fjørtoft
KAOS (chaos) is by most people described as one of the best players ever to play for the club. A few seasons ago he had joined Swedish club Hammarby from Molde, and he made an immediate impact. As player of the year in the Swedish league, this excellent 173 cms playmaker, with an unsurpassed technique, and passes taken out of Maradona's dreams, was on the very top of his game. Sadly he suffered from a depression, and did not play for a long time. Being born close to Ålesund, he really wanted to return home, and AaFK got him in a bargain from Hammarby. Only time will tell if we'll get to see the best of him in 2007. He can be a bit moody, and even play lousy, but he has a peak that is unsurpassed in the Norwegian league.

Magnus Kihlberg
Having been born in 1973 in Sweden, Magnus is the oldest AaFK player. This is his very first season playing for the club, and he is already the captain like he has been in most teams he has played for. A great leader on the pitch, with experience from some of the best teams in Norway and Sweden. Replacing Fredriksen it is hoped that he will be able to lift the AaFK midfield to new heights. Most likely he will be a defensive anchor to weigh up for offensive Ørsal and playmaker Fjørtoft.

Denis Selimovic
Denis is another new player for AaFK. The Slovenian joined the squad not long ago, and seems to be an exciting player. However, he is currently a reserve, and will probably not start in the league on Monday. In a long season he is bound to get his chance though, and it remains to be seen if he'll make any sort of impact.

Erlend Holm
Erlend was one of three talents that made a big impact around the turn of the century alongside Joakim Austnes and Bjørn Helge Riise, all three eventually ending up on the U21 national team. While BH Riise's career for AaFK is not worth mentioning, Holm and Austnes have turned out to be two of AaFK's most valuable players these last few seasons. It was therefore surprising to many that Holm seemed to get very little playing time last season. At 23 he should have been entering his prime, instead he saw buddy Austnes getting a more and more prominent role in the team, while also receiving great praise from coach Hansen. This spring Holm has been backup on left back to Bahoken, with Hansen waiting for Nylund to get back in shape. Let's hope Holm has got more in store.
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post #7 of 238 (permalink) Old April 5th, 2007, 18:13 Thread Starter
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Attack

Lasse Olsen
Lasse has been AaFK's top scorer this spring. His main attribute is his speed, something which has often brought goals for AaFK. He had a long career in Strømsgodset before joining Aalesund, but quickly became one of the most popular players in the club. He's always in a good mood, and always shows great initiative on the wing, add some spectacular goals each season to the pot, and you've got Lasse Olsen figured out.

Joakim R. Austnes
By many described as AaFK's best player, Austnes has repeatedly been linked with other clubs and the Norwegian national team. If he avoids injuries this could be his big breakthrough season. He's got it all, technique, speed, a footballer's mind, a great shot, and the ability to leave whatever respect he has behind in the locker room. As a local player, background in AaFK's junior team, a striker/winger with great goals, and a reliable and often extravagant performer, it is difficult for an AaFK fan not to like or even love Joakim.

Tor Hogne Aarøy
Born and raised in Ålesund, this 204 cms tall striker is indeed unique. At worst his touch can be like that of a five year old, but at best he not only has more than adequate technique but is a massive boost to the team. With his extreme abilities (mostly due to his height) he will not only score a lot of goals and get a lot of assists, but will also be vital on corners against. Controversial because of his varied performances, but loved because of his goals.

Jonathan Parr
Oslo born Parr is only 18 and is a regular for the Norwegian U19 team. He just signed for AaFK at his own wish, AaFK being his favourite club since he first paid attention to football. Only time will tell if Parr can develop into a great player.

Thomas Pedersen
21 year old Thomas Pedersen is the only Ålesund born talent that is still in the first team squad after a few others have been dropped or sold. Fans hope that the striker will make that least additional leap this season, but so far his first team appearances have been few and far between.

Dede Anderson
Brazilian Anderson is by far the most controversial AaFK player. While he was supposed to return in January, he just returned this week (April) from his winter break. He was bought for about €1 million ($1,2 million) last season, and ended up being the top scorer for the club. A raw natural talent he can easily remind you of other more famous Brazilians like Romario and Ronaldo. Sadly he is unlikely to play much in the coming time due to his long absence.
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post #8 of 238 (permalink) Old April 5th, 2007, 22:05
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Yikes!!!

According to local paper Sunnmørsposten, the club and Dede has reached an agreement to let him return to Rio ASAP due to his fathers ill health...Hard to know what to believe I think - I certainly feel for Dede and his situation, but his behaviour towards the club in the past three months.....I don't know. We've been unable to aquire a new goalgetter because of this, and our attack is definitively our weak spot...and now he'll probably be out for months and miss more valuable time.....Difficult situation for sure, a no-win situation for all.

So we'll have to put our faith in the rest of the squad - cannot wait till Monday and finally - showtime at CLS again!!!

Last edited by Humla; April 5th, 2007 at 22:21.
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post #9 of 238 (permalink) Old April 6th, 2007, 09:56 Thread Starter
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Here's a direct translation from AaFK.no:

"Dedé returns to Brazil

Dede Anderson arrived in Ålesund on Wednesday. Since then the club and the player have been in ongoing talks. We have now concluded that it's best for the player to return to Rio.

- We had a thorough talk with Dede. AaFK wanted Dede to come to Ålesund to account for his own and his family's situation. We have now gotten that account, and AaFK understands and respects his explanation for staying away. It's obvious that Dedé Anderson is deeply affected by the poor health of his father. His thoughts are continously circling around his father's condition, and after deliberating the situation we now see that it would be impossible for him to play at his best at this time.
We have no wish to keep Dede in Ålesund in his current condition. Naturally we will keep in close contact with Dede, and we wish the best for him and his family in this difficult time.

Torill Hole Standal
Chairman AaFK"
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post #10 of 238 (permalink) Old April 6th, 2007, 12:16
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How in the world did Parr manage to become a Aafk fan?
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post #11 of 238 (permalink) Old April 6th, 2007, 16:28 Thread Starter
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Both his parents come from Sunnmøre/the Ålesund area.
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post #12 of 238 (permalink) Old April 7th, 2007, 11:27 Thread Starter
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AaFK traditionally play in a 4-3-3 formation, and will most likely start with this team on Monday:

Keeper: Brown
Defence: Kibebe, Skiri, Gudmundsson & Bahoken
Midfield: Ørsal, Kihlberg & Fjørtoft
Attack. Aarøy, Olsen & Austnes
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post #13 of 238 (permalink) Old April 9th, 2007, 11:49
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I have an inkling that Fjørtoft will score on a set-piece today, and Joakim Austnes will be match winner.
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post #14 of 238 (permalink) Old April 9th, 2007, 12:05 Thread Starter
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TL Round 1: Aalesunds FK vs IK Start (8/4-07)

This is the day for fancy words and long speeches, this is the day for beating hearts and sweaty palms, this is the day for goals galore and legendary saves, this is the day when it all starts again. It's the first day of the season, and beatiful Ålesund and Color Line Stadium is the venue of the match between AaFK and Start.

AaFK (4-3-3): Brown - Kibebe, Skiri, Gudmundsson, Bahoken - Ørsal, Kihlberg, Fjørtoft - Aarøy, Olsen, Austnes.

IK Start (4-3-3): Nilssen – Pedersen, Håland, Santiago, Paulsen – Strømstad, Annan, K. Hæstad – Valencia, Bärlin, Børufsen.

Anthony Annan, Ygor Maciel Santiago and Bruno Rato Silva are the three big new signings for Start, and especially the first two that will both start the match. I've never seen them play, but word has it that Santiago was quite the star back in Brazil.

Kristofer Hæstad is a regular starter for the Norwegian national team, and just returned from an unsuccessful stay at Wigan in the Premier League. Fredrik Strømstad is another regular starter for the national team, and just seems to get better every single season. Both are hard workers, though I see Hæstad more are as fighter and a ball winner on the centre of the pitch, while I see Strømstad as someone who will make brilliant runs, especially close to the wings. Start are huge favourites to win the midfield, and if they do, they might just win the match. Annan might be the key to that, if he is truly a great player, that can be the extra grain of sand on the weight.

Atle Roar Håland has been a rock in the central defence for a long time now, and knocked on the door of the national team a few seasons ago. The backs are solid, and new man Santiago is supposed to be a star player. I'm getting scared while writing this. I've never fully trusted Nilsen in goal though, and I'm sure AaFK will get some chances.

Alex Valencia and Stefan Bärlin are the main offensive players, and need to work for the team to get really good results. I'm not sure about Børufsen, and overall Starts attack seem more shaky than usual.

Recent results against Start:
15.10.2005: Start – Aalesund 4-5
19.06.2005: Aalesund – Start 1-2
20.10.2004: Aalesund – Start 1-2 (1.division)
16.06.2004: Start – Aalesund 4-1 (1.division)

That 4-5 match is edged into my memory as one of the finest moments in AaFK and Tippeliga history. Too bad it was one of the last matces Bechara Oliveira played for the club.

I'm afraid AaFK's offence isn't good enough, and that we will struggle to score goals on a very experienced Start defence. I think Olsen and Austnes might have a good day, but I'm worried about Aarøy. Will he finally be able to achieve round in and round out on the highest level. Having Dede Anderson in top form would have made a huge difference.

While we have a great midfield this season, Start's midfield can be insane, and at their best is close to Brann's and Rosenborg's midfields in quality. I can't wait to see Fjørtoft use his magic, and to see what Kihlberg can bring to the team.

Our defence is hurt by not having Nylund, Werni and Jääger fit. Even if the four that are starting are potentially great, having everyone to choose from would certainly have calmed me down. I'm afraid Bahoken will have one of his off days against Valencia, or that Skiri/Halli will be too slow. Brown is awesome, but he can't stop everything.

However, it's the first day of the season. AaFK is home at a packed stadium, and the match against Molde was very convincing. I believe AaFK can do it today, but it's going to be extremely tough.

Last edited by Orange; April 9th, 2007 at 19:52.
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post #15 of 238 (permalink) Old April 9th, 2007, 12:21
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IK Start, bleh didn't give the best of impressions against Ajax. Neither did Ajax too in conceding goals but surely you guys'll be able to scrape something past them.


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post #16 of 238 (permalink) Old April 9th, 2007, 12:39 Thread Starter
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Start's results this spring haven't been too impressive, but with new players, a new coach in the middle of last season, and Hæstad and Marius Johnsen (1. FC Köln) gone, that was not strange. Now Hæstad is back after training with Wigan from the Premier Leauge or the Norwegian national team these past months, the team is starting to gel, and Stig Inge Bjørnebye really wants to make a name for himself as a coach.

The first round is always special though, and it may not reflect the season. Start could win the league, but lose today, or they could get relegated and win today. Traditionally a good start is important though, and both teams have everything to play for. I think the match is very open, but I'm certain that Start's midfield will be very impressive today.
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post #17 of 238 (permalink) Old April 9th, 2007, 16:00
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Can anyone post a link to the webcast of this match?

Thanks in advance.

-Evan

P.S. A fellow U.S.-based AaFK supporter and I are working up a banner of the avatar featured with my profile. We hope to send that over to be displayed at The Color Line.
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post #18 of 238 (permalink) Old April 9th, 2007, 16:30 Thread Starter
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http://webtv.tv2.no/webtv/

...but it does cost money.

Click on "fotball", = "football"
then click on "kampsenteret se kampene her", = "match center see the matches here"
then click on "Aalesund vs Start", = "Aalesund vs Start",
then click on "bli kunde" = "become a customer"
and on "tv2sport fortsett" = "tv2sport continue".

After that it gets a little tricky. You can pay NOK 99,- for just that match, NOK 149,- for a month of matches, or NOK 1399,- for the whole season and beyond, a whole year of access actually.

You then have to fill in:
brukernavn - user name
passord - password
bekreft passord - confirm password
e post - e mail for confirmation of order
fornavn - first name
etternavn - last name

then kredittkort = credit card
fill in card number in the big square
mm = month your card expires f.ex. 07
åå = year your card expires f.ex. 08
cvc = three digit number on the back of your credit card,

followed by clicking on "fortsett" = "continue".

After this you should be able to find the match easily and see it.
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post #19 of 238 (permalink) Old April 9th, 2007, 16:32 Thread Starter
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nok 99 = usd 16,2
nok 149 = usd 24,4
nok 1399 = usd 229,3
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post #20 of 238 (permalink) Old April 9th, 2007, 16:41
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Many thanks! I'll probably not do the entire season, but I'll certainly check out some select matches.
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