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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Aalesund FK is a football club from the beautiful Norwegian city of Ålesund. Ålesund was rebuilt in the Art Noveau style in 1904, after a fire raged through the city earlier in the year. The city is also surrounded by the sea, fjords and mountains. A strong local identity among the citizens, and the fact that the city is the largest in the northwestern part of Norway, and one of Northern Europe's most busy ports, gives the club a great potential.

The club and its fans are proud of the history of the club, but have no problem admitting that the club has not had the kind of success that it should have had, or that its fans have deserved. Not until the 2003 season did the club ever reach the Norwegian top league, despite being extremely close time and time again in the past. For example, between 1986 and 1988, the club finished third, on the second highest level in Norway, three years in a row, only a couple of points behind either a playoff place or even a direct promotion place.

With the success in 2002, the amount of media coverage, fans at matches, and ambitious future plans, lifted all parts of the club to new records. In the important last match of the season against Sandefjord in 2002, it was reported that over 10.000 spectators had filled up the stands on the highly original stadium. Half the fans had to sit in steep grassy terrain, so original that the BBC decided to make a short story about it, that was shown on British tv to much praise in Ålesund.

The club has recently built an internationally recognised sportshall, and this month will open the new all seater Color Line Stadium. It will have a capacity of just under 11.000 (or about 11.000 with players, referees, officials, etc). Not quite as big as the stadiums of the big clubs in the bigger leagues of Europe, but highly respectable by Norwegian standards. Too bad they didn't make it bigger though, as they had to stop selling season tickets, after selling 7500 this season. I doubt the club would have much problem filling a much larger stadium for the biggest matches.

The club got relegated in the last minute in 2003, after Rosenborg surprisingly lost to Tromsø, which therefore passed AaFK with a 95th minute goal. The club bounced straight back, and is now ready to fight for survival in their second top league season of all time. The fans expect nothing less than survival, although many have been critical to the lack of healthy stars signed by the club.

I will try to use this thread, for giving information on AaFK's season, with match reports, and various kind of news about the club. The thread is also open for debate, about AaFK, Norwegian football, the Norwegian top league, and any other related debate issues. If you just want to give a comment, or have any questions, please post it in this thread, and I'll do my best to answer it.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
League matches 2005
All matches 18.00, except saturday 16. april (19.05) and wednesday 03. august (19.00).

10. april Rosenborg - AaFK Lerkendal Stadium
16. april kl. 19.05 AaFK - Odd Grenland Color Line Stadium
24. april Ham-Kam - AaFK Briskeby Stadium
02. may AaFK - Brann Color Line Stadium
05. may Vålerenga - AaFK Ullevål Stadium
08. may AaFK - Tromsø Color Line Stadium
16. may Molde - AaFK Molde Stadium
22. may Bodø Glimt - AaFK Aspmyra Stadium
29. may AaFK - Fredrikstad Color Line Stadium
12. june Lillestrøm - AaFK Åråsen Stadium
19. june AaFK - Start Color Line Stadium
26. june FC Lyn Oslo - AaFK Ullevål Stadium
03. july AaFK - Viking Color Line Stadium
VACATION
24. july AaFK - Rosenborg Color Line Stadium
31. july Odd Grenland - AaFK Odd Stadium
03. august kl 19.00 AaFK - Ham-Kam Color Line Stadium
07. august Brann - AaFK Brann Stadium
13. august AaFK - Vålerenga Color Line Stadium
28. august Tromsø - AaFK Alfheim Stadium
11. september AaFK - Molde Color Line Stadium
18. september AaFK - Bodø Glimt Color Line Stadium
25. september Fredrikstad - AaFK Fredrikstad Stadium
02. october AaFK - Lillestrøm Color Line Stadium
16. october Start - AaFK Kristiansand Stadium
23. october AaFK - FC Lyn Oslo Color Line Stadium
30. october Viking - AaFK Viking Stadium
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
The keepers:

Adin Brown, keeper, 26
The American keeper has a very interesting past. I've been told that as a young keeper, he was chosen for the American national team ahead of Tim Howard. At the time, several big European clubs were interested in buying him. He never left the USA though, and last season he struggled with concussions. Now he's injury free, and ready to play in Europe for the first time. He has a rumour of being spectacular at his best, but possibly also a little bit unstable these last seasons.

Kim Deinoff, keeper, 27,
Since he came to AaFK ahead of the 2003 season he has been the safe choice. He's seldom stunning, but always does his job satisfactory. This spring he has had surgery, and has therefoe played no matches. He should be back for the start of the season.

Andreas Lie, keeper, 17
The talent. While the other two keepers have got plenty of experience, Lie has got almost no experience at all. He has played in almost every single match this spring though. His biggest problem seems to be getting the play started quickly, but he seems like a solid shot stopper.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
The defenders:

Herman Ekeberg, back (mostly right side), 33
Ekeberg is getting older, but he is stable, and at times he is very good at getting high up on the field and sending some great crosses in towards the strikers.

Peter Werni, defender, 30
A new player in AaFK after several season in Lillestrøm. He has made a positive impact in the club, and has put in some fine performances already. He is best as a central defender or as a right back.

Christian Steen, central defender, 27
The captain, the rock of AaFK. Ever since he signed for AaFK a couple of seasons ago he has never disappointed. Now that his partner Skiri has gone to VIF, Steen has taken over as both captain and chief of the defence.

Haraldur Gudmundsson, central defender, 23
This Icelandic defender obviously has a huge potential. No one thought it was possible, but the former Iceland U21 player, has successfully replaced Skiri. Halli as he is nicknamed has been AaFK's best player this spring.

Bjørn Erik Melland, defender (usually on the left side), 30
AaFK's most reliable and stable player. Melland was voted as player of the year last season, and it was well deserved. In the beginning of the 2003 season he was sorely missed, and it's vital that he is healthy for AaFK to do good in 2005.

Marius Aam, right back, 24
Aam has the rumour of being AaFK's worst player. Yet somehow he has managed to stay in the club. He must perform to earn more respect and to get to play for the club. In the recent friendly against Stabæk he had one of his best matches of all time, and possibly this will be his season.

Jon Braaten, back, 18
A former AaFK junior player, Braaten recenly got a contract with the first team. He probably won't play much, and should learn from the older players this season. Congratulations to him for making it through that very tough race for first team squad status.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Midfielders/wings/strikers:

Stian Johnsen, left wing (possibly left back), 23
The player in the squad I know least about. He is rumoured to be quite fast, and have excellent crosses. He was just signed from Fredrikstad, after not playing much for them after struggling with injuries in 2003.

Lasse Olsen, right wing/striker, 31
Olsen was front pages news together with Jostein Flo and Strømsgodset some years ago. After that he stagnated a bit, and had lots of injuries. The move to AaFK last autumn was a breath of fresh air for the player, and he has now had a very strong spring. He is very fast, and has very original salto throw-ins.

Joakim Austnes, wing/striker, 22
One of the stars in the club. It was not long ago that he was a up and coming talent, now he has turned into a profile. After some great years for AaFK, and several Norwegian U21 national team matches, he needs to take the next step this season. A great wing, with all the qualities necessary.

Erlend Holm, midfielder (mostly central), 21
Norwegian U21 national team player, that like Austnes has to reach a new level this season. He is strong offensive, and seems to be turning into a complete midfielder. He has improved greatly every season these last years, and if it continues, he will dominate the AaFK midfield.

Trond Fredriksen, central midfielder, 27
Trond was born in Ålesund, and has played for the club almost all his life. He plays with the heart on his sleave, and often shouts at the referee. He is very strong defensive, and a very hard worker. He has a bad reputation for some sloppy passes, but at his best he also has golden passes that few others can copy.

Karl Oskar Fjørtoft, midfielder, 30
Former Norwegian national team player. One of the biggest talents of Norwegian football of all time. After being voted player of the year in Sweden in 2003, he suffered from mental problems last season. A fantastic player, that unfortunately hasn't played a single match since last season. A great signing if he plays, and with him recently starting to train with the club, the fans hopes are high. We need his technique, his playing intelligence, and his terrier like work.

Rune Johansen, midfielder/striker, 27
A bit like Lasse Olsen, Johansen turned the nation on fire a few seasons ago while playing for Tromsø. He then struggled with lots of injuries before joining AaFK. He is now turning into a fan favourite, with his continually improved playing in midfield.

Frode Fagermo, central midfielder, 31
Central in getting AaFK to where they are now, Frode has played less and less each season recently. He is a hard worker and great at leading the other players, but sadly not as good as he used to be.

Oddbjørn Lie, central midfielder, 17
A player with tremendous potential. Lie is already a strong and secure central midfielder. He probably won't play much this season though.

Thomas Pedersen, midfielder/striker, 18
Pedersen has come like a rocket this spring. From nowhere he is suddenly part of the first team squad, part of the Norwegian U18 national team, and he has been the man of the match in some friendlies. Seems to be able to play all over the midfield and attack, which might be a big bonus for him when it comes to the amount of playing time.

Paulo dos Santos, midfielder/striker, 31
The national team player from the Cape Verde Islands in Africa, was AaFK best player in 2002, and also very strong in 2004. However, in 2003 he struggled all season after a bad injury that kept him out of parts of the spring season. Now he wanted to prove that he is good enough for the Norwegian top league, but again he got an injury. It is difficult to say what it will mean this season, but he will hopefully be back for the start of the season.

Eirik Hoseth, wing/striker, 27
A good dribbler, lethal in front of goal, but definetly not a typical wing or striker type. Hoseth is a dark horse, that can suddenly make all the difference in a match, don't count on it though.

Morten Moldskred, wing/striker, 24
Norway's fastest player? Definetly the player in all of Norway with the most intake of oxygen. He is possibly AaFK's best player when he is in form. He missed more than the rest of the team put together in front of goal, but was still the top scorer in 2004. Sadly, he got a very bad injury earlier this spring, and won't be back until the start of the season.

Tor Hogne Aarøy, striker, 28
2 meters and 4 centimeters tall Aarøy is more like a giraffe than a man. He has great technique for such a big player. He has been operated this spring, and just returned from a very long injury spell that started last season. It is uncertain if he is in good enough form.

Abdoulaye M'baye, striker, 31
M'baye with 17 national team matches for Senegal, has plenty of body strength and is technically very strong. Time will show if this new signing is what can help lift AaFK to a new level, or if he'll be a flop. AaFK can only play with two out of the three players, Brown, Dos Santos and M'baye.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
The AaFK coach is Ivar Morten Normark. A coach that talks in big words and philosophy. His motto for the team is Hakuna Mutata, "No worries" in Zwahili.

Talents Thomas Gjørtz (defender) and Kristoffer Tollås (midfielder/striker) have been lent out to Hødd this season.

Pictures of the new stadium with focus on the new artifical grass:
http://www.renac.org/gallery/thumbnails.php?album=57

Pictures of the stadium (before the new articial grass) with focus on the stands:
http://www.renac.org/gallery/thumbnails.php?album=56

Official site: www.aafk.no

Official supporter club site: www.stormensupport.no (includes webshop)

TV guide for the Norwegian league, including AaFK matches:
http://www.renac.org/?p=6
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thank you Frederik, it took a bit of work, but it was quite interesting as well. Now let's hope AaFK will do great as well. ;)
 

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Orange,

Many thanks for passing along this information. As a supporter of the New England Revolution here in the U.S., it's nice to find a source of information (in English) where we can keep track of how former Revolution players Adin Brown and Paulo Dos Santos are doing at Aalesunds. It sounds like they'll be playing for a well-supported, progressive club, and I'd certainly wish we played our matches at a venue as intimate as the Color Line Stadium looks; I have no question that the atmosphere there will truly provide the players with a "12th man" to count on.

Cheers,

Evan
http://www.midnightriders.com
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thank you Evan, I'm happy you found it interesting. Keep checking back during the season, and I'll keep you posted on their progress.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Drama in Trondheim: Rosenborg vs AaFK 2-2

Today, AaFK faced the defending league champions Rosenborg at their home stadium in Trondheim. It turned out to be a very exciting match, and after two AaFK goals, and one RBK goal, AaFK seemed to be heading towards a one in a million victory. It was not to be though, as Rosenborg equalised in the 92nd minute.

AaFK started with this team:

Goalkeeper: Adin Brown
Left Back: Bjørn Erik Melland
Central Defender: Christian Steen
Central Defender: Haraldur "Halli" Gudmundsson
Right Back: Peter Werni
Left Wing: Stian Johnsen
Central Midfielder: Rune Johansen
Central Midfielder: Trond Fredriksen
Right Wing: Herman Ekeberg
Forward: Eirik Hoseth
Striker: Abdoulaye M'baye


Rosenborg, the team that has dominated Norwegian football for more than a decade were big favourites ahead of the match, and were not going to rest on previous successes. With a starting line-up full of national team players, it was no surprise that they put on a massive pressure in the opening minutes. Nevertheless, despite a high amount of ball possession, their attempts were poor and hesitant. AaFK keeper Brown could easily pick down the long range shots and poor crosses. AaFK were unable to create anything in attack in this period of the match.

Halli was a rock in this part of the match, and when AaFK even managed to create a good attack, I was starting to get optimistic. Stian Johnsen got past the defenders and sent in a very nice cross towards M'Baye. Basma intercepted though, and just ahead of M'Baye sent it out to a corner, which easily got wasted away.

As the first half went on, Rosenborg were unable to keep up the pressure and slowly let AaFK into the match. After 34 minutes, AaFK got a free kick from long range. Newly signed dead ball expert Stian Johnsen, sent a long cross in towards the goal. The ball deflected into a Rosenborg defender, before AaFK striker Eirik Hoseth from 16 meters sent a low shot past all the defenders and into the goal. The many AaFK fans at the stadium that had been loud throughout the match exploded in ecstasy.

During the final minutes of the half no team dominated. As the referee was about to blow for half time, Rosenborg managed to get an attack going. Brown went up on the long cross, was blocked, but did not get a free kick. Luckily for Brown and AaFK the ball went out of play.

At the start of the second half, Rosenborg veteran defender Erik Hoftun entered the pitch. Famous for his offensive style it was obvious that Rosenborg wanted to win this. Perhaps surprisingly AaFK answered by putting in two offensive players, M'Baye out for Aarøy, and Ekeberg out for Olsen. Although this did not mean a change in the team’s tactics, it was still a bold move.

After Rosenborg had dominated the start of the half, their best player today, Roar Strand got free from the defenders and easily put the ball past Brown. No chance for the big American keeper. One minute later, AaFK responded. The 206 centimetre tall substitute Tor Hogne Aarøy, was brought down by Hoftun, a penalty for AaFK. Rune Johansen easily scored, and AaFK was again leading, this time 2-1. Across the stadium, "Aalesund" chants were being heard.

Rosenborg then made two offensive substitutions within ten minutes of each other. It was time to put on the pressure. Former Rosenborg coach Nils Arne Eggen was seen running furiously towards the RBK bench from his seat among the spectators, and shouting at the current head coach. Not a rare sight, but equally funny every time.

For AaFK, Fagermo had come in for Eirik Hoseth. AaFK were fighting bravely towards the end of the match, but got pushed more and more into defence. Three minutes were added as extra time, and in the 92nd minute, AaFK defender Christian Steen was unable to clear the ball out from a cross and Thorstein Helstad got the equaliser for Rosenborg. Shortly afterwards the match was over.

After the match, the stadium was a strange sight, with sad AaFK fans, and celebrating Rosenborg fans. That shows how much can happen in 90 minutes of the most beautiful game on earth.

Scale - 1-10 (1=awful, 10=world class)

Goalkeeper: Adin Brown 7
Not tested much, but solid on almost every move throughout the match. Could not have prevented the goals.

Left Back: Bjørn Erik Melland 5
Much less stable than I'm used to seeing him. Was fooled completely by Braathen once, who fortunately did not score on the following chance.

Central Defender: Christian Steen 6
Good, but made a few mistakes that could have cost AaFK more than it did, and he also had a bad clearance on the final goal, although it might not be right to blame him for that.

Central Defender: Haraldur "Halli" Gudmundsson 8
Solid in every part of the play today. Halli was a rock, and often stopped Rosenborg from getting into shooting range.

Right Back: Peter Werni 5
Badly positioned a few times. Did a fairly good job, but nothing out of the ordinary.

Left Wing: Stian Johnsen 6
Basma (!) made a tunnel on Johnsen in defence, but apart from that Johnsen had a very good day. Most dangerous running forward while in attack on the left wing.

Central Midfielder: Rune Johansen 5
Had a couple or half hearted but important clearances, and he scored on the penalty. Had problems in midfield today, and must improve for the future.

Central Midfielder: Trond Fredriksen 6
Former national team coach Semb said it: "No one has run as far as Fredriksen today!" An outstanding effort from Fredriksen, but he still had major problems in dominating the midfield against Ørjan Berg and his team mates. Fredriksen was important in both the defensive and offensive play of AaFK though.

Right Midfielder: Herman Ekeberg 5
At times he was very good and showed a lot of initiative. As a natural defender he was much more defensive than Johnsen was on the other wing. He had problems getting good crosses in, and in establishing the play in attack.

Forward: Eirik Hoseth 6
Scored the all important first goal, and created several free kicks for AaFK. An important job, and a fine match by Hoseth.

Striker: Abdoulaye M'baye 5
Kind of invicible today. Created a free kick, and was there on Johnsen's beautiful cross that was stopped right ahead of him. Could have done more, but struggled with bad crosses and a defensive team.

Substitutes:
Tor Hogne Aarøy 6
Came in as a substitute, and made a sudden impact. Struggled hard to create chances, and got a penalty after being taken down.

Lasse Olsen 4
The biggest disappointment today. Olsen often lost the ball after a few meters, and seldom managed to create anything at all.

Frode Fagermo 5
He worked hard, and despite aggressive RBK players, managed to keep the ball at his feet for a while and then pass to another player.

Morten Moldskred and Paulo Dos Santos did not fully recover from their injuries, and Karl Oskar Fjørtoft is not available for playing matches yet.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I completely disagree. It was clear as the light of day. Hoftun clearly held and pushed Aarøy, just letting go when Aarøy fell. Despite many replays on tv, all the commentators and experts of Canal + agreed that it was a penalty. Hoftun is famous for his holding and rough play in the box, and it's about time that it gets blown against.
 

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Grats on a good result Orange :) Shame AaFK didn't win it.

And the penalty was obvious, nothing to discuss.
 

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Yeah, Congratulations, Anders.

Do you think AaFK will stay up and avoid relegation this time around? I know the season has just started, but what do you predict? Honestly? :)
 

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Discussion Starter #18
numerodix said:
Did you go to the game, Anders?
No, I saw the game on Canal + Sport. I'm planning on going to all the home games, but have no specific plans for any away games yet.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Jinxter said:
Grats on a good result Orange :) Shame AaFK didn't win it. And the penalty was obvious, nothing to discuss.
Thank you, and good luck today! :)

Frederik said:
Yeah, Congratulations, Anders.

Do you think AaFK will stay up and avoid relegation this time around? I know the season has just started, but what do you predict? Honestly? :)
It's going to be tough. I do predict that AaFK will struggle in the bottom half of the table, but it's too early to tell for certain whether we're going down or not. Honestly, I have faith that AaFK will make it, but as a clear underdog, it's going to be a long ride.
 

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Newly-promoted club, away match at Rosenborg, and coming away with a point... not a bad way to start the season, and glad to see Adin have a good game.
 
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