Santa Claus involved, Leicester City fairy story on in Norwegian football

Bodo Glimt a team not really seen as a title contender at all this season in the Norwegian top division (Eliteserien), have made an impressive half season job, being top with a certain Rosenborg struggling and other top teams being inconsistent.

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The team has just gone from strength to strength and especially at home at Aspmyra Stadium they are strong and really difficult to play against. With four wins in the last five games and a certain Hakan Evjen in great form, together with Swedish forward Amour Layoni.

The two are like Riyad Mahrez and Jamie Vardy at Leicester City in that league winning season, really making a big breakthrough and being hunted by other clubs abroad, watching the duo closely.

Layoni is probably the biggest fairy story so far, hitting nine goals and coming from nowhere really, joining Bodo Glimt from Norwegian lower tier club Elverum, a place best known for their great handball team. Layoni had before his move to Norway only played a minor role in Swedish football at Degerfors and Brage.

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The goalkeeper is from Brazil, his name is Ricardo Friedrich, and he was signed from the Finish club FC Santa Claus, based in Rovaniemi who has adopted Santa, make believe that Father Christmas actually lives in this place.

Friedrich joined from FC Santa Claus in 2017 and at the moment captaining the Bodo Glimt team. He has taken over the armband from Martin Bjornbak who was sold to Molde in front of the season. The club in the north of Norway has not been able to keep their best players and even sold Geir Andre Herrem to Kalmar FF in this summer transfer window.

The coach, Kjetil Knutsen, is also a bit unknown, doing his first job in the top flight joining from Bergen based Aasane. A minor club in the 3rd tier of Norwegian Football. He joined Bodo Glimt as assistant and from last season took over as head coach, with the former head coach Aasmund Bjorkan taking the job as Sports Director.

The way Bodo Glimt is working is in a way perfect, not kicking people out but just rotating roles, taking care of tradition and bringing a fresh face with fresh ideas into leadership, with Bjorkan, a player legend at Glimt, moving aside and into another important position.

Rosenborg and Molde are the two major contenders as TCF rates the situation, with a few other clubs also in the running for an open affair that has been a straight road for Rosenborg in previous years.

Leicester City visited Bodo Glimt in the summer of 2006, touring Norway for their pre-season. A comfortable 5-1 win against a Glimt side with a number of Norwegians internationals such as Runar Berg, Stig Johansen and Tom Høgli all playing.

Norwegian football is in a bit of a positive situation at the moment, with Rosenborg allready qualified for the Europa League and still fighting for a place in the Champions League, and again more major clubs in Europe are looking and show interest, which is good for the game here “over the sea”. The climate has changed a bit with more Norwegian youngsters coming through and good work in the academies all over this long and tiny country.


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