Scouting the Norwegian league

A little of this and a little of that

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The Up Escalator

These three teams are on the rise :
1814s. Finally securing a coach, a year wiser and with all the enthusiasm needed, this team may be holding the championship trophy within a year or two.
Domers. Their results might not show it this year, but this team will improve in '99. In the 1st division for the first time. Can they make it their home ?
Ruins. With the Domers and 1814s in the 1st, this team figures to be the strongest of a relatively weak 2nd division East. With a hired coach/player joining their ranks and the junior team providing a steady feed of talents, this team could join the 1st division somewhere down the road.

Going Down

These three teams are on the decline :
Trolls. Finally knocked off the throne. Suddenly they don't look like gods anymore. The former powerhouse is scrambling to recover from retirements and the lack of a junior program.
Wildcats. A bunch of guys hang up their cleats. The team relegates itself. Coaching situation is a question mark. Will the Cats fade away ?
Kodiaks. Management couldn't sign the coach "everybody" wanted, and suddenly what looked like a promising season may turn into dust.

The Big Questions

Eight questions that won't be answered convincingly until after 28th of August 1999:
1.Are the Trolls finished ? Hard to tell. They are definitely not the team they where some years back, but that doesn't mean much in this league. Except in the playoffs, that is.
2.Are the 1814s going to win the championship ?
One of these days Janne Johansson and his boys will walk away with the trophy. But it won't be in '99.
3.Can the Oilers bounce back ?
No, don't think so. There is a bad tradition that will take time to change. Unless the club takes action and succeeds doing so the problems will stay the same, and the Oilers will be a perennial also-ran.
4.Will Chris Gavreau follow in the footsteps of Val Gunn ?
He may not be the same kind of coach, but that isn't necessarily a bad thing. Don't expect the Vikings to lose any steam.
5.Can anyone challenge the Vikings ?
Don't count out the Trolls just yet. They are hungry to prove their critics -including us- wrong. The 1814s can beat the Vikes on a good day.
6.Have the Wildcats slipped much ?
Probably not. They lose a bunch of guys, which isn't a good sign for a team with few players. But they have been doing a good job when it comes to recruiting. Don't dig the grave just yet.
7.Why is there so much potential for excitement this year ?
Nobody knows what to expect from the Trolls. The 1814s are still a fresh breath in the top division. And then there are all the promises of a stable season, as always...deja vu ?
8.Can Storm finish a season ?
If you look at their tradition, there is no way the Bergen side won't drop out. But maybe this year they have the guts to hang in there till the bitter end ? Hmm...


Unfortunately the Norwegian football scene isn't ready for this kind of rating, so we'll leave it alone till there are fewer crybabies.


These guys deserve more credit than they get :
Helge Hansen, LB, Vikings. Former 2nd team and Kolbotn standout makes the jump to Vikes 1st team. Rock solid type who understands the team concept.
Sindre Veland, HB, Domers. Yet to reach his peak, this runner could surprise some 1st division teams.
Cato Wallin, FB, Oilers.
His teammates knows his value. Never knows when to stop, blocks like a man possessed and leads by example.
Sindre Stange, LB, Blue Devils. Unknown to most other teams, his teammates talk of him like he was God. A bright spot on a poor team.

On any given game day

Just once, we'd like to see:
- "Homer" Sjetnan hug Janne Johansson after a game.
- Bergen Storm play all their scheduled games.
- Henning Tveit throw a bomb to Eyvind Fossbakk.
- The refs not throw a flag during a whole quarter.
- A game where the refs don't have a reason to throw a flag during a whole quarter.
- Øyvind Sigbjørnsen catch a game winning TD from his brother, Bjørn-Ivar Sigbjørnsen.
- Lillehammer Wolfpack win a game.

They'll be missed

Either retired or left the country, these guys gave something to the game :
Saleem Iqbal, running back, Vikings. Concussions forces former star to retire after one season with the 2nd team and several with the 1st team.

Julius Grant III

Julius Grant III, running back/defensive back, Trolls. Maybe one of the top five-six players to ever play in Norway. Of course we'll miss him.
Stein-Arne Tjore & Rolv Bjarne Nicolaysen, NoAFF. In many ways responsible for the little progress the league has made, and fully responsible for the good reputation NoAFF had gained within EFAF and NIF before they left.
Stein Haugen, fullback, Trolls. Never the cornerstone but always a wheel in the machinery. His teammates know his value, and thats all that counts.
Otra Raiders, team. Their decisicion to pull out of the league for the '99 season shocked many. Expect to see the talented but very raw Kristiansand side back in year 2000.
Val Gunn, head coach, Vikings. Responsible for making Norwegians aware of the poor status of our DBs.