Welcome to my season 2 post with Fredrikstad. I have got my head around Scandinavia and have become familiar with all the club’s, players and staff plying their trade in the region. If you have read my last post you will know that I have introduced 5 youth team players in to the squad for this season. Youth Development at the club will define this club’s future. We have not got millions of pounds to spend on recruiting players and paying vast amounts of money on players wages, our current wage bill at the club is less than £30,000 per week and we will more than likely have to reduce that figure over the next few seasons. When I took over the club we had no depth beyond the first team squad but a year on we now have a number of young players filling up the youth team and 2nd team squads with no players out on loan. We have the best coaching set up in the 2nd tier in Norway after wheeling and dealing finding specialist coaches to improve the quality of training at the club whilst remaining prudent in the market. You could say we are operating a variation of the Moneyball system made popular in football by FC Midtjlland in neighbouring Denmark. If you have the patience to troll through the staff filtering out certain attributes you can unearth some gems that can be good and cheap additions to your project. At Fredrikstad Fotballklubb we are building a family that can take the club to the next level and beyond. Our number 1 goal is to reach the top tier and stay there with players developed with in the Fredrikstad Family. I am currently working on a post about the Fredrikstad Family / Youth Development which I hope to have finished soon, but that’s for later so how have we got on so far this season.
OBOS-ligaen Results 2017
After a good Pre-Season we were eager to carry momentum in to the league and first test of the season would be against Hødd at the Fredrikstad Stadion. We controlled the game throughout playing our fluid style of football running out 2-0 winners with goals from both our wingers Begby and Benmoussa in game that our visitors failed to get a shot on target. I gave a full debut to full back Michael Goncalves our recent signing from Neuchatel Xamax. Next up an away trip to face Elverum, we ran riot and ended up winning the game 8-1 with goals from Karoliussen 2, Gotesson 2, Westgaard, Benmoussa, Aas and 17 year old Mike Nergard who excelled in the second period after taking his bow to first team football replacing the creator in chief Karoliussen. Jo Sondre Aas also made a scoring debut. We then returned to Fredrikstad for our next game this time against last seasons Norwegian Cup Winners Haugesund. We made it three wins out of three with a 2-0 victory with both goals from Viktor Gotesson. We dominated the midfield thanks to our midfield pivots Pedersen and Westgaard who both have become rocks in our system. Our next game will be our first big test of our promotion credentials against the bookies favourite for the title Sandefjord away. Again we dominated the game from start to finish and never looked anything less the winners with the ever nonchalant Karoliussen running the show. We won the game 2-0 courtesy of Gotesson and Benmoussa which leaves us with 12 points out of 12 at the top of the table. Next up was the Norwegian Cup 1st round tie at Larvik Turn who play their football in the 3rd Division. I saw this game as a chance to give a run out to a few squad players so I brought in (GK) Dyngeland, (FB) Fossen-Helle, (CB) Ødegard, (BWM) Ludvigsen, (AM) Nergard, (AMR) Kaland and (AF) Aas. We won the game 7-0 with a good solid performance all round. The scorers on the night were Pedersen 2, Kaland 2, Aas and Begby. We returned to league action with a 2-0 win at Kfum Oslo thanks to in form Swedish Forward Viktor Gotesson netting a brace. We finished a busy month off with our 6th win out of 6 in the league at home to Ull / Kisa. We controlled the game from the off and both Karoliussen 2 and Gotesson 2 got the goals in a 4-0 win. So we have got off to a cracking start and although it’s early days we have put ourselves in a good position with 6 games played in the league we are sat in top spot with 6 wins and a goal difference of +19 and have scored 20 goals and conceded just 1.
- Gotesson 9
- Karoliussen 4
- Benmoussa 3
- Aas 3
We have got a passing completion average of 84% and Possession Average of 64.67% in the league at the end of April.
We come in to May on the back of a good first month of the season with our first game of the season against 3rd tier 2nd Division club Follo Fotballklubb in the 2nd round of the Norwegian Cup at the 2500 capacity Jan Thomas Birkeland stadium. I picked a rotational side for this game to both give some players a rest and likewise give squad players game time and the opportunity to catch my eye and stake a claim for a place in our regular starting line up. We won the game 3-1 with goals from Karoliussen, Begby and Kaland to put us in to the last 32. Back to league action this time an home game against Ranheim who we beat 2-0 with Westgaard and Aas getting our goals. Next an away trip to play Tromsdalen who inflicted our first defeat of the season on us by beating us 1-2 in a game which we probably merited a point from, however we came away with nothing but a consolation goal from Kaland. In the press conference the media are questioning our credentials, I defend the boys and storm out of the press conference and let the boys know the performance was not good enough. We moved on to our next fixture and got back to winning ways with a commanding 4-1 win over Strømmen, which saw Westgaard get a brace along with goals from Gotesson and Karoliussen. An away game at promoted Nest-Sotra. We imposed our game on our hosts from the start and ran out comfortable 3-1 winners with our midfield enforcer Mads Pedersen grabbing 2 of the goals along with a single strike from top scorer Gotesson. We ended the month with a Norwegian Cup tie away against Premier Division Valerenga . Monir Benmoussa gave us and early lead which Valerenga equalised before the break, we pushed hard to get a winner in the 2nd period to no avail despite dominating the play. The game ended 1-1 and went in to extra time were neither side could get a winner. The penalty shootout was a nervy affair however we came through it 8-7. So we finished the month 7 points clear at the top with just 1 defeat from our opening 10 games.
- Gotesson 11
- Karoliussen 6
- Benmoussa 4
- Westgaard 4
- Kaland 4
- Aas 4
- Pedersen 4
- Begby 9
- Karoliussen 6
- Wernersson 5
- Gotesson 5
- Begby 7.82
- Johansen 7.78
- Stromnes 7.77
We opened a short month with an absolute tremendous performance against Kristiansund on their own patch, we ran out 10-2 winners with goals from Gotesson 3, Karoliussen 2, Pedersen 2, Begby, Benmoussa and Westgaard. This result as sent a message out to the rest of the league, we are looking to gain promotion this season and have the fire power to get the job done. Off the field I put an advert out for a coach to join the Fredrikstad Family and 16 candidates applied for the job. After looking at each one of the candidates I offered the job to John Arne Riise the former Norwegian International. Riise accepted a two year contract before going off and sitting his next coaching badge. Back to things on the pitch, we then entertained top tier club Sogndal in the last 16 of the Norwegian Cup. We won the game 2-1 with goals from Begby and Karoliussen to set up a Quarter Final against Rosenborg. We also added Magnus Stamnestø to our squad, the 25 year old Norwegian had found himself transfer listed by Rosenborg for 80k. Stamnestø can play in a number of roles including Shadow Striker, he will give us a number of options to our system. Whilst we added to our squad we also let Mikael Dahlberg return to Helsingborgs after he struggled with fitness.
The opening fixture of the month paired us with Mjøndalen who at the time were 2nd in the table. The Fredrikstad Stadion faithful saw us win 2-0 with Gotesson lighting the game up with 2 goals to take the points. Our next game saw us play out a 0-0 draw at playoff chasing Sarsborg. We failed to break down the home sides stubborn defence in a uneventful game. Next up we beat Notodden 3-0 in front of our own fans with goals coming from Johansen, Begby and Pedersen. We ended the month with a 2-0 away win against Start, with the leagues top scorer Viktor Gotesson grabbing another brace taking him to 18 goals for the season. This month I introduced 17 year old winger Anas Farah to the first team squad Farah looks a special talent and I want him to gain some experience from being around and getting first team game time.
Stats So Far This Season
- Gotesson 18
- Karoliussen 9
- Pedersen 7
- Begby 6
- Karoliussen 13
- Begby 11
- Gotesson 7
- Wernersson 6
- Johansen 7.82
- Gotesson 7.76
- Karoliussen 7.73
- Pedersen 7.72
Norwegian 1st Division OBOS-ligaen Table July 2017
Has you can see we have had an excellent first half of the season opening up a 14 point lead at the top has we push for promotion. We have scored 47 goals and conceded 7 in our opening 15 games.
Norwegian Premier Division Eliteserien Table July 2017
An interesting opening few months in the top tier with current Champions Strømsgodset struggling in 13th spot and Norwegian giants Rosenborg sat in 10th position.
I have received a number of job offers in the last 2 months of the season from the following clubs : Wolverhampton Wanderers, Preston North End, Aston Villa, Sunderland, Everton and Stromgodset which I have turned down. I am really enjoying building the Fredrikstad Family and hope to take them to the next level.
I am spending a lot of time rejecting offers for a number of players including Gotesson who is being courted by French club Nancy who are offering around 250k. Winger Begby has an host of clubs after him including Newcastle United, Metz and Toulouse with offers ranging from 350k to 500k. Full back Wernersson has also been the subject of a number of offers including a 250k bid from Stromgodset. So far I have managed to deflect any offers and hope to be able to hang on to all of them.
Thanks for reading and following my posts about Fredrikstad, I will have another post up over the next week so until then take care.
The Aristocrats Of Fredrikstad Story So Far
2017 OBOS-ligaen – Norwegian Cup
2016 OBOS-ligaen 4th – Norwegian Cup 4th rd (last 16)