Football Season Review

№11: Sandefjord

Sandefjord started the season as the undoubted main relegation candidate, having overachieved to secure promotion the previous campaign and then seen some of the best players in the squad leave. Marti Cifuenetes started the campaign with a bare and very inexperienced squad but immediately showed tactical acumen and determination to make this team competitive, getting a shock win at Odd in the opening game of the season. There were always likely to be more losses than wins but the team always put up a good fight and looked prepared to go the extra mile. Key wins at home to direct rivals Aalesund and Mjøndalen gave the team a bit of a foothold in the battle for survival and they started showing even more bravery and occasional quality in games from then on. Indeed, they mustered a stunning double over champions Molde in August and September, showing both defensive bravery and audacity in attack to pull off the most surprise results of the entire campaign. Cifuentes also managed to significantly strengthen the squad as the season went on, adding some more experienced payers. Sandefjord managed to climb off the bottom three and kept on getting enough points here and there in the final stage of the season. They had the odd scare but by the end managed to stay up with a few games left and very much deservedly so. Cifuentes deserves the title of manager of the season for the work he did this season and it remains to be seen what state Sandefjord will be in next season given that the Spaniard is leaving for a new challenge and surely a big part of the squad will be leaving too.

Player of the Season: Siver Gussias