Football Season Guide



Pål Heigre (sp) (gk) - Viking, Kaj Ramsteijn (r) (def) - Almere City, Valmir Berisha - (sp) (att) - SC Cambuur


Lars Cramer - retired, Peter Orry Larsen - Brann, Edvard Skagestad - Fredrikstad, Flamur Kastrati - Sandefjord, Franck Boli - Stabæk, Vita Wormgoor - Brann

Aalesund looked dead and buried at times last season and, with eight games to go, they were still in desperate trouble second from bottom in the league. But something clicked in those last fixtures and they steadily rose up to ninth in the end. It was a remarkable turnaround and must surely have saved Trond Frediksen's job. This will be his second full season in charge having taken over from Harald Aabrekk early in the 2015 campaign. It is Aalesund's 11th straight season in Norwegian top flight football and, while they have started the last two campaign appallingly, they should have enough about them to keep themselves well out of trouble at the bottom. In fact their sights should be firmly set on recapturing the form of the last third of the 2016 season and try to challenge for a top five spot. That will require consistency though, and the jury is out on whether Aalesund are capable of that consistency over a run of 30 games. There has been some transfer activity but the incomings haven't been very inspiring so far. Pal Vestly Heigre will give Andreas Lie some competition for the goalkeeping jersey, while Dutch defender Kaj Ramsteijn will be hoping to make the same positive impact in the back four as Vito Wormgoor did last season. Bjorn Helge Riise still has an important role to play in the middle of the park, while Swedish striker Valmir Berisha is the only newcomer attacking wise. Dutchman Edwin Gyasi was brilliant in spells last season, while Mostafa Abdellaoue also needs to have a productive campaign up front if goals are going to be easy to come by for the club. Franck Boli went back to Stabaek, having suffered serious injury while at Color Line Stadion last season, while Peter Orry Larsen has gone to Brann. It will be interesting to see if he'll be missed in the long run. Aalesund have suffered patchy pre-season form, and they're not alone in doing that. Victories against lower league teams Brattvag and Hodd has been followed by a five game winless run, failing to beat new boys Kristiansund in two attempt and were found desperately wanting in a 3-1 defeat against Odd Grenland. Aalesund will do well to get back into the top ten this season, and are a solid unit rather than a spectacular one.


Aalesund will have enough to steer clear of the drop, but won't be pulling up any trees this season. Prediction: 11th