Haugesund

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Season Guide
2019

Haugesund

In


Benjamin Hansen (def), Nordsjaelland), Martin Samuelsen (mid), West Ham - loan), Niklas Sandberg (mid), Start), Thore Pedersen (mid), Vard Haugesund), Mikkel Desler (def), Odense)

Out


Marko Cosic (sp)(def), Rudar Velenje), Kristoffer Velde (sp)(att), Nest Sotra - loan), David Akintola (r)(mid), Midtjylland - end of loan), Vegard Skjerve (r)(def), retired), Per Kristian Bratveit (r)(gk), Djurdgarden), Kristoffer Haraldseid (r)(def), Molde), Frederik Gytkjaer (r)(att), Lyngby)

Haugesund had a brilliant last season where they consistently punched above their weight and held their nerve until the end to clinch a spot in Europe. Yet inevitably bigger fish came looking to prize their assets way and coach Erik Horneland was lured to Rosenborg. That means that Jostein Grindhaug takes over as a manager for a second time, having also been a director of football at the club in the past couple of seasons. He has an unenviable task in trying to replicate the heroics of last season while the team has been stripped of some vital players. Kristoffer Haraldseid is the biggest loss as he has been one of the best right-backs in the league in the past 12 months while the brilliant goalie Per Kristian Bratveit, who is off to Sweden, will be very tough to replace too. Martin Samuelsen is an exciting signing and he is returning to his home town after struggling for the past couple of years to reach his early promise but the other new signings are mostly underwhelming and there is definitely a drop-off in squad quality year on year. Haugesund should still be tough to beat but they do not have the sort of go-to striker that will be relied upon to settle games. Also, not replacing Bratveit looks a very risky move as his replacement in the starting 11, Helge Sandvik, is several levels below.

Target


Haugesund should prioritise staying well clear of the bottom places and solidifying in mid-table but should be a rocky season after the exploits of last year.

Season Review
2018

№4: Haugesund

Haugesund started the season on something of a low note after a very poor finish of the previous campaign. But it soon became clear that the team lead by Erik Horneland have done some good work during the off-season and were more defensively drilled and prepared to go the distance than most of the other side. Quality additions to the squad like Ben Karamoko and David Akintola brought quality and depth to the team and the manager was lucky to have almost no major injury issues throughout the season, which allowed Haugesund to build up rhythm. They quickly moved towards the top of the table after winning four of the opening seven games and indeed lost just twice in the opening ten games. That handed the whole team a lot of confidence and conviction in themselves and they never really dropped that momentum until the end. The ethos of the team was to work hard, defend well and ground out wins to keep pace at the top end of the table. They were happy to win by the odd goal and nine out of their 15 wins came by a sing-goal margin, with clean sheets always a priority. The most impressive thing was that Haugesund never really slowed down and entered a slump during the season and even if some regulars got injured, Hornerland kept the team strong and competitive. Indeed, they had no worries at all in getting the fourth spot in the league, courtesy of a storming finish of five wins in seven games, and will be good value for a potential European slot, depending on the outcome of the Cup final.


Player of the Season: Per Bråtveit

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