Bodo Glimt, Frederik Andre Bjorkan

Bodo Glimt, Frederik Andre Bjorkan

Elite series of backgammon tips

1st place: Bodo/Glimt

Ulval Stadium (Nitawisen): A new season is approaching, and a new season awaits defending champions Bodo/Glimt.

The third in the last four years, after a strong 2023 for Ketil Knutsen's men. 2024 also showed what to expect, with success in Europe and a narrow exit from the Conference League to Ajax.

One of the most important players during last year's success was local Fredrik Bjorkan. The left-back has returned to the club after an unsuccessful stay abroad, and enters his second season back at Glimt.

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– Where does Budo/Glimt stand before it splits, Fredrik Bjorkan?

– Things look very good and we are in a good place. We had a big blow against Ajax, but we kept pressing and something happened. Many people think we have more to show after last year's season, so we have to try to get it out.

In December, they lost the cup final to Molde, and a few weeks ago, Ajax became, unbelievably, very strong in Europe. There were two games that were tough to swallow:

– It's hard to get hits like that. And based on what could have happened, I think we solved it pretty well. We know there will be other opportunities, so it's just a matter of continuing what we're doing. We have a lot to look forward to, so there is no need to look back, says Bjorkan.

At the same time, you can tell it took some time to digest, especially the recent blow against Ajax.

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– We had a void after those matches, so it was irritating us for a few weeks. Not that it necessarily went beyond the coaching work, but it was something that was in the back of your mind. We have now put it behind us.

The lead-up to the game has been a rich one for Bjørkan & Co., who recently tested their mettle against leaders Crystal Palace. The loss was 0-1 to the English Premier League team:

-It was incredibly cool. Meeting teams from the best league in the world, which have very good players, is very rewarding. I felt like we were fully engaged, even if you could see they had a little something extra. They scored from their chances, so the efficiency was very high. We felt it and noticed what we needed to improve. Among other things, they closed all the dangerous rooms, so we created almost nothing.

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– This “irony” is something you really feel, with matches against good European teams. It's obviously something we need to improve on, not just the trickery, but the cynicism in the way we finish games.

As previously mentioned, the stay abroad at Hertha Berlin and Feyenoord turned out to be something very different from what Bjorkan himself had hoped for. In January 2023, he joined the ranks of Glimt players who returned to the club shortly after the exit.

– Do you feel there is a risk that other potential clubs will refuse to receive him in the future, because you failed?

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– Of course people can think that, but at least that's not something I focus on personally. Firstly, I know what I stand for, and going back to Glimt I never considered it a step down. It was a very right move for me, considering the level they are at. If new clubs are considering this option, so be it.

Professional life in Germany is notoriously difficult, which Bjorkan also experienced:

– There is no doubt that it is more difficult in Germany and perhaps even more brutal to be a footballer there. There are smaller support systems around players, if you need someone to talk to or something like that. Firstly, it was very difficult not to play a lot there, but there were a lot of nice people in the team, so fortunately I enjoyed myself off the field.

It is only a short time before Bodo/Glimt begin their journey towards another league gold, opening their campaign away to newly promoted Fredrikstad on 1 April.

– Who is the team that will win the 2024 Elitserin title?

– I think this could be the strongest season for the Elite Series in many years, but of course I have faith that we will be at the top when the season ends.

– Player of the year?

-Patrick Berg.

– Which player gets hacked?

– Then I actually say Jeppe Kjaer, on loan to Fredrikstad from Bodø/Glimt. I think he's incredibly exciting, and if he realizes his potential it will be incredibly good.

Transfers:

in:

Casper Hough (Stabek)

Guti Viti (returned from Stabæk after loan)

Lucas Cooper (returning from Moss after loan)

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Sefer Skundberg Skede (returned from Hødd after loan)

Justin Gundersen (Tromsø)

Haakon Evgen (Brøndby, Denmark)

Jens Petter Hauge (loan from Eintracht Frankfurt until the end of the season)

Ketil Hauge (loan from French club Toulouse until the summer)

August Mikkelsen (Hammarby, Sweden)

Outside:

Morten Agnes Konradsen (Haugesund)

Sigurd Kvil (Fredrikstad)

Ask Tjærandsen-Skau (contract has expired)

Jeppe Kjaer (loan to Frederikstad for the rest of the season)

Mats Pedersen (loan to Mjondalen until the end of the season)

Faris Pemi Mombanya (Marseille, France)

Stian Christiansen (Sanddefjord)

Peter Nosa Dahl (loan to YMCA Oslo for the rest of the season)

Training matches:

January 19: Red Bull Salzburg – Bodo/Glimt 6–0

January 25: Bodo/Glimt Hammarby 3–2 (Gulliksen, Bronstad-Vitt, Saltens)

January 29: Bodo/Glimt – Sparta Prague 0-2

February 8: Bodo/Glimt – Malmö 4–0 (Hogg, Saltens, Kapskarmo, Gulliksen)

February 29: Bodo/Glimt – Sarpsborg 08 2–0 (MU, Saltens)

March 14: Bodo/Glimt – Crystal Palace 0-1

March 25: Bodo/Glimt – Molde 3–5 (Hogg, Hogg, Bjurtoft)

Najuma Ojukwu

Najuma Ojukwu

"Infuriatingly humble internet trailblazer. Twitter buff. Beer nerd. Bacon scholar. Coffee practitioner."

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