Expenditures for support equipment for the national football team have increased by ten million kroner in five years

Expenditures for support equipment for the national football team have increased by ten million kroner in five years

During Stal Solbakken's time as national team coach, the costs of support equipment rose dramatically.

Support staff: National team doctor Ola Sand with Erling Braut Haaland last year. Photo: Erik Flaris Johansen/NTB

– It worked out perfectly, Ståle Solbakken frankly answers VG's question about what the national team manager feels he got from his 20-man support staff – including the manager himself.

– Did it work out perfectly when Norway couldn't get into the EU?

– No, you can't say that. Maybe the shoes put some pressure on everything. In the end, I am the one being referred to, Solbakin answers.

The national team's season begins on Friday with a special match against the Czech Republic in Olival (6 p.m., TV 2).

The VG information is taken from the entry “Salary and employment of national team coaches and first team support staff” in the National Football Association’s accounts.

2019: 11,929,943 Norwegian krone
2020: 13,209,003 Norwegian krone
2021: 17,571,175 Norwegian krone
2022: 21,972,979 Norwegian krone
2023: 22,799,892 NOK

“We were worried that it wouldn't be too big, but everyone has to have a role,” says Solbakken, who took on a lot of support from Lars Lagerbäck when he took over in 2021.

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But expenses have almost doubled in five years – from about NOK 12 million in 2019 to just under NOK 23 million last year.

Men of Steel: Ståle Solbakken with parts of the support device in 2022. From left: Ståle Solbakken, Kent Bergersen, Brede Hangeland, Frode Grodås, Bjørn Vidar Stenersen and Ar Hokstad, Photo: Fredrik Varfjell / NTB

Solbakken enlisted the help of physical trainer Björn Vidar Stenersen, psychologist Martin Langergaard, and analyst Andrew Findlay. All this is well known since Solbakken was coach of FC Copenhagen. Stenersen was also Solbakken's team when he was coaching Cologne.

The national team manager believes that expanding the team is absolutely necessary.

– Football developed rapidly. There are specialists in everything. We have one analyst. Scotland has four. Spain six. He says the world is moving in this direction.

Support device

Trainers

Stahl Solbakken (National Team Manager), Kent Bergersen (Assistant), Brid Hangeland (Player Manager), Frode Grudas (Goalkeeping Coach), Björn Vidar Stenersen (Physical Coach), Pál Velde (Dead Ball Coach).

Special jobs

Martin Langergaard (psychologist), Andrew Findlay (analyst), Geir Elefsen (security manager), Christian Karlsson (cook).

Medicine

Ola Sand (physician), Thomas Odegaard (chiropractor), Leif Arne Lystad (chiropractor), John Arvid Skistad (masseur).

administration

They are Hoxtad (Team Manager), Andre Flemme (Administrator), Morten Skonsberg (Media Manager), Terje Skie (Video Journalist), Sigurd Ertsas (Equipment Manager), Erik Holleberg (Equipment Manager).

Ståle Solbakken particularly highlights technological development in relation to physical training.

-Clubs require a huge amount of feedback on what each individual is doing physically. He says all training and matches are measured, and points out that he does not, for example, talk about the fitness surrounding Martin Odegaard with Arsenal coach Mikel Arteta.

Björn Vidar Stenersen
<-Björn Vidar Stenersen

Physical trainer

– But Björn Vidar (Stenersen) is talking to the physical trainer. Everything physically is more defined than it was just three or four years ago.

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Solbakin believes that it is important to have strong professionals in the team.

– Questions can be asked and we want to communicate our point of view. We have GPS numbers on everything. High-intensity races, training duration, how active the athlete is. There will be no doubts. He believes we can debate at a high level.

The Norwegian support staff cannot be described as large compared to their rivals in international football. according to Danish TV 2 In Denmark there are more than 30 people active around the national team.

Christian Norker is nicknamed the “boss” of the Danish national team, with the sporting side being led by coach Kasper Hjolmand. He believes Denmark does not have a particularly large support system compared to the biggest countries on the international football scene.

– Their number reaches about 60 people, says Norker.

According to the TV channel, the Danes have, among others, three scouts, an orthotist, a podiatrist and a nutritionist. During the restroom in Qatar, Denmark sent its own chef.

– We have to take care of players’ bodies in a different way than before. We will improve as much as possible. There are always percentages to be gained, says Christian Norker.

Najuma Ojukwu

Najuma Ojukwu

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

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