MOLDE (VG) At the age of 18, Eirik Haugan (24) boarded a plane bound for Marseille. Seven years after his departure from Molde, the midfielder will finally make his debut for the parent club.
30 minutes in the Cup and a King’s Cup from 2014, but Eric Haugan never played in the Elite League for his birth.
“You seem to have something out of reach when you’re not playing for the childhood club,” he told VG.
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After a seven-year round trip across France, Sonmore and Sweden, the Moldovan boy finally faces his first league minutes for the club at his heart.
– It’s so big, it’s been a goal since I was little. There will likely be some tension on Saturday, as that means little, says the midfielder before opening Saturday’s series against Vålerenga, as friends and family will follow from the stands.
Her teammate Ola Brynhildsen rents out Haugan’s old apartment and is far from happy with the “house shark”:
In 2015, at the age of 18, the great talent Haugan decided to try his luck in Marseille. There he trained with French superstars like Abou Diaby and Florian Touvin, but only got access to B team matches.
– Maybe it was too early to go out, I was only 18. But I felt a little “lost” in Molde at the time, as it was also a long way to go for the first team. Then Marseille looked sexy, and I would have regretted it afterwards if I hadn’t tried, says Haugan.
When he first returned to Norway and Moore og Romsdal, he was south in the county with Hødd given the opportunity. Subsequently, the club’s substitute coach Ian Burchnal took Haugan to Östersund, where he finally established himself in the First Division.
Here he finally caught Moldy’s interest again and in February he signed a one-year contract with the parent club.
– I see it as an educational trip. It’s a bit longer than usual to join the team in your hometown, but when I left I wasn’t good enough for the first team. Now I’m back as a much better player. The time was right, he smiled.
Molde coach Erling Moe believes he is “in the middle of nowhere” for the club to bring Haugan home now. Moe’s formation has changed from 4–2–3–1 to 3-4–3, a system used by 24-year-olds from both Hødd and Östersund.
It is not an act of mercy on our part, but because we need and need it. The coach says that on my initiative he should come back.
Mo describes Hogan’s career as a “long journey,” but believes it’s an inspiration to others.
I think it’s a journey that more and more people have to take to take the steps they want as young people. It’s hard to break through to the top level here at home, especially in the best clubs for young players. He says it’s not for everyone.
Neither Sharif Sunian nor Martin Björnback is ready to start the series, and in the lead-up to the match, Haugan had plenty of opportunities to prove that he belonged in the starting lineup.
– For us here at home, it’s great to have him back. He may have also played more than I thought. Mo says he’s been in all the matches since his comeback and has done well.
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