– He shouldn’t be too cocky – VG

- He shouldn't be too cocky - VG

VALLE (VG) After Magnus Sjøeng (20) took a place between the bars at Vålerenga, the team went from 14th to the medal contender.


The goalkeeper introduced himself to Norwegian football after selling Kjetil Haug to Toulouse in June. In the cup match against Bodø/Glimt, he saved a penalty from Ola Solbakken, and the Intility Arena shook.

At Eliteserien, VIF was in a sporting crisis, in qualifying position with seven games without a win.

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– When I sat on the bench at the beginning of the year, things weren’t going well. We lost a lot of matches, and it was really hard to be a Vålerenga player, says VG’s meager goalkeeper ahead of Sunday’s first leg.

Kristiansund-Vålerenga starts at 18.00 and will appear on Eurosport + 1

Sjøeng’s debut in the league ended with a clean sheet and a 3-0 win. Since then, he has contributed to a streak of eight wins and one draw. VIF has not lost since June, and is five points behind Glimt in second place.

– I had a chance to play, and the team got a new spark. After that, it just went up, and the fact that we finally saw a rebound is so much fun to be a part of, he says.

But he did not forget the feeling of loss.

– I wouldn’t be too cocky. It could soon happen again, but it’s good to win now.

He takes very little credit for the team’s brilliant period.

How would you describe the recovery you are in on the team?

– It has to be said that I’ve made some bad judgments lately, so I probably have to thank the team for helping me too. But of course there must be something. What is this, I do not know.

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Sjøeng has been lucky in a number of situations. Some misjudgements this summer could have resulted in more points lost.

There are some errors in judgment as a young goalkeeper. Vålerenga coach Dag-Eilev Fagermo, referring to the goals scored against Viking and Lillestrøm, said he now had two situations he had to save.

The goalkeeper is self-critical. But Sjøeng also showed a strong mentality on the field, Vålerenga coach believes. He himself sees that the goals that were waived are fatal errors.

– There are two goals that we must not give up at all, and for my part I consider them errors. We just have to get rid of him, but I’m still young.

The VIF coach is far from worrisome, despite some unfortunate interventions.

– He showed very high potential – not least a performer. I think it boosted us overall, compared to where we were earlier in the season. It’s impressive from a boy who has played so little in Serie B and Elyseerine, praising Fagermo.

It was not certain that Sjøeng would become VIF’s number one goalkeeper this summer.

Even before Haug was introduced as a player at Toulouse, Vålerenga began searching for a replacement in June.

Per Kristian Bråtveit came to Oslo, but was not ready to play until August 1. This gave Sjøeng time to warm up.

And after not getting a minute into the A-team, Bråtveit was sold from VIF at the end of August – less than two months after signing with the Oslo club. Sondre Rossbach was appointed after that, but Sjøeng is still the first choice.

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The fact that I am able to show that I have such a high level and am a favourite before them is unbelievably wonderful. At the same time, there is no comfort cushion. I have to keep taking more steps, says the 20-year-old.

With Rosbach on the bench, Fagermo stresses that there is real competition for the place.

No one is a “banker” on the football team, but at the moment, Sjøeng hasn’t played his way out of the team.

Najuma Ojukwu

Najuma Ojukwu

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

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