“Abroad,” said Ketil Reykdal, 55, of the desired destination for a new coaching job after Rosenborg left last year. Now he is ready for the match against Omonia FC after a hard day.
– It's been a completely crazy day. Gardermoen – Copenhagen – Vienna – then Larnaca. I woke up at 5:30, after two hours of sleep, and would probably be in bed soon after a slew of meetings, says Kjetil Rekdal over the phone to VG.
It was “finally” working for him and his assistant Geir Freegard again, after they had to leave Rosenborg's job in June last year.
– You've said all along that we're aiming outward. We worked hard for this. We participated in several presentation rounds with different clubs in the fall and before Christmas.
– Although you talked about abroad, you also said that you and Freegard should be alert when Norwegian clubs want new coaches. Some have changed since I had to leave. Do you feel overtaken?
– I do not know what to say. It's hard to answer. Clubs are looking for specific profiles. I'm a little surprised that there weren't any Norwegian clubs interested, answers the man who coached Valerenga, Belgium's Lierse, Germany's Kaiserslautern, Alesund, Start, Hamkam and Rosenborg.
– When did the Cyprus option come?
– There have been a number of meetings in the past two weeks. It was the general manager in the picture, the president. . . In addition to the sports director. It was just a matter of jumping on the first flight.
Omonia, from the city of Nicosia, is ranked fourth in the Cypriot League, seven points behind leaders APOEL. Omonia had another former Norwegian national team champion, Henning Berg, as manager from 2019 to 2022.
– Have you talked with him?
– I couldn't do it. But I will do it. It will be important to hear his experiences. He has good shots here. Especially since he's got structure in the team. That's why Jer and I were brought in now.
Former Swedish AIK, Djurgården and Stabæk player Jesper Jansson is the club's sporting director and has initiated the 'Rekdal Project'.
-Why is it suitable for you?
– It is one of the biggest clubs in Cyprus and has a large number of followers. They have ambitions for European Cup matches. Despite finishing fourth, it is an equal league. There is a slight difference, as you can see from the table.
There are eight games remaining in the regular season before the top six teams play a potential playoff for the series title. Reykdal will be there.
– We are looking forward to it very much. The first training will be tomorrow morning. Now there are two and a half days left until the match. We don't have much time. A lot of time and thought has now gone into how to get this set up as quickly as possible.
Ketil Reykdal has barely returned home after the Christmas and New Year holidays in the Canary Islands.
– Do they think you are actually a Cypriot there?
– Yes, I have good color with me. But it's not a “lying on a sunbed” temperature.
– There are a number of Norwegians who dream of a permanent presence in Cyprus?
– Yes, I will skip the Norwegian winter. I don't like snow and cold very much. It was plus 26 when I took off on the plane in Gran Canaria compared to minus 26 in Gardermoen last week. Hammar had -29. A difference of fifty degrees. I've been doing my best to avoid catching a cold for the past few days and I've managed to do so.
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