Leo and Agden stand out. Now NFF is taking talent measures

Leo and Agden stand out.  Now NFF is taking talent measures

For a number of years, national teams by age group have been dominated by early developed talents.

Now the National Football League has taken action: This week, the first gathering of physically delayed players from the stable took place in Porsgrunn.

In the place you will find, among others, Leo Dorsin and Agden Krslak, two 13-year-olds with heights of 154 and 148 cm above the ground, respectively.

– We mostly only play football against people who are usually older than us, the duo says.

While Leo plays for Rosenborg, Ajdin is for Vålerenga.

They both have big dreams.

– We will become professionals and hopefully play in the same team, they say in unison.

Now, however, the NFF has decided to do everything it can to facilitate talents that are developed a little later than their peers.

– At this age, players can be of the same age. But there is still a five- and six-year difference in a 14-15-year-old’s development, says Håkon Grøttland, NFF’s head of coach and player development.

Just claim Haaland

And when the group that came together this week turned up for a meeting, Grøttland had at least one claim that gave those present reason for optimism.

– Erling Braut Haaland would not have become the best striker in the world if he had not been developed late, Grotland claims.

10 years ago: Erling Braut Haaland has become a physical force. However, it took time before he really grew up, according to Hakun Grotland. Photo: charity

He remembers when the 22-year-old from Jæren was in the age-restricted national team.

– He was relatively young. This meant that he had to develop his intelligence and movement to compensate for his lack of physical fitness. When he also got the physical package later, he became the force he is now at Manchester City, says Grotland.

But the boys of “NFF Future Team” don’t need to dream their way into the world’s elite.

Haaland’s example isn’t the only thing the NFF can tempt.

One of the coaches on the G14 team is Eric Mikland.

With its 172 centimetres, Megan ravaged central Norway in the glory days of Drilo.

– I always considered it an advantage. You had to be smarter, Mykland says, read the game and develop a bit of your brain in a different way than you would if you could outrun everyone else.

NFF Officer: Eric

NFF Employee: Eric “Myggen” Mykland is one of the trainers on the new NFF project. Photo: Eric Nessett-Helvik/TV2

A material difference of five or six years

Figures compiled by the NFF at both the international and national levels show that on the boys side, there is a marked overrepresentation of physically advanced players in the G14, G15 and G16 national teams.

– The “regular” national team played a match yesterday. It is almost a man’s voice over them. To put it more bluntly, the future team is even more outspoken. Development there is a little slower, says Grotland, but it could speed up at any time.

It is feared that Norwegian football will lose talents who give up because they have developed physically later than their teammates.

Now, to a large extent, professional managers in football circles will select players for the new project with the naked eye. Your understanding of football will be greatly tested.

– The goal is to find those who can be the best in the long term, but who may have slightly worse conditions to shine at the moment, says Grøttland.

During NFF talent camps, these guys play against each other.

– These players could have just as much potential to become good players. We should give all dreams a chance, says Grotland.

He is pleased that Eric “Megyn” McCland is one of the coaches on the new project.

– He can put things in perspective, because he is aware of the problem himself. He is the smartest footballer Norway has ever known. He was a wizard with an otherworldly football smart, says Grotland.

Inspired by Mykland

Talents Leo Dorsin and Ajden Krslak first answer yes to whether they remember Meghan as a footballer.

However, the 13-year-olds soon realize that they may not remember his glory days after all.

– But he said that when he was growing up he wasn’t so fast and such, but he got better with time, Leo Dorsin says.

– He said he played against Brazil, says Agdin Krslak.

In club football, they usually meet players who are physically superior – but there is no doubt that RBK and VIF players already have a very high technical level.

They both hope — and believe — that they can benefit from their physical fitness.

– I think you can get smarter and faster by being a little small now, says Leo Dorsin.

In any case, no one can take away his dreams.

– We will become professional footballers. Hopefully on the same team, says Ajden Krslak.

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Najuma Ojukwu

Najuma Ojukwu

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

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