Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Randaberg Idrettslag (Norway)

Randaberg IL are a Norweigian second division team (which, slightly confusingly is the third tier of their national league system) from Randaberg, a town of about 10,000 people just to the North of Stavanger in the very south west of the country. They were formed back in 1925 as Fotballklubben Ørn (or The Eagles FC), a fine name that they kept until 1933, when they joined the Norwegian FA, and changed it to Randaberg Fotballklubb, which they thought would make them be taken a little more seriously.

Their first great mark in the national football psyche came in the early 1960s when the great Reidar Goa was their first player to gain an international cap, a little while before he was transferred to the region's biggest club, Viking Stavanger. Their biggest moment of the sixties came around the same time when they were drawn to play the then star-studded Sandefjord in the third round of the cup. It is said half the population of Randaberg made the trip to Oslo to see their plucky battlers edged out 3-1 - but only after an epic battle.

But this little team attracted national attention once more in 2007, when an interesting character called Fred Ingebrigtsen came in and splashed the money around, claiming he would help them work their way up the league ladder as soon as possible. He hired former FK Haugesund boss Kjell-Inge Bråtveit to lead the charge and had soon lured former top flight players the like of Sindre Erstad, Øyvind Svenning, Jørgen Tengesdal and Bjarte Lunde Aarsheim into the fray. But as is the case with many sugar daddy clubs, the success hasn't quite happened for them yet. But it'll certainly be worth keeping an eye on them just in case it does! Remember, you heard it here first! (Unless you're Norwegian, of course!)

Stop Press! I've just got a note from Per Thime, Randaberg's sports director, who tells me that his boys have just won the  league with two games remaining, which means that they'll play in the second tier of Norwegian for the first time in their history. As he puts it: "That means we are in the list of the 30 best teams in Norway. And we like that!"

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