June 7, 2023

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Holland became a star in a town of 12,000 inhabitants. What is the secret of this special place

Things are bad for SKA: 0 goals (2nd time in a season), Gusev was put on the bench, they failed in the minority

Things are bad for SKA: 0 goals (2nd time in a season), Gusev was put on the bench, they failed in the minority

The story of Brunet and a unique generation.

Everyone knows that Erling Haaland was born in Leeds, but almost no one remembers where he became a football player. Welcome to Bryne, a quiet town of 12,000 in western Norway. Where there is no football factory, sharpened to produce expensive players. 

Rather, Bryun even has an anti-factory approach: in a regular football school, where Holland studied from 5 to 15 years old, there was never a dropout. The group consisted of 40 people, all of them were of different levels and were chasing the ball with the installation “The main thing is pleasure”. Despite the absence of a rigid system, 5 people from the same age group immediately made it to the junior teams of Norway and professional clubs (they are circled in the photo). For a town of 12,000, this efficiency is extremely good. 

Can you find Holland in the photo?

What is the secret of this Brunet? Let’s figure it out.

Holland’s father saved his native club, and a rock band became a sponsor, the star of which even played in the base

Brunet is one of the youngest cities in Norway. The village was founded back in 1878 – it, like many nearby, appeared on the path of a fresh railway. And Brunet received city status only in 2001, that is, a year after the birth of Haaland.

It is now the 49th most populated city in Norway. There are very few attractions here. One of them is the Fritz Roed Park. This is a collection of sculptures located along the river.

Brunet’s other stars are the leaders of the rock band Kaizers Orchestra. As a child, the future vocalist of the band Janov Ottesen was given a guitar by his grandmother. There was little entertainment in Brunet, except for football – and she tried to keep her grandson busy. 

It worked, but a strong connection with football has not gone away. And she couldn’t, because Janove is the son of the ex-football player Brune and the Norwegian national team Rune Ottesen . Janove even got to the base of the club and played for the youth teams of the country, until he finally settled on music.

Ottesen wrote a song in honor of Brune, and in 2010 the Kaisers became club sponsors. Their gas mask logo appeared on the team’s jerseys.

“I grew up at the Brune stadium, football was the main focus of my life as a teenager,” said Ottesen. “Football and rock go together: Oasis has Manchester City, Iron Maiden has West Ham, Elton John has Watford. And we also have something in common with Brunet. We prove the possibility of success from a small place – some outsiders who give a breath of fresh air!

Brune currently plays in the second division of Norway. The club was founded in 1926 and has since spent 17 seasons in the top league. The most successful period was from 1976 to 1988, when the team played in the elite for 13 seasons in a row, took second place twice, won the Cup and even participated in the UEFA Cup and Cup Winners’ Cup. The team has not played in the tower for 20 years.

The indoor field helped Holland’s school a lot – the children hung out there for hours. And many of Erling’s partners went pro

Erling’s father, Alf-Inge Haaland, also began his career at Brun. Returning from England after a career, he not only opened the first nightclub in the town, but also saved his native team from bankruptcy. 

Faith in the future of “Brune” Alf-Inge reinforced by the fact that he gave his son to the section. Erling almost instantly got into the group born in 1999 – a year older. 

“I first saw Erling when he was five years old,” said coach Alf-Yngve Berntsen in an interview with Goal. – He started playing in his age group, but he was much better than others, so we moved him to the under-6 group. His first two touches resulted in goals.” 

Holland worked out twice a week in a group of 40 people (39 guys and one girl). In addition to Erling, four more have reached the professional level:

• Andrea Norheim – currently playing in Danish football’s elite division, having previously won the Women’s Champions League, the Championship and the Coupe de France with Lyon. She spent more than 60 matches for the national teams of Norway of different ages, scored more than 30 goals for them. In 2016, she took the bronze of the Euro U17, and in 2018 she became the top scorer of the Euro U19 (Norwegians took fourth place). 

The stories of Andrea and Holland are remarkably similar. Her father is the legend of “Brune” Stig Norheim , in the early 90s he even played with Holland Sr. Mom is also an athlete, and she achieved success in the heptathlon. Like Erling’s mother, Monika Penne Norheim became the champion of Norway.

Alf-Inge Holand, in parallel with training, conducted additional classes with his son. Andrea has the same: “I trained a lot both with my brother (also a football player – Sondre Norheim) and with my dad. I was ahead of the girls of my age in development, I had to train with the boys. It probably made me who I am today.”

• Adrian Berntsen – currently playing for Second Division FC Notodden, was with the under-18s. 

• Tord Jonsen Salt – plays for Arendal in the second division, has made about 50 caps for national teams of different ages up to U21.

• Andreas Uhland – From Brune, went to the Virginia Cavaliers of the US Collegiate League and has experience playing for the under-18 team. 

The opening of the covered field in 2005 is considered the most important factor in the success of this generation. The guys met there outside the official training time – as a rule, hanging out on Saturday and Sunday. “Erling and about 20 other people always met there on weekends and played for hours,” says coach Berntsen. – This hall is never locked, there is always a place where you can play regardless of the weather. It’s a simple hall, but it’s incredibly important for football in Brune.”