Christian Berge resigns as national team manager. This was confirmed by the handball association on Thursday.
Doubts have recently been raised about what Berge will hold in the future, as, among other things, the hard-working Kolstad has often been touted as a possible new destination.
– The longing to stand on the floor with my team every day is immense. The feeling has grown bigger lately, and I think I need a daily job to sharpen my work. “Therefore, I have now informed the NHF that it is time for me to become the coach of the club again,” Berge said in a press release, without mentioning his next job.
Kolstad boss confirms Berge dialogue
General manager at Kolstad Jostein Sivertsen confirmed to NRK that dialogue is now starting with Berge.
– We have registered that Christian Berge and the Handball Association have had a process to clarify whether he will continue to coach the national team or not. We have received that answer now. “And then it’s only natural that we intensify those talks to see if we can get him to Kolstad,” Sivertsen said.
– How concrete is the dialogue?
– There has been dialogue and then we talked about what framework might be around such an agreement. However, there has been no concrete contract negotiations.
– That’s the phase we’re in now, Sivertsen continued.
NRK has so far not been able to contact Berge himself.
Sivertsen doesn’t think it will take long before the parties reach a solution.
– I think it’s a matter of day. We want to get clarification whether this is possible or not, said the general manager of Kolstad.
Will coach the club and the national team
Berge previously expressed his desire to be able to coach both the club and the national team.
Handball president Kåre Geir Lio informed NRK that the federal council rejected this October, and the decision was upheld at a board meeting on February 18.
– We believe it is a comprehensive position, which has so many elements in it, that we want to have a national team manager with full focus on the national team and other activities, such as markets, club handball, wide handball and so on.
He emphasized that the conversation with Berge had been regular. According to Lio, Kolstad is still a relevant club. At the same time, work is being started on getting a new national team manager.
– We’ll make it neat. “We will announce his position and hope to have a coach in August/September,” said Lio.
NRK handball expert Håvard Tvedten believes Berge is right to resign now.
– It doesn’t make sense for them to follow the proposal to share coaching work at the club or have another role in the national team. It’s nice to be sure, says Tvedten.
Berge has been leading handball masters since 2014, and has led the team to silver at the WC in 2017 and 2019, and bronze at the EC in 2020.
– Berge has given the national team a new dimension, and led them to medal matches in international handball. But the arrows have been pointing in the wrong direction for the past year. He didn’t take the latter off the team, Tvedten believes.
Leading his last match in March
The press release stated that the parties had agreed that he would step down as manager of the national team. Thus he was free to start his coaching career at a club.
He will lead the team for the last time during the Gold League tournament in Denmark in mid-March.
– We respect the fact that Christian wants this. “At the same time, it is clear from the Federal Council that our national team manager cannot have another coaching job in top-flight,” said Lio.
The Handball Association will now be looking for a new national team manager. It is not clear who will take over from Berge.
“This crossroads gave us the opportunity to see how we can build on what Christian has created, and what we can improve and change around the national team,” said Lio.
It is further stated that the aim is to get a new national team manager in early autumn 2022. Then the team will prepare for the World Cups in Sweden and Poland in 2023.
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