You are currently reading NRK’s interview column “På hjembane”. Here we meet well-known sports profiles and ask a series of questions about big and small things.
Today: Assistant coach at Brann and former national team player Erik Huseklepp (38).
Currently with: The series begins with Fire.
We start with five fixed questions:
– Besides football, what do you spend most of your time on?
– This is family. My two daughters and fiancé. I spend most of my time on them, because football takes a lot of time. So I have a wonderful and patient fiancé back home that allows me to move around a lot in this work here. So when I have time off now, we use it together.
– When was the last time you spent NOK 1,000 or more on dinner?
– We did it right before leaving for the training camp in Spain. My fiancé and I went to eat at Brasília in Bergen, so maybe over a thousand, yep.
– What’s the stupidest purchase you’ve made in the last year?
– I’m not good at answering such things. What’s that? I don’t really make a lot of stupid purchases.
– What can really piss you off?
– No, when things don’t go as they should. What really pisses me off is when someone says they’re going to do one thing, but does something completely different. It’s stuff like that that really bothers me. I really care about honesty and that you should be sincere with other people. Therefore, I don’t like that someone can stand up and say something to my face, and then mean or do the exact opposite the next turn.
– What’s the most controversial opinion you have?
– Football is not that important. In theory, no.
– Erik Huseklepp, pHow are you?
– I feel very well.
– I really enjoy my job here as an assistant coach at Brann. A job that suits me very well and otherwise family life is good. All good.
– Why is being an assistant coach at Brann so good?
– It was a club that I joined since I was six years old and played for more than ten years. I’ve had a lot of ups and downs with the club, and some downs of course. Fire is a part of me. When I got the chance to step in as an assistant coach, I never hesitated.
– What was the real highlight of your firefighting career?
– No, there’s no doubt it’s a gold series. That condition, the atmosphere in the city of Bergen, is the way of the people. I don’t think I’ve seen such a golden series anywhere other than Bergen. Now I’m biased of course, but raising 60,000-70,000 at a festival site to celebrate gold… I’ve never seen anywhere else you’ve gathered so many people.
– Do you dream of being a part of it again?
– Yes, that would be great fun. It is clear that while I have this work, I have the opportunity to take part in it again. So it would be really great to experience that. That probably won’t happen this year, that’s humbled by us after we were in the OBOS league last year. But you never know.
– You say it won’t happen, but it can happen?
– No, but you never know what time it is, but I think we can rule out it happening this year. But if it happens in the near future, over the next few years, we’ll have to see how it develops. But at least we have a lot of faith in what we do. Then we’ll see how far it takes us.
– You’ll have to experience a few things outside of Brann in your playing career – many remember you from Bari, Portsmouth and Birmingham – what were the highlights of your overseas trip?
– No, actually there’s more. It was amazing to debut for Bari. The first home game, coming half an hour before the end, there were 60,000 people in the stands and Inter were away. The feeling you get when you sit there, and the tension you feel in your body just before you step inside. It is something I will never forget. Portsmouth, to pick a highlight, I think it was when I scored three minutes into stoppage time against Blackpool, with a pretty good goal that won the game. That’s probably the highlight there. Otherwise it’s a club I really enjoy. So it’s stupid that it’s financially wrong for the club, otherwise I think I could have played for a few more years, if not too short.
– Is there something that you often think about in football, what could be different if you did this and that?
– Yes, I think everyone does. If they say they don’t, well, when you’re in the game you have to try to put that aside, but now that things are cleared up and stuff, it’s clear that I’ve thought those things through and have them. it’s been like that and like that, I’ll score on that occasion. So it’s kinda like that, you always find that thought. But, it’s not like something bothers me. I totally agree with that, that “what’s done is done” and you can’t do anything about it.
– But you talk about that feeling when you come up against Inter there with 60,000, and how you feel. Is there something you’re trying to recreate in another way when you finish the soccer?
– I’m still above average happy to play soccer. So even though I gave up, I didn’t succeed. Then I started playing for Vadmyra in the fifth tier last year, and I’ll probably play some games there this year and. Just because if I play there for 60,000 or in front of ten people at Vadmyrabanen, there’s something about that game with the ball and the feeling when it goes into the net. I’m not tired of who I am. I still think it’s a lot of fun.
– Can we usually have something like you had in Bari?
– It depends on your love for soccer. For me it feels like that when I score, it’s never the same, but it gives me immense joy to score, to contribute to the game and yes, to have success with dribbling, making tunnels. Stuff like that still makes me happy. Not many people watching.
– Did you also get some international matches?
– Yes, 36!
– 36 internationals and seven goals. What does that mean for you?
– That means a very large number. I’m doing it step by step, so the first goal is to get into Brann. Then I was very focused that when I enter Brann, I must not be full. Then the next goal was to get into the national team, and I did it. And then my next goal is to go to a foreign club to play, so that’s how I build things up. It worked really well for me, and playing for the national team and representing my country is very important to me.
– It was very big for me because I was a regular in the national team for several years, I wasn’t just in the squad. I’m actually one of those who starts game after game. I feel it. I wasn’t scared, but I just thought it was really fun. And what my career has shown me is that I can play badly against a second division team if I play there, but it doesn’t matter that a few days later I can play very well against some of the best players in the world. That’s a bit I for good and bad. I remember one year when I scored two goals against France. It wasn’t long before I helped lose against Fyllingsdalen in the cup for Brann. It’s a bit, yes, of good and bad quality.
– I especially remember when you played against Deportivo. Surely no Fire player has ever been this good in a simple match?
– Others have to judge that, but it’s clear that I’ll never forget the game there. The only crazy thing is I can’t score. I had so many chances, dribbled and basically did everything in the game except score. But it’s clear that on a night like that, a European Cup night like that at the Brann Stadion, where you meet a team that plays in a league as good as Spain’s, you also beat them completely… It was a night you really cared for. It was a really fun night, and I hope you can get some European Cup experience in Brann now in the years to come. Because there’s something very special about her.
– You seem optimistic Erik – really?
– Yes, right. Maybe too much, because I was an optimist until proven otherwise. So no matter how bad things looked, I had faith until I didn’t go any further.
– So you hope to live?
– Yes, I am willing.
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