LSK goalkeeper Fiskerstrand, Norway’s first choice of late, picked up a cruciate ligament injury in training on Wednesday and will be out for a long time. That message was difficult for national team manager Martin Sjögren to accept.
He had to seriously start perfecting the candidates who had been behind Fiskerstrand in the line up for the national team. Who will be Norway’s new first choice, did not give himself at all.
– We have time. Now I can’t say which of them will be number one. The role is completely open, national team manager Sjögren told NTB.
Based on the latest national team squad, there are four names that stand out in first place: Guro Pettersen (Vålerenga), Sunniva Skoglund (Stabæk), Aurora Mikalsen (Brann) and Rugile Maria Rulyte (Rosenborg).
Common to all of them is that they have almost no international matches to refer to. Pettersen made his national team debut when he replaced Fiskerstrand after 62 minutes in a World Cup qualifier against Kosovo in April. Rulyte played his first international match away to Armenia (10-0) in November last year, while Mikalsen made his debut in a 0-2 loss to Portugal in the Algarve Cup in February.
Goalkeeper Stabæk Skoglund is without appearances for Norway so far.
– We’ve been deliberately letting more goalkeepers get playing time lately. Guro, Aurora, and Rulyte are all allowed to play. We allowed them to debut, thinking something could happen to Cecilie. Now the situation is real, says Sjögren.
He was clear that Fiskerstrand had become Norway’s undisputed first choice.
Three international matches
The quartet, now on the line to take their place between the crossbars, have jointly defended Norway on three occasions.
– That’s how it is. We can’t do much about that. The situation is like that. Now it’s about making the best of it, said national team manager Sjögren – and added:
– There’s nothing to suggest that it’s going to be bad. It’s about accepting what is and continuing to work with those who are available.
The European Football Championship is played in England from 6 to 31 July. Norway is in the same group as the host countries, Austria and Northern Ireland. Martin Sjögren’s first-choice match will be against Northern Ireland on Thursday 7 July at St. Mary’s in Southampton.
Norway meets New Zealand and Denmark ahead of the playoffs.
“Infuriatingly humble coffee guru. Travel practitioner. Freelance zombie fanatic. Certified problem solver. Food scholar. Student.”