It went right to the wire; decided by goal difference on the final day of the season. A 0-0 draw in our final outing was enough to edge it over 2nd placed Brann, sealing Bryne FK’s first ever taste of the Norwegian Premiership title. It’s actually the competition’s lowest points total in history to win this title (54), but we don’t mind, just 6 defeats all season is title winning form, we just need convert more of those draws into wins going forwards. Our final position secures us a place in the Champions League qualifying rounds, and gives us another shot at the Norwegian Super Cup, which we were runners up in last season and haven’t yet lifted.
We didn’t score many goals (just 37), but our solidity at the back was again the foundation for another successful campaign (just 15 conceded). Our young Norwegian goalkeeper (a newgen), Sværke Palmer Kverndokk (20 years old), on loan from Brescia, was ever present and set a new Norwegian Premier League clean sheet record of 16 (previously held by Peter Abrahamsson with 15). Dubbed the next Erik Thorstvedt, we’ve since agreed a permanent deal for £625K, taking effect at the end of his two year loan deal in a season’s time.
We sampled our first taste of European football this season too with EURO Cup II (UEFA Europa Conference League) qualifying rounds. Knocking out FK Sarajevo (of Bosnia) 9-3 over two legs, then FK Vardar Skopje (of Macedonia) 7-1, before narrowly bowing out to Lokomotiv Moscow (of Russia) 2-1 in the fourth round, seeing the Russia’s make the group stages.
That little run in Europe will be funding our new (albeit fairly minor) stadium expansion plans, which will see Bryne Stadion expanded by 1,061 seats at a cost of £1.2M:
It’s been a truly incredible finale to our best season to date. We’ll continue to aim high with next season’s targets being to challenge for the title, compete in the Champions League qualifiers, and reach at least the semi finals in the Norwegian Cup.
Our squad is now highly attuned to our Graham Potter-esque tactics, with youth players being brought up through to the senior squad with an already high familiarity. We look out for the best young Norwegian talents and are finally starting to invest more in youth development and facilities to help them step up. A little like Pep Guardiola’s Barcelona did during his 2008-2012 tenure. Good technical midfields are something we now have in abundance.
- Norwegian Premier Division Player of the Year: Daniel Dalehaug
- Norwegian Premier Division Young Player of the Year: Tim Eckhardt (newgen)
- Norwegian Premier Division Clean Sheet Record: Sværke Palmer Kverndokk (newgen)