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football

Hamrén New Swedish Coach

Published torsdag 5 november 2009 kl 08.57
Erik Hamrén. Foto: Marit Hommedal/Scanpix.

The new coach for the men's national football team will be Erik Hamrén, currently leading the Norwegian champions Rosenborg. Hamrén will take charge of the Sweden team immediately, but he will also continue to work for Rosenborg until the end of the next summer.

The Swedish football team has been without a coach since Lars Lagerbäck's resigned in the wake of the country's failure to qualify for next year's world cup finals in south africa.

Already early on, the name of Erik Hamrén was high on the wanted-list of the Swedish Football Association. But as late as last week, it looked like it would not happen. His contract with the Norwegian club Rosenborg does not expire until the end of next season, and the Norwegians were reported to have asked for a compensation fee way above what the Swedes were prepared to pay.

Now, a compromise deal has been found, where Hamrén will combine the two jobs until the end of August next year. And Hamrén is very happy.

"To be the Sweden-coach is the finest job you can have if you are a Swedish manager," he says. "It is a great thing to be leading your own country. Of course I was disappointed when it looked like the deal was not going to happen."

So Hamrén is happy, and also the sport commentators in Sweden seem to like the choice. But the contract? No. No-one seems to be cheering the idea of a new national coach that will start the job by doing it part time.

The Sweden team needs a "wholehearted fresh start from scratch" writes Svenska Dagbladets columnist. And Dagens Nyheter's columnist points out that "considering that the national team is currently sinking, the time leading up to the European qualifiers is extremely important for the new coach".

But Hamrén himself is not worried about the prospect of running two teams at once. He's done it before, when he remained coach for the Danish team Ålborg, after having started at Rosenborg. Ålborg still managed to win the Danish cup, "against all odds", he says.

"To be a coach is not a one man show," he says, you are a team that work together, and you can never succeed in anything if you are alone. I am convinced we will be a strong team working together, so that will probably be the smallest problem."

Who Hamrén's assistant manager will be has not yet been revealed, but already on Friday Hamrén will set to work for Sweden when he will name the squad that will play the friendly against Italy on the 18th of November.

Then we will get a first inkling of whether the new coach will bring a more positive outlook to a team which had been associated with dull, negative football.

When Lars-Åke Lagrell, chairman of the Swedish Football Association, was asked about Hamréns football philosophy, he referred to what Hamrén has said about the old Sweden coach, Lars Lagerbäck, or "Lasse".

"Hamrén himself says that he thinks very similar to Lasse, but that he dares to do a bit more than Lasse does. If that is correct or not, I think it is up to all of us to decide for ourselves," says Lars-Åke Lagrell.

Our journalism is based on credibility and impartiality. Swedish Radio is independent and not affiliated to any political, religious, financial, public or private interests.
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