The second set of clubs kicking off their stay in La Manga started their training camps in earnest today, with some teams opting for double sessions in the heat.
It was a relatively relaxed day in the Spanish resort with most sides gearing up for the friendly matches that will take place over the course of this week. The afternoon sun dried up the training pitches slightly, making the surface tough on sides used to a softer turf.
All of the OBOS Ligaen teams trained at some point during the day, I managed to catch a few in action with a particular focus on the newly promoted former 2.Divisjon sides.
Arendal began their stay in La Manga with a morning and afternoon training session. The side were without key players Rasmus Christensen and Fabian Ness.
Young player Tasso Wha Dwe stood out as a potential ‘one to watch’ this season. Despite his diminutive figure, his skills and technical ability looked to be a particular asset to the side. Game time for the player will be hard to get but manager Knut Torum may look to phase the youngster into the first team squad this season.
Elverum began their stay in La Manga with a morning training session. The side included new signing Igor Cukovic in their training camp squad and the colossal Montenegro defender looked solid in both possession and in the tackle.
Another positive was Marius Hagen, who looked fit once more after some recent injury worries and looked sharp on the ball.
Floro were arguably the most interesting side to watch in training. The team were renowned for their dangerous set plays and trained this heavily towards the end of the session.
I also got the chance to meet manager Terje Rognso. Floro are a special club in terms of how they go about their day to day business, with Rognso’s responsibilities ranging from arranging new signings to doing analysis for the side.
Floro will be extremely interesting to follow this season, with 75% of their first team squad coming from the ‘Sogn og Fjordane’ region. Rognso has worked with many of the Floro first team players since they were aged 15 or younger, the managers’ long term ambition for the team to become a Topfotball side with most players coming from their home region is starting to come to fruition.
Tomorrow sees the first friendly matches being played in the La Manga club. Asane will kick things off as they face Arendal before new Viking boss Ian Burchnall tests his side against last seasons’ surprise package in the Eliteserien, Brann. In between these two games, Ull/Kisa will test new signings Andreas Aalbu and Nicolay Solberg against a strong looking Haugesund side.
Haugesund managed to keep key players Filip Kiss and Haris Hajradinovic on their books for the coming season, with new signings Bruno Leite and Jonny Per Buduson hoping to be the sides’ surprise packages this year.