Aune Heggebø’s mentor called Brann’s coach, Eirik Horneland, with a question: Did they really believe in the young man?
After four goals in four games in the middle of a period, Brann was the one who needed him the most, perhaps few are in doubt: Aune Heggebø has definitely become Brann’s first choice as a forward.
But this winter it looked different. Heggebø had returned from lending at Øygarden, and was behind clear first choice Daouda Bamba in the queue.
It was then that Eirik Horneland’s phone rang.
– I called because I wanted to know from the coaches who really loved Aune. I had to know if they meant what they were saying, says Stein Arve Lone, Heggebø’s mentor.
The phone call took place this winter, just before Heggebø signed one. new contract outside of the 2023 season.
Before the young man could put his name on a new Brann contract, Lone wanted the insurance. That Heggebø wasn’t just a player, it was good to have him as a reserve.
– We got a phone call if we really wanted to say what we said, and we did it seriously. We wanted to make room for him, says Horneland, who was an assistant coach at the time.
Just over six months later, he is happy with the choice. Heggebø is the type of athlete you want Brann to team up with in the future, Horneland believes, with a clear reference to the nachspiels scandal.
– Aune fully plays the role of an elite athlete and is an example to follow. He’s well bred, says Horneland.
– Fire is the coolest
Both Horneland and the now sacked Ingebrigtsen had noted Heggebø’s eight goals and the good performances of the Øygarden relegation team. They were not alone. Both Aalesund and Tromsø submitted offers of around half a million crowns to buy it. This was rejected by Brann.
– When Tromsø and Aalesund reached the field, Aune only thought of Brann, says Lone.
For Heggebø, it was inappropriate to go.
– First, I had a lot of faith in Kåre and Eirik. Second, Brann is my club and by far the coolest place for me, says Heggebø.
Brann also assured the forward how strong his faith in him was. In a meeting with Kåre Ingebrigtsen, he was told that Brann really wanted to invest in Heggebø. Ingebrigtsen said so too to BT in January.
– The most delicious
A formal fall followed. But since this summer, it has been a lot about Heggebø. He first pushed Bamba over the edge and took the initiative himself. He will now be a forward this fall, basically flanked by Robert Taylor and Bård Finne.
The previous game was perhaps the highlight. Heggebø came out of midfield and scored the 3-2 goal that gave Brann three points against Lillestrøm. It was his fourth goal in four games.
– The decisive scores are the most delicious, says Heggebø.
Both the player and the mentor affirm that success does not go unnoticed. That the 20-year-old is only worried about continuing to develop.
– I will not score in all games. But by chance I don’t mean to say it is, says Heggebø of his four goals in four games.
– It is the result of work. That’s what I’ve worked for for several years, says Heggebø.
They have has been described as “our little tank” by the coach and “a mix of Gerrard and Haaland” by a teammate. Inaccurate, says mentor Lone.
– Many compare him to Haaland, but he is not close. Aune has good skills, but she has a lot to work with, Lone says, listing “cruder,” “more often in closing position” and “better at grooming others.”
I said no this summer too
What’s next for Heggebø? Sports manager Jimmi Nagel Jacobsen says there were also clubs that wanted the forward this summer, but that he said no. Reason? Brann thought Heggebø could make a big difference this fall.
– When we were looking for players this summer, it was important to us that Aune could continue playing, says Jacobsen, who, among other things, was unable to choose Alexander Søderlund.
He thinks Heggebø has a physical package that is “unbelievably good.” The question is what happens if Heggebø continues to score in every game.
– The market always notices the players who are crucial, says Jacobsen.