Sunday, May 22

The signatures that will give young Norwegian coaches a boost

For half a year, Swedish Geson Gunnarsson has traveled around Europe in the hope of raising money for young, Norwegian football coaches with ambitions. Means: Autographs from famous football players and coaches.

SIGNED: Sven-Göran Eriksson, here with initiator Geson Gunnarsson (right).

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On Wednesday, the Norwegian Coaches’ Association’s auction of 40 kits and two balls, signed by big football names such as Josep Guardiola, Robert Lewandowski, Kevin De Bruyne and Sven-Göran Eriksson, to name a few, starts.

The money will go to young coaches, below level three in Norwegian football, both men and women.

SIGNED: Hege Riise – here with Geson Gunnarsson.

The reason is explained by Gunnarsson, father of Niclas Gunnarsson in Strømsgodset, here:

– I give some lectures in Norwegian football clubs, and one day someone came up to me and asked why the coaching courses in Norway were so expensive. I did not know that it was like that, that young coaches can not afford to go to courses. So I talked to Teddy Moen (leader of the coaching association) and came up with this idea: I’m going around, trying to get some signed kits and balls from big football names, which we can auction off.

SIGNED: Josep Guardiola.

Teddy gave me the assignment, and now we have obtained 40 suits, and thus the football auction is underway, says a committed Gunnarsson.

The Norwegian Football Coaches’ Association has established a “Coaching Fund”, where the income goes and is later distributed to good applicants. The auction starts on Wednesday and ends the night before Sunday 5 December.

“The Norwegian Football Coaches Association wants to stimulate the development of even more outstanding football coaches and coaching communities across the country, and through the Coaching Fund we want to support members who seek knowledge, inspiration and professional replenishment in larger environments, nationally or internationally,” is the message from NFT.

SIGNED: Bayern Munich’s top scorer, Robert Lewandowski.

Geson Gunnarsson has large and good contacts in football Europe, and he has made many line up. Henning Berg has signed a Manchester United kit from the Champions League, the World Cup squad from 1994 has signed a kit, Erik Thorstvedt’s cup final kit from 1991 is included. Harry Gregg, Manchester United goalkeeper and the hero from the Munich accident in 1958 is in the collection, given by Gregg’s son, the Swedish national team players who took bronze during the 1994 World Cup have signed on a ball, there are also Kevin Keegan and David Ginola, Alan Shearer and Filippo Inzaghi, Ole Gunnar Solskjær, John Arne Riise and Tore André Flo.

Not least the coaching icons Egil Olsen, better known as “Drillo”, and Nils Arne Eggen. And the woman with the most international matches for Norway: Hege Riise.

On the whole, there are a number of famous people who have contributed to what the Norwegian Coaches Association hopes will give many young, Norwegian coaches the opportunity to become even better.

– I started with Erik Hamrén this summer, and now I am at the finish line – 40 suits, says Geson Gunnarsson – not a little proud of the work that has been done.

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