Sunday, May 22

Two new national team profiles ready for Kolstad

Kolstad has signed eight national team players in the hunt for the European throne. Now the experts are full of praise for the freshest national team star.

Gøran Johannessen is injured and not in this year’s European Championships. He has a contract with German Flensburg until the summer of 2023, but after that he will come to Trondheim and Kolstad. There he becomes a club mate with Sander Sagosen.

During a press conference on Wednesday afternoon, Gøran Johannessen and Vetle Eck Aga were presented as Kolstad players.

– We have the pleasure of introducing two new player signings today, introduced general manager of Kolstad Jostein Sivertsen.

Johannessen has signed from the summer of 2023 to the summer of 2027. Aga is already coming to the summer and has signed a three-year contract with Kolstad.

– We are incredibly happy to have both signed. Many top clubs were interested in both, said Sivertsen.

Harald Pedersen, Stian Gomo, Gøran Johannessen and Jostein Sivertsen during the press conference on Wednesday.

– Very satisfied

Johannessen, who was present during the press conference, said this about having signed for the Trønder club:

– There is always a longer process of what you want. This starts early in handball. Flensburg were clear that they would extend. Then my agent and I started a project to find out what I wanted. Kolstad came on the field, and then it happened pretty fast. I’m very happy to come here.

Johannessen will not come to Trondheim until the summer of 2023. Aga, who was not present, is ready from the summer.

TV 2 announced on Tuesday night that the national team profiles would be presented on Wednesday. Adresseavisen also wrote about the news.

– A healthy Gøran Johannessen is the difference between a medal or not for Norway in a championship. With Gøran in the European Championships this year, Norway had gone to the semifinals. Without it, I think it can be tough.

This is what former Kolstad, Elverum and national team player Steffen Stegavik says. Trønderen has success as a coach for Sola, but follows international men’s handball closely.

Viasat expert Joachim Boldsen is thrilled.

So does Viasat expert Joachim Boldsen.

– It is fantastic. He is a super signing, and Gøran Johannessen – when he is injury free – is for me the perfect partner for Sander Sagosen, he says.

Called in for a press conference

The two are very interested in what is going on in Trondheim during the day. Last autumn, it became public knowledge that Kolstad is going to create a major European handball team.

Six national team players were presented as new Kolstad players, including Sander Sagosen and Magnus Abelvik Rød. Some are already coming to the summer, while the two back players on the Norwegian national team will make their entrance in the summer of 2023.

Confirmed contact before Christmas

Already in November, Johannessen confirmed to Adresseavisen that there had been contact between his agent and Kolstad.

– We’ve talked to them. It has not been anything concrete, it has only been to hear what they think and what they want in the future. Then we will see what comes out of it, he said.

Sola coach Steffen Stegavik believes Gøran Johannessen could have scored 200 league goals in any Norwegian elite league club.

Then Kolstad leader Sivertsen was lukewarm with a view to a transfer to Trondheim.

– His agent contacted me to probe whether Gøran could be relevant for such an initiative. Gøran is a fantastically skilled player, but basically we have many skilled players in the position today, which we want to focus on. At the same time, one should never say never. The sport is dynamic, and should we get a serious injury to any of ours, things can change, he said.

And now it has changed.

Target horny

Flensburg player Johannessen is injured and therefore not in this year’s European Championships, which start this week. Aga, who plays daily in the Swedish Sävehof, is, however, in Christian Berge’s squad for the first time.

But it is Johannessen who excites the experts the most.

– A healthy Gøran could in any club score 200 league goals during a season. In Kolstad it will probably be a little smaller, because he gets fewer balls to work with, but it is a quality he has. He has international experience and averages in the change of pace and arrival, and in addition he is well behind, says Stegavik.

Vetle Eck Aga has six international caps. Now he is at the European Championships.

Aga is more unknown to most people, even though he is part of the European Championship squad.

– He is for me too. He has played in the Swedish league, which is not so interesting. But from what I have seen and can read, he is a nice player. He can be involved and make it difficult for Elverum next season, says Boldsen.

– By Norwegian standards, he is currently a class player. Then we will see how much he can contribute going forward on the field. In recent years, he has played mostly backwards, says Stegavik.

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