Soccer: Drillo to remain Norway coach until 2012
On Nov 3, the Norwegian Football Association announced that Egil “Drillo” Olsen will continue as Norway’s national soccer coach until the next Euro qualification round is over in 2012. He will then be succeeded by Ståle Solbakken, who is presently coaching the Danish club F.C. Copenhagen (FCK).
Olsen (67) took over when Åge Hareide stepped down in January following a string of poor results. Under the Olsen, Norway rose from last to second place in its World Cup qualifying group, narrowly missing a playoff berth, reports AP.
Olsen also coached Norway during its most successful era, from 1990-1998.
Solbakken (41) has long been a candidate for the job of new national coach, but is on contract with FCK until the summer of 2011. In May, he led his team to their 7th Championship, and was quoted saying “it was the best one to date”.
According to Wikipedia, Solbakken started his career playing for lower league team Grue I.L., where he stayed for five years. In 1989, he went to Hamarkameratene in the secondary Norwegian 1st Division, with whom he won promotion for the top-flight Tippeligaenchampionship in 1991. He went on to Tippeligaen rivals Lillestrøm S.K. in 1994, and was subsequently called up for the Norwegian national team.
In 1997 he had a short stay abroad at English club Wimbledon F.C. He was sold to Danish side Aalborg BK the same year. At Aalborg, he became the undisputed team leader. He guided the club to the 1999 Danish Superliga championship, as well as the final of the 1999 Danish Cup. He was awarded as player of the year in Danish football in 2000.
In 2001 Solbakken started his career as coach for the Norwegian club Hamarkameratene in Norwegian secondary Adeccoligaen division.