Fans of Bergen football club Brann, which means “fire” in Norwegian, were literally fired up on Tuesday after confirmation finally came that Rikard Norling would be taking over as head coach. They set off pyrotechnics, sang and cheered after Norling accepted the post.
He’ll be Brann’s 10th coach since 1988 and comes from Malmö FF, which he led to the top of its league in Sweden. Norling, a 42-year-old Swede himself, has also coached clubs including AIK, GIF Sundsvall and Assyriska.
Brann officials singed Norling to a three-year contract and he was warmly welcomed by the board, players, top city politicians and fans alike. They fully expect Norling to reverse a major downturn this fall and lead Brann to the league championship in Norway.
Some commentators claimed Brann had scored a coup in attracting Norling to Bergen, not least after he recently was named coach of the year in Sweden. He replaces Brann’s former coach, Rune Skarsfjord, who resigned last month at the end of a disappointing season.