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Tor Thodesen: IK Start is a club devoted to trials

Angelo PalmeriComment

Tor Thodesen is a Norwegian UEFA Pro licensed coach who had an experience in Estonia in 1999 as Teitur Thordarsson's assistant coach when the Icelandic was at the helm of the Estonian national team. In 2006 he was chosen 'Coach of The Year' by the NFF when he was Sandefjord head coach.
We asked Tor if he could introduce us IK Start, the club where Artjom Artjunin is on trial from today.

IK Start is the no 1 club of a large geographical area called "Sørlandet", representing the city of Kristiansand on the southern coast of Norway. 

They where a Norwegian powerhouse in the late 70s and early 80s.
In the recent years they have struggled  to secure a permanent spot in the top flight. In 2014 they managed to stop the elevator and secured a reasonable 12th position (out of 16 teams) and 6 points above the relegation play off spot.

One of their challenges is that many of their fans still remember the glory years and often have unrealistic expectations from the club. 

Pain and pleasure (

Pain and pleasure (

Another is that their finances have been under pressure for a long time as their fashionable stadium "Sparebanken Sør Arena" (built in 2007) threatened to suffocate the club until the local bank took over the ownership.

Their present-day coach Mons Ivar Mjelde (who coached SK Brann to the Norwegian top league title in 2007) is expected to manage without any expensive signings. 

Recently it has also been revealed that they do not have and do not intend to put money into systematic scouting of players and therefore they are largely depending on agents introducing free players for trials.

by Tor Thodesen