A Norwegian FA press release this afternoon announced the selection of a new women’s national team coach. The women’s national team and Pellerud is reunited, after he had a spell there between 1989 and 1996. Pellerud had previously been coach of Kongsvinger’s men. He also had an active playing career for Vålerengen and Kongsvinger.
After his first period as women’s national team coach, he again began coaching in men’s football, joining Lillestrøm in 1998 and Danish club Ikast the following year.
Even Pellerud (59) was employed as Canadian national team boss in 1999. He remained in Canada for nine years, taking them from minnow status to regular participants in major tournaments. After the Olympics in Beijing, he moved on to becoming director of women’s football on the island of Trinidad and Tobago, a post he has had until recently.
He has had some measure of success with the Trinidad and Tobago women’s football team and receives credit for the women’s Under-17 team of the island taking part in the 2010 Women’s World Cup (translator’s note: for which they were qualified as hosts).
Loosely translated from http://fotball.adressa.no/kvinner/article260395.ece
“I was surprised to be asked” (NRK)
Pellerud thus makes a comeback as women’s national team coach, the Norwegian Football Association (NFF) confirms today.
“I was a little bit surprised to be asked, but it was a very pleasant surprise,” Pellerud told NRK.
“Even fulfilled all the demands we had for our new national team coach. It was a long and ambitious list, we wanted a coach with considerable national and international experience, good results, and a leader who makes his decisions clear. We think we found that in Even,” top football coach Nils Johan Semb says.
Satisfied national team captain
Captain Ingvild Stensland is also pleased with the choice.
“Pellerud knows what is going around in women’s football around the world. That’s a positive thing. We have a chance to get back to the top after a few years of sub-par performances. It will be nice to hear his thoughts and his football philosophy. I’m looking forward to meeting him,” Stensland tells NRK.
Semb (sic!, they mean Pellerud) has been mostly abroad since he last stopped as international coach, in 1996. He thus brings an international experience which is very valuable, Semb claims.
“Has good results”
“He has good results both in Canada and Trinidad and Tobago, and we think he can take those good experiences from there and into, and is the man we think will lead Norway back to the peak of women’s football,” the director of top football says.
Pellerud takes over from Eli Landsem, whose tenure ended this autumn due to a lack of confidence among the players.
He last took over the national team following the 1989 European Championship, and during his time in charge the team won World Cup gold (1995), World Cup silver (1993, sic), Olympic bronze (1996), European Championship gold (1993) and silver (1991).
His last tournament was the 1996 Summer Olympics.
Will set new benchmarks
“After all, it’s 16 years since I coached this team, and the world has changed somewhat. But football is still football.”
“What are your ambitions?”
“Norway have fallen somewhat behind, but new benchmarks and new demands, and working together towards them, we will be able to close the gap to the best countries. It is not an insurmountable gap,” Pellerud says.
“Each year, it gets tougher to compete in international women’s football. A few years ago we were always fighting for medals, not anymore. The highest level of women’s football is excellent. The goal is to get Norway back among the medal contenders of international football,” Semb says.
“Will fight for World Cup medals”
Pellerud is now looking ahead to the three major final tournaments during his contract – the European Championship in Sweden next year, World Cup 2015, and the Rio Summer Olympics in 2016. The first main target is the World Cup, and the team will be developed according to a long-term strategy. On that road, the Euros will be an important minor target, though Semb will not make a concrete promise about their performance.
“We will be a medal candidate in 2015,” Semb says.
“We have to get better, faster, and cooperate better. We have to put more demands on the individual, having fit, strong players who can run a lot. We have to put all this together to become a good tactical team. Already, a good job has been done here before I start, but we have to become a little bit better in every area,” Pellerud says,
Closer cooperation with the clubs
He wants the players to have more time to work together, and work closer together with the club coaches.
“We have to get them working together with us. We won’t push our will through, we have to create a working environment where both they and we earn from it,” Pellerud continues.
Pellerud’s first tournament as coach will be a 4-nation friendly tournament in the People’s Republic of China in January. Norway’s main aims for 2013 will be a good performance at the European Championship in Sweden, where Norway have been among the top-4 nations every year except one since 1987, and a good start to the World Cup qualification, which begins in September.