Norway has announced their squad for the 2019 Women’s World Cup. Yes, there’s no Ada [Hegerberg] but we knew there wouldn’t be, so let’s respectfully move on to who is in the squad…
There are, in truth, few surprises. The main bulk of the squad is unchanged from the European Championships, with coach, Martin Sjögren shuffling his peripheral players each camp. For those who don’t follow Toppserien, Emilie Nautnes will be interchangeable with Synne Jensen (who didn’t make the cut) like Stine Reinås (not in the 23) will be with Stine Hovland. The fact there are seven players with less than 10 caps, stands as a good example of the interchangeability, comparative gamble and importance of a strong 2018 Toppserien season (looking at you, three-cap, scorching hot form Karina Sævik).
But who are the defenders and who are the attackers? Truly, in Norway they live in a post position world. Centre forward? You’re a full back now. Centre mid’? Get into the defence. There might be a slight case of round peg in square hole-itius but the back four in the most contentious part of the Norway squad and has seen heavy tinkering over the last few years, and you’re far more likely to see to midfielders starting at centre back and two wingers in at full back than anything bordering on conventional. So, there’s a blur between all outfield positions, the only thing we know for sure is Kristine Minde could (and does) pop up anywhere and 39-year-old Ingrid Hjelmseth will outlive us all.
Goalkeepers: Ingrid Hjelmseth (Stabæk), Cecilie Fiskerstrand (LSK), Oda Bogstad (Arna-Bjørnar).
Defenders: Ingrid Moe Wold (LSK), Cecilie Redisch Kvamme (Sandviken), Maria Thorisdottir (Chelsea), Maren Mjelde (Chelsea), Stine Hovland (Sandviken), Synne Skinnes Hansen (LSK), Kristine Minde (VfL Wolfsburg).
Midfielders: Frida Maanum (Linköping), Vilde Bøe Risa (Kopparbergs/Göteborg), Ingrid Syrstad Engen (LSK), Therese Sessy Åsland (LSK), Amalie Eikeland (Sandviken).
Attackers: Emilie Haavi, (LSK) Guro Reiten (LSK), Karina Sævik (Kolbotn), Caroline Graham Hansen (VfL Wolfsburg), Isabell Herlovsen (Kolbotn), Lisa-Marie Utland (Rosengård), Emilie Nautnes (Arna-Bjørnar), Elise Thorsnes (LSK).