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Hamren on physical exercise
By Endre Bakken, 13 March 2009, 13:02

Rosenborg collapsed last year and didn't win one single game out of the seven that were played when the medals were to be awarded. Erik Hamrén promises improvement.

"We didn't have enough energy for the whole season, nor the vigor to play the last games like we wanted. So we didn't get the results we wanted nearing the end. I guess you could say that we weren't able to finish the race.

"There are probably several reasons. To many of our players it was their first season at this level, several played in the first division last year. Rosenborg was the team that played the most matches in 2008, without any sort of competition. We were skillful enough to qualify for the European cups, but it took eight games to get there. That saps your juice."

Does it take experience to manage and spend your energy right?

"Experience is about playing in Europe and Norway at the same time. It is both physically and mentally exhausting. You have to travel a lot. Then you get home and have to play in the Norwegian league. It is a trial, and if you aren't used to it, it's much harder. Some of our players weren't used to that, not having played in the Tippeliga nor Europe before.

"We need to look further back. The season began in February. Before I arrived, RBK played Fiorentina, which made it a very long season that lasted from early February to the beginning of December. Our goal is to become so good and strong that we will make it. Last year we didn't. We didn't have the fortitude."

Can physical exercise substitute experience?

"Among other things. We put much emphasis on it this January. We had the option this year since we weren't playing in Europe in February. We have been able to train more and longer before this season than last year.

"We also have with us the experience we got last year. Those that didn't have the needed maturity, now have a couple of games under their belt: They got twelve games with me, and if you include the games against Fiorentina in the spring, they got 14 games in Europe last year."

How is the players' physical condition?

"I think its good. We have taken steps forward as individual players and as a team. We are at a good level now, but there is always room for improvement."

In what ways do you use the new testlab?

"Geir, our new physical coach, is always taking tests and we also look for indications of progress at practice."

How many tests have there been this winter?

"I haven't kept count. But there have been several that tested strength, speed and stamina."

How much of the physical practice is tailored for the individual player?

"Some of it is just the basics and common for everyone, but we try to customize it. Those with an exceptional stamina use their time on other things, for example speed. The players recieved bespoke practice programs for their Christmas vacations."

How good are Rosenborg at preventing injuries?

"Very good, I'd say. When I got to Aalborg, our troop consisted of 25 players, where eleven were able to practice football while the others were injured. At the end we had no injuries related to too much strain. You can always have bad luck with knees and ancles during matches and practice, but we were able to avoid injuries due to overload. We are good at that.

"We had many strains last year pre-season, but we were able to change that. We barely had a strain during the whole autumn nor this year. We have worked well.

"We should give credit to the players too. It is a question of taking care of your body - not just at practice, what happens off the pitch is important too."

Stadsgaard has however been injured a lot...

"Some players are more prone to injuries than others. You have to live with that. It is sad for Kris, and it is sad for the team. The medical team works hard at changing the situation."

Is it a question of putting the wrong kind of pressure on the knee?

"You'll have to ask Haakon, but I know they are trying several methods to get him ready."

When do you hope Kris will be back?

"If I get to hope, tomorrow. How long it will take, I don't know."

Is it completely uncertain?

"With the kind of knee-injury he has, yes. It is easier with a fracture, where you can just say it'll take six weeks before you are ready. With the knees and injuries like that it's anybodies guess."

Jamtfall and Savolainen have been unfortunate with injuries too.

"Yes, those kinds of injuries take time. Jamtfall was making progress, and played well against Shakhtar and Krylia. It is sad when things like thst happen. I'm hoping it won't take long. It is hard to be a player when you always get injured.

"Juska has suffered from everything since he got to the club. That is unfortunate when you get here as a new player and want to show what you are good for. He is on his way back, and has been able to train with team for some weeks. I hope he willl stay healthy."

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