National Coaches

Páll Guðlaugsson

Páll Guðlaugsson from Iceland became a folk hero in the Faroe Islands in 1990. He was in charge of the Faroe Islands’s first ever qualifying game against Austria which ended in a famous 1-0 win.

Páll Guðlaugsson was only 32 years old when he wrote Faroese football history back in 1990. He is remembered by the players as a fearless character who always believed that the Faroe Islands could get a result against the bigger nations.

In is self biography Jens Martin Knudsen who was the goalkeeper in the match against Austria reveals that Páll Guðlaugsson helt a stunning pre-match speech that gave all the players extra power for the match against the austrians.

-Think of the Faroese flag. Your flag. Take it with you on that field. Throw yourselves into the tackles against thoose arrogant Austrians with one mission – to win the game for the Faroes. Tonight you pay back your childhood home. You have the oppurtunity now and it is an irrepaple blow if you don’t cease it!
- The words hung heavily in the air. We got up one by one. The adrenalin was pumping like blazing fire through my body, Jens Martin Knudsen writes in his book.

Páll Guðlaugsson also led the Faroe Islands to a draw in the same qualifying group. The Faroes drew 1-1 with Northern Ireland in Belfast in 1991.

Páll Guðlaugsson coached the Faroe Islands from 1988 to 1993. After that he has been coaching Icelandic and Faroese club teams. He won the Faroese league with GÍ (now Víkingur) in 1996.

The passionate Icelandic man is still considered by most Faroese football fans as the image of the Faroe Islands break through on the international football scene.

Páll Guðlaugsson is today coaching TB who play in the second best division in the Faroe Islands.

Allan Simonsen

It was a surprise to many, not only in the Faroe Islands, but also around Europe, when Allan Simonsen in 1994 was appointed the new coach for the Faroese national team.

Having had a playing career in Borussia Monchengladbach and FC Barcelona, many thought that the European footballer of the year in 1977 was too big a name for such a small nation.

Allan Simonsen was in charge of the Faroese team for seven years (1994-2001) and is still today considered as the coach who lifted the Faroese amateurs to a more professional level. Among other things he asked the Football Association to lengthen the season and he also asked the clubs for fitter players. Both things were granted and are today considered natural if the Faroese national team is to compete at the highest level.

Allan Simonsen is today still the coach who has managed to get most points for the Faroe Islands in qualifying matches:

Faroe Islands – San Marino 3-0 (Euro qualifying match in 1995)
San Marino – Faroe Islands 1-3 (Euro qualifying match in 1995)
Malta – Faroe Islands 1-2 (WQ qualifying match in 1997)
Faroe Islands – Malta 2-1 (WQ qualifying match in 1997)
Latvia – Faroe Islands 0-0 (Euro qualifying in 1998)
Faroe Islands – Scotland 1-1 (Euro qualifying in 1999)
Faroe Islands – Bosnia/Herzegovina 2-2 (Euro qualifying in 1999)
Faroe Islands – Slovenia 2-2 (WQ qualifying match in 2000)
Luxembourg – Faroe Islands 0-2 (WQ qualifying match in 2001)
Faroe Islands – Luxembourg 1-0 (WQ qualifying match in 2001)

In 2001 Allan Simonsen left the Faroe Islands and became the manager of Luxembourg.

Coaching career:
1991-1994: Vejle BK
1994-2001: Faroe Islands
2001-2004: Luxembourg
2011-2013: FC Fredericia (General manager)

Henrik Larsen

In 2002 former Danish international, Henrik Larsen, succeeded his countryman, Allan Simonsen, as head coach of the Faroese national team. It was important for the Football Association to get a well known and respected name in Europe, and they got that with Larsen who in 1992 won the European Championship with Denmark as a player, scoring three goals in the competition.

Henrik Larsen’s first game was a Euro qualifying match against Scotland at home. The game ended 2-2, after the Faroe Islands had been leading 2-0 at halftime.

In the same qualifying tournament Larsen and his men almost caused a big upset against Germany in Hanover in 2002. Unfortunately the post denied the Faroes a draw in the dying seconds.

Although being close many times, Henrik Larsen didn’t manage to get a win while he was in charge of the Faroes. But he did get another draw when the Faroe Islands in 2004 drew 2-2 away to Cyprus in a World Cup qualifying match.

Larsen’s period with the Faroe Islands ended in 2005. He went back to Denmark to work as a club coach.

In 2009 he was sacked by Randers FC and later told Danish media that he was not interested in more coaching jobs.

Henrik Larsen today works in sales and marketing.

Coaching career:
2000-2002: Ølstykke FC
2002-2005: Faroe Islands
2006 : Holbæk
2006-2008: Køge
2008-2009: Lyngby
2009 : Randers FC (assistant)

Jógvan Martin Olsen

In 2006 the Faroe Islands got their first Faroese coach for many years. Jógvan Martin Olsen from Toftir, who had been the assistant coach for both Allan Simonsen and Henrik Larsen (both Danish) for nine years (1996-2005) stepped up to take the biggest job in Faroese football.

It was a tough task for Olsen, because many experienced players, who had been regulars in the squad, quit the national team. His task was therefore to build a new team with a new generation of players.
This affected the results. The Faroe Islands got zero points in their first qualification with Jógvan Martin Olsen as coach.

Jógvan Martin Olsen remained as coach for the first four qualification matches for the World Cup in South Africa. And in October 2008 he managed to get a big result, as the Faroe Islands once again became the Austrian nightmare. The game between the Faroe Islands and Austria was played at Tórsvøllur and finished 1-1.

Jógvan Martin Olsen’s last game in charge of the national team was in October 2008 in Kaunas, where the Faroe Islands were defeated 0-1 by Latvia.

Coaching career:
1996-2005: Faroe Islands (assistant and youth coach)
2002-2004: NSÍ
2006-2008: Faroe Islands
2009- 2013 Víkingur
2013 - : B68

Brian Kerr

In April 2009 Brian Kerr was appointed head coach of the Faroe Islands. With his charisma and Irish humour, he soon became a favourite among the Faroese football fans.

His results were also quite good. The first win came five months after he was appointed. The Faroe Islands won a world cup qualifying game against Lithuania at home. The match finished 2-1.

Kerr also got other good results with the Faroese team; among those a 1-1 draw against Northern Ireland and a 2-0 win against Estonia.

The players liked the Irishman and they described him as a very motivating figure. His pre-match speeches were full of passion and gave the players confidence to go out and play against the very best in Europe.

In 2010 the Faroese Football Association announced that it wasn’t possible to agree a new contract with Brian Kerr.

A documentary was made about Brian Kerr and his time as Faroese coach. It can be seen here:

Coaching career:
1986: Drogheda United (assistant manager)
1986 – 1996: St Patrick’s Athletic
1997 – 2003: Republic of Ireland u20’s
2003 – 2005: Republic of Ireland
2009 – 2011: Faroe Islands

Lars Olsen

In 2011 Lars Olsen was appointed coach of the Faroe Islands national team. Olsen was before that a well known character in the Faroes, mostly for his achievement in the European Championships in Sweden back in 1992, where he captained the Danish side who won the tournament. In total he played 84 internationals for Denmark.

Lars Olsen was the manager of two Danish Superliga clubs before he came to the Faroe Islands. In 2003 he took charge of Randers who that year played in the Danish first division. He got Randers promoted for the 2004-2005 Superliga season and in 2006 he won the Danish Cup with the club. Later that year Lars Olsen won the Danish Coach of the Year award for his achievement.

In 2007 Lars Olsen moved on to OB (Odense). In his period with OB, the club finished runners up twice which were the clubs best result since winning the league back in 1989.
In 2010 Olsen and OB did not enjoy much success and he was later that year sacked due to lack of results.

Olsen got his first qualifying point with the Faroe Islands in a 0-0 draw against Kazakhstan in 2013.

In May 2013 Lars Olsen signed a new contract with the Faroe Islands that lasts until December 2015.

Coaching career:
2003 – 2007: Randers
2007 – 2010: OB (Odense)
2011 - : Faroe Islands
Playing career:
1981 – 1984: Køge (105 apps.)
1985 – 1991: Brøndby (178 apps – 13 goals)
1991 – 1992: Trabzonspor (30 apps.)
1992 – 1994: R.F.C. Seraing (62 apps)
1994 – 1995: Basel (40 apps – 1 goal)
1996 : Brøndby (20 apps – 1 goal)




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