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Norway Under-16

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Kongsvinger-footballer Cathrine Dekkerhus (16) was the best on the field in the Norway Under-16 match against Sweden on Monday.

With her two goals Cathrine sank Sweden almost with her own efforts.  "I am very pleased to have such a distinguished player at the school", said NTG sports chief Åge Steen.  The chief had made many foreign visits to follow his students in international competitions, in several different sports.

On Monday he was at the ringside at Solviksvallen in Arvika, Sweden.  Steen saw a performance that surpassed most he had seen before from his students, anyway in team sports.

The girl from Kongsvinger was not only playing with the Flag on her shirt but was also wearing the captain's armband.  The Norwegian U-16s took revenge for an earlier defeat by claiming a secure 2-0 win.  Two goals, both with Dekkerhus's signature on them, decided the last training match before the European Cup qualifications in Estonia in September.

The first goal came before half time, after Dekkerhus dribbled past four opponents, including the Swedish keeper.  Goal number two came after a strong shot from around 17 yards in the second half.

"A very special and exciting experience.  I last scored for a national team when I was 13, in a match against Israel", said Dekkerhus.  "I usually play central midfield but today I got the chance to be an attacking midfielder, which gives more involvement in the attacks", said the young player.

Steen saw a lot of plus signs in her play and few negatives.  "Cathrine and I will have an evaluation tomorrow.  She will come out of it well.  In my opinion she was the best player on the pitch, which is a lot to say because it means she is the best 16-year-old in Norway and Sweden.  She is definitely a role-model for many footballing girls", he said.

Dekkerhus has been given the captain's role because according to the trainer Jan Roar Saltvik she has positive engagement on and off the pitch.  "Cathrine is very grown-up for her age.  She runs a lot, takes on duels, and often contributes to driving the team.  She is not afraid to communicate with the players and is also very social and draws out the players off the pitch", said Saltvik.

"Is it right for her to leave Kongsvinger to play for Team Strømmen this autumn?" - "A very good choice.  In my view she is good enough to play in the Toppserien already, but perhaps not from the start in all the matches.  I think the tempo is a little too strong.  But the combination of a Toppserien team with studying at NTG I think will be perfect for her development".   

According to Saltvik, the national trainer Bjarne Berntsen is aware of the football talent from Kongsvinger.  "Yes, we report regularly to the A-team management.  Cathrine's name has been mentioned more than once", admitted Saltvik.

Dekkerhus herself sees this as a personal ambition on the football field.  "I train about nine times a week plus matches.  I want to be as good as possible.  To play with the Flag on your shirt is great and I am looking forward to some years at it in the future".

First comes the autumn season at Team Strømmen.  On September 18 the U-16 team travels to Estonia for qualification matches against the hosts and England and Greece.  The group winner goes forward to the second qualification round.  Also the best eight of the 16 second-placed teams go forward.

"This team has not played so much together, but is showing a lot of quality.  We are top seeds and should go forward.  England is the challenge.  In the other two nations women's football is completely new and probably at a lower level", estimated Jan Roar Saltvik.

Morten Sand


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