Kjetil Haug, the time has come for the guardian of the fjords
Like Isak Pettersson last season, Maxime Dupé’s replacement will keep the Toulouse cages in the Cup and in Brittany, this Sunday early evening (6 p.m.) at Roudourou de Guingamp, against N3: Lannion FC. Arrived this summer, the Norwegian does not hide his impatience to start the epic at the stage of the thirty-second finals. And play his very first match in his new colors.
As in volleyball for the libero, it is often said of the goalkeeper that he is different from the others: already by his shirt, of a distinct color to that of his teammates. Then the goalkeeper has gloves but donates his body – almost always. All in paradoxes, in short.
When it comes to a stand-in, the irony would even rise to its climax if one dares.
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“I have to prepare all the time to play, and I never play.” Philippe Montanier, former… porter, knows what he is talking about. And from whom: Haug, first name Kjetil; age, 24 years old. Arrived on the banks of the Garonne from the club of his country, Välerenga, on June 27, with an idea in mind: to become number one. “I’m ready to fight” the athletic Norwegian (1m91-83kg) let us go straight away during the off-season camp in Navata, in Spanish Catalonia.
“My job is to be ready”
“It is in front of the wall that we see the mason, resumes Montanier. Clearly, I have more than 20 players and 5 goalkeepers. My role is to select the most efficient. In football you can have 15/20; if the others have 18, you find yourself behind… Yes Kjetil shows a very good level, but Max’ (ime Dupé) was able to perform from the start. Then a goal, concludes the Norman, for my part, we don’t change it not every week either!” “It’s part of the job, replies the person concerned. Even if when you’re not playing, it’s difficult … But I stay focused: it’s about helping the team and, through that, myself. Max’s very good season, it motivates me, it makes me want to imitate him. In the event of an opening, I am ready.”
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It is called Lannion, it takes place on Sunday, and the challenge is not to miss out on entering the most popular of French competitions. “That’s why we have to stay pro: play with the same state of mind as when we go into a day in Ligue 1. In the Cup, there’s no question of hierarchy. Personally, I’m going to have the opportunity to show what I can do. And not just in training. Max’ we know him, I haven’t had the opportunity to prove it yet. Before each match, I hope to play. “It’s obvious, it’s the job, I repeat. The fact is that Max is a starter today, so my job is to be ready for any eventuality.”
The L1, by the way… “The intensity. That’s really what I remember from the Norwegian championship.”
Dupé, Haug, Pettersson, Himeur and Restes: five porters live together during the week on the grounds of the Technical Center at the Stadium. This is a unique case (with Rennes). “Frankly, he continues, staring at you, we are a good core, we give each other confidence.”
VdB torments him
Two Danes, two Swedes, a Finn, and, since this week and the signing of Kamanzi, two Norwegians: the Scandinavian tribe continues to grow within the Violets. “It helps especially when you leave the stadium, comments Kjetil Haug. Because otherwise there are so many different nationalities at the club that we can only get along!”
Well, except with van den Boomen… “Clair, jokes the Nordic, tattooed left arm – “I like the design” -, Branco martyrs me at the end of the session. With Thijs (Dallinga), Ado (Onaiwu) and Birma (ncevic ) not bad also in the genre.”
Other than that, his No. 1 preferences? “Kid, it was van den Sar. Now I look at Courtois, monster of consistency.”
A last smile answering “a little” to the question If French is progressing?, and the Norwegian mirror cabinet descends from the press platform. Small weather point to end: “It’s not like home, the sun always shines here; I find the city of Toulouse more and more beautiful every day…”
Operation seduction, end clap.
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