Interview

The club is ready

We had a sit down with Gaute Moseby Engebretsen, a Vikings veteran who breaths and bleeds Oslo Vikings. Gaute is a long time President, player and board member of the club and he is working hard to provide the players with the best base possible.

Written by Simen Aleksander Prag. Photo by Unknown. Published on 04.04.2011, 16:38.

Congratulations on getting the Vikings settled in the beautiful Frogner stadium. What does it mean to the club that we now have our own home ground?

- Our new home ground means everything to the club. After 25 years "on the run" in Oslo and Bærum, we finally have a Viking home. Oslo Vikings has been representing Norwegian American football at a top national and European level longer than any club in Norway and it was due time that we were given a home ground that reflects this. Frogner Stadium is located at the heart of Vikings history and we are thrilled to be a part of such a historical arena. We will work hard to honour these traditions.

What is in the clubs near future?

- This year we aim to grow at all levels in the club. Educate more coaches that will able us to continue growth at our youth levels. Our youngest berserks are growing in numbers and this is a big focus point for the club. We want to create a great family experience at all our homegames and put on a show that will attract more people to this fantastic sport. As a club we will always aim to win national championships at all age levels. We want to achieve this through building a solid sports program that can outlast its founding fathers.

Wich role will the board of the club play in the 2011 season - the year the club hopefully brings the championship home to Oslo?

- The boards most important role in 2011 is to give its members the right tools to achieve our different goals on and off the field. Building a sound economy will always be at the forefront every season and we hope that we can start the prosess of creating a surplus that can be a good financial base for the years to come. We have hired an athletic director, Marques Anderson, to run the program on a daily bases. Mr. Anderson has just ended a successfull NFL career and will give our sports program the best possible input available.

The club you played for in the 90s compared to the Oslo Vikings anno 2011 - What is the biggest difference?

- The biggest difference is the size and number of active members at more age levels. The first active members have all retired and is now bringing their kids to experience the fun of American football. Football in the 90's was more physical than today. Because of the lack of football skills we played a smash mouth style football with heavy focus on running the ball. Oslo Vikings were known and feared for their hard running game. We have fostered the best european running back, still playing, in Nicolay Aslaksen #33. The only skilled player that have played professional football in USA. Today the number of skilled players are growing and this opens up the game more. With skilled quarterbacks and receivers, the focus changes to speed and the ability to read and react . The development of the passing game is the biggest difference on the field.

Why should businesses support our club?

- Apart from the important work we do with young people. I think that we can be a positive advocate for many businesses. There is no room for ego trips in our team values. Its all about supporting your teamates and doing whats best for the team. To give 150 -200 kids from 9- to 19 the opportunity to play american football all year around demands an ever growing work load for the club and we need good business partners to be able to make this happen. I believe that we can offer brands great exposure situated next to one of the biggest tourist attractions in Oslo, Vigelands parken. If you are a local business partner you will be able to reach thousands of people, every day all year around with advertisement at Frogner Stadium. Our long time goal is to bring our sponsors together for mutual beneficial scenarios

In what way can people that follows the club show their support in the best way possible?

- The best way to show their support is to become a member of the club and come and support the players during games. Apart from this the club offers several packages for sponsorships that can cater to small and bigger businesses. We hope to present a nice collection of fan gear every season that will both give support and show support.

Stay tuned to our web page that will try to give you all the info you need during the different seasons.

Hope to see you at Frogner Stadium - home of the Oslo Vikings.

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