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School for soccer talent

June 2, 2003, 09:00 CEST

A training programme for talented young soccer players in Norway has been established as the “Statoil Football Academy with Ole Gunnar Solskjær”.

The latter, who plays for Manchester United in the UK, has a collaboration deal with the group, and the first course is due to be held in his home town of Kristiansund in western Norway.

Being staged from 22-27 June, this programme will bring together 25 boys aged 14 and 25 girls aged 15 from all over Norway.

Participants will be selected by the Norwegian Football Federation and regional football association. Well-known trainers will attend, along with Manchester United talent scouts.

The boys and girls will learn training principles and undergo a training programme approved by Mr Solskjær and the football federation.

“I’m very glad to have achieved this positive project for talented youngsters together with Statoil,” says Mr Solskjær, whose team recently topped the English Premier League.

“I hope it will contribute to improving the level of Norwegian soccer.”

“We have experience in helping to develop talented youngsters in the cultural and sporting fields, as well as professionally through universities and colleges,” observes Oddvar Høie.

He is marketing manager for the group’s promotion and media sector, and hopes the young participants will have an enjoyable week which increases their commitment to the game.

Statoil wants the football academy to become an annual event. Its collaboration agreement with Mr Solskjær runs to the end of 2004, and can be extended.