Erling Haaland, playing under Matthias Sammer and more: Interview with former Borussia Dortmund defender André Bergdølmo

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Former Norway international André Bergdølmo spent two years playing for Borussia Dortmund. The 49 year old talks about the Black and Yellows, Erling Haaland, Matthias Sammer and more in this interview.

André Bergdølmo was born in Oslo in 1971 and started his football career with Lillestrom, now in the second tier (the 1. Divisjon), before moving to 20 time champions Rosenborg in 1997 where he won the Norwegian title four times between 1997-2000.

The defender then joined Ajax Amsterdam where he won the Dutch Championship, the KNVB Dutch Cup and the Supercup between 2001-03. In 2003, the 2002 Norwegian player of the year, joined the Borussia Dortmund, then coached by Matthias Sammer. Bergdølmo played for BVB for two seasons before moving to FC Copenhagen, where he was part of the Championship winning team of 06/07. He retired, after two seasons at first tier club Strømsgodset and one with fourth tier Sørum IL in 2009. Overall, he scored 36 goals in 403 professional appearances.

Bergdølmo made his national team debut in a 1-0 loss to South Korea in a friendly match in 1997. He was capped 63 times for Norway and also played at the 2000 UEFA Euros.

After completing the UEFA Pro coaching licence, Bergdølmo became a youth team coach with Rosenborg and then first team head coach with third tier club (2. Divisjon) Kongsvinger IL in the 2014/15 season, when the club finished fourth. Since 2016, he has been the U19 coach at Eliteserien club Sarpsborg 08. Here he talks about his time at Borussia Dortmund, his coaching career and more.

(Key: Ben McFadyean BM André Bergdølmo AB)

BM: You are currently U19 coach with first tier Sarpsborg 08, And indeed, you’ve been head-coach with Kongsvinger IL. It must be rewarding to be able to share your experience gained from playing as a coach?

AB: Yes, first team coach with Kongsvinger in 14/15 and now Sarpsborg 08. We have a development department and we start to scout the players when they’re around 12 among the clubs in the area, and then bring them in, basically when they’re 14 or 15. We can see very early if they really want to be good football players. It’s not enough to have a good coach. Everything depends on the desire of the players to reach a top level. It has to come from their heart.

Coaching is very satisfying, you see two 15-year-old kids at the start of the season they are almost the same and then by the next year after training with us for a season one of them is so much better and then the next season the other one has learnt new skills and is ahead. The learning is on the ball, it’s not available from any textbook, we just put them on the spot and see what happens. It’s incredible to see.

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