Eirik Horneland will continue with Brann after the relegation, but it could have looked different if the doubts had been fixed on the Rogalendingen this summer.
In a Christmas interview with Bergensavisen Horneland acknowledges that he twice in a short time had thoughts of giving up Brann. It happened after episodes this summer.
The first came when the club fired head coach Kåre Ingebrigtsen. The fire management wanted assistant Horneland to take over temporarily, but he himself felt a loyalty to the man who had just lost his job.
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A phone call from Ingebrigtsen changed his mindset. They met for a few glasses of wine and preserved the friendship.
– It’s more about showing that you care, Horneland says.
Only a few weeks later, the doubt returned. This time it was the stadium night game in August that brought to mind the end of the day. The players’ scandal party became national news for several weeks.
– “Damn, I do not mind this”, I thought then. What happened was so against everything I stand for that it made me wonder if I managed to consider myself to be the right man for the player group further, Horneland says.
He still ended up staying, but failed to save Brann from the club’s seventh relegation to level two. The fate was clarified in a wild qualifying final against Jerv, where it was 1-1 at regular time and 4-4 after extra innings. Jerv won the duel 8-7 on penalties.
Last month, Horneland became permanent Brann coach on a contract until the 2023 season.