Fredrikstad Fotballklubb (also known as Fredrikstad or FFK) is a Norwegian professional football club from the town of Fredrikstad. With nine league championships and eleven Norwegian Cup wins, FFK is one of the most successful clubs in Norwegian football. The club was founded in 1903 and currently play in Eliteserien from 2024 after promotion from Norwegian First Division in 2023.

Fredrikstad
Full nameFredrikstad Fotballklubb
Nickname(s)Aristokratene (The Aristocrats)
Rødbuksene (The red shorts)
F.F.K.
Founded7 April 1903; 120 years ago (7 April 1903)
GroundFredrikstad Stadion
Fredrikstad
Capacity12,565[1]
ChairmanJostein Lunde
Head coachMikkjal Thomassen[2]
LeagueEliteserien
20231. divisjon, 1st of 16 (promoted)
WebsiteClub website
Current season
Fredrikstad Stadion

After suffering relegation from the then 1st division in 1984, Fredrikstad spent 18 years outside the top flight, before returning to the top division in 2004 after two successive promotions.

Fredrikstad stadion was FFK's home ground between 1914 and 2006. However, its facilities were outdated and the club moved to a new stadium on the other side of river Glomma. Their new ground is located in a former shipyard, incorporating parts of the old buildings in the two side stands. FFK draw great support from their area and the official supporter club's name is Plankehaugen. More than 100 coaches filled with fans followed FFK to the cup final of 2006. The club's supporters include an Ultras section, Supras Fredrikstad. The club had for some years a casual mob, Brigade Rød-Hvit (Brigade Red - White) which was active in the hooligan scene in Norway.

History edit

Fredrikstad Fotballklubb was founded on 7 April 1903. While football in many older clubs was an addition to other established forms of sport, such as skiing or athletics, FFK was the first club in Norway to focus uniquely on playing football, and as such may be labeled the first true football club in the country. A lack of opposition meant this was in fact the third attempt at establishing a football club in Fredrikstad (tradition has it that the second attempt died out when the only football landed on a freight train bound for Moss). Finding someone in the vicinity to play against was still a problem when FFK was founded.

It so happened that the Englishman H. W. Kenworthy, who lived in the neighboring town of Sarpsborg, wanted to practice his native country's sport and traveled to Fredrikstad to take part in one of FFK's training sessions. Upon his return to Sarpsborg, it was suggested that he arrange for a new club to be established. The idea was well received in Sarpsborg, and Sarpsborg F.C. was founded on 8 May 1903. The first match between the teams was played the following year in Sarpsborg in front of 600 spectators. FFK won the historical match 4–0. Sarpsborg and Fredrikstad went on to establish the first regional series and inspired the founding of many new clubs in the region in the years to come.

FFK didn't have the red and white colors when the club was founded in 1903. In fact, they changed suits seven times from 1903 to 1927, when they finally found the one they are using now.

FFK reached the Norwegian Cup final for the first time in 1932. The semifinal against Mjøndalen was played at home in front of a record 9,000 spectators, and FFK won the match 3–0. Fredrikstad met Ørn Horten in the final, winning 6–1, and were thus Norwegian Champions. This signaled the start of Fredrikstad's first successful era, in which the club claimed four more cup titles before the start of World War II. FFK became the first club to win the new nationwide league, in 1937–38, and they won The Double the following season.

In the 1930s, the club also had an active bandy department.[3]

During the German occupation no organized football took place, as a result of all athletes going on strike in support of the resistance. After the war football was more popular than ever, and Fredrikstad set another attendance record against Sarpsborg in the semifinal of the 1945 Norwegian Cup. There was, however, little success on the pitch. FFK reached three cup finals in four years but lost all of them. The break came in 1949 when FFK won its third league title.

The 1950s and 1960s were highly successful years for FFK. The club secured the league title six times – back to back in 1950–51 and 1951–52 – and finished in second place seven times. The Norwegian Cup was won four times. In 1957, a new milestone was achieved when FFK won their second double. As league champions in 1960, Fredrikstad entered the European Cup as the first team from Norway, sensationally defeating Ajax 4–3 at home and drawing 0–0 in Amsterdam, in the first round.

The town of Fredrikstad was in many ways an economic powerhouse in Norway in the previous century, first as a major supplier of machinery to the timber industry and then as a center of shipbuilding activities. At one point the shipyard in Fredrikstad was the largest in Scandinavia. It has been said that there was always an air of optimism surrounding the town and its inhabitants, and it was certainly reflected in FFK's playful and relaxed style of football, which many regarded as the most entertaining in the country. The club's first cup triumph in '32 even made Jørgen Juve, a legend in Norwegian football, state: "This is how football is supposed to be played."

Perhaps it was because of this relaxed atmosphere that the club was so successful, and also why it eventually fell into decline. After years of glory, the club was becoming conservative, although they would not admit it themselves. Other clubs were increasingly turning to professionalism, while players from FFK still played football in addition to having normal jobs. Training regimes were becoming more rigorous than before, but in Fredrikstad, they felt that training more than twice a week would ruin the joy of playing football. There is also the sentiment that, in light of the club's formidable history, newer generations of FFK players were given too much responsibility, folding to the pressure again and again whenever things were starting to look brighter.

Fredrikstad was to struggle throughout the 1970s. They reached the cup final in 1971 but lost to Rosenborg, who was by now firmly en route to becoming a giant in Norwegian football. In 1972, they were runners-up in the league to Viking FK only on goal difference, as both teams finished the season on 34 points.[4] In 1973, for the first time in the club's history, FFK was relegated. They immediately gained promotion via the playoffs and by 1975 were back in the highest division, where they stayed for two seasons before facing relegation yet again.

The elevator ride between divisions continued until 1984. The Norwegian Cup went to Fredrikstad that year, but it must have been a bittersweet success. The club was once again relegated, and this time they were unable to make it back to the top flight. In 1992, FFK was relegated to the third highest division, where they would languish until 2002.

Fredrikstad's comeback from obscurity is largely attributed to the manager Knut Torbjørn Eggen, who introduced a degree of professionalism the club had previously lacked. During his tenure, from 2001 until the end of 2006, the son of Rosenborg's successful former coach led the team to their first title in more than two decades. In 2002, they were promoted from the 2. divisjon to the 1. divisjon, and in 2003, their centenary year, Fredrikstad finished second, earning promotion to the top division. Although struggling to maintain their form through an entire season, Fredrikstad has managed to retain their spot three times, and in 2006 they won the Norwegian Cup for the eleventh time in their history. They came 2nd and won silver in the 2008 season, but were relegated after a poor season in 2009 to 1. division. They eventually got promoted back to Tippeligaen through playoffs in November 2010 by first beating Løv-Ham 2–0, then Hønefoss BK with a stunning 8–1 goal difference over two matches.

On 13 December 2011, the offices of the club were raided by Norwegian police in connection with the Raio Piiroja contract investigations[5]

Colours and badge edit

In the early years of the club, Fredrikstad changed attire quite frequently. The first kit, for example, consisted of blue and white striped shirts and black shorts, but was changed after only two years, to white shirts and blue shorts. In 1910, a green and white kit was adopted ahead of the club's first semifinal in the Norwegian Cup.

The seventh and final iteration of Fredrikstad's kit was introduced after a match between Norway and Poland at Fredrikstad stadion, on 7 October 1926. Fredrikstad would request of the Polish Football Association that they use the Polish national colors for the Polish national team:

In Beantwortung Ihres w. Schreibens von Ende Dezember 1926 freuen wir uns sehr, dass Ihr hochverehrter Klub unsere Nationale Farben weiß-rot als seine Farben annehmen will. Gleichzetlich Ihrem Wünsche folgend, übersenden wir ein weißes Hemd und ein Paar roten Hosen

In response to your letter of December 1926, we are delighted that your esteemed club wants to take on our white-red national colors. Following your request we will send you a white shirt and a pair of red shorts.

The club received from the Polish association the new kit on 17 March 1927, when it became the official colors of Fredrikstad. The kit has since changed little in appearance apart from the socks, which went from being red and white to purely white in 1997.

FFK's badge, a green and white streamer with a football and the initials F.F. (the original abbreviation for Fredrikstad Fotballklubb was F.F.), has remained virtually unchanged since its introduction in 1909. When the Fredrikstad kit changed to white and red, the colors of the streamer changed as well.

Stadium edit

The old Fredrikstad stadion was inaugurated in 1914 and was the first stadium in Norway with floodlighting. FFK's record attendance was set in 1956 against Larvik Turn. 15,534 spectators showed up for this quarter-final match of the Norwegian Cup. The stadium's last renovation occurred ahead of the 2004 season, putting the capacity at around 10,500.

A new home ground was built for the 2007 season at Fredrikstad Mekaniske Verksted (colloquially known as "Værste"), an old shipyard in the center of Fredrikstad. This was once the largest shipyard in Scandinavia, and the architecture of the stadium is such that two of the now defunct mechanical workshops, dating from as far back as 1870, are converted into stands at the sides. In addition, two separate stands are built at the ends of the pitch. The new stadium (with the same name, Fredrikstad stadion) has an all-seater capacity of 12,550.

Achievements edit

Recent history edit

Season Pos. Pl. W D L GS GA P Cup Notes
2003 1. divisjon 2 30 19 5 6 68 37 62 Third round Promoted to the Tippeligaen
2004 Tippeligaen 10 26 9 5 12 42 54 32 Third round
2005 Tippeligaen 11 26 8 7 11 35 44 31 Fourth round
2006 Tippeligaen 8 26 8 8 10 38 46 32 Winner
2007 Tippeligaen 8 26 9 9 9 37 40 36 Third round
2008 Tippeligaen 2 26 14 6 6 38 28 48 Quarterfinal
2009 Tippeligaen 14 30 10 4 16 39 44 34 Fourth round Relegated to the 1. divisjon
2010 1. divisjon 3 28 14 8 6 53 37 50 Fourth round Promoted to the Tippeligaen through playoffs
2011 Tippeligaen 12 30 10 6 14 38 41 36 Semifinal
2012 Tippeligaen 15 30 9 3 18 42 59 30 Second round Relegated to the 1. divisjon
2013 1. divisjon 10 30 11 8 11 44 41 41 Third round
2014 1. divisjon 6 30 14 6 10 35 26 48 Second round
2015 1. divisjon 12 30 8 11 11 41 61 35 Second round Escaped relegation in the 6th minute of added time
2016 1. divisjon 11 30 8 9 13 34 48 33 Third round
2017 1. divisjon 14 30 5 11 14 33 51 26 First round Relegated to 2. divisjon
2018 2. divisjon 2 26 15 7 4 53 25 52 Second round
2019 2. divisjon 3 26 16 5 5 52 28 53 Second round
2020 2. divisjon 1 19 17 1 1 60 19 52 Cancelled Promoted to 1. divisjon
2021 1. divisjon 4 30 15 7 8 60 42 52 Second round
2022 1. divisjon 10 30 9 8 13 46 51 35 Third round
2023 1. divisjon 1 30 18 10 2 50 23 64 Third round Promoted to Eliteserien
2024 Eliteserien

Source:[6]

Players edit

First team squad edit

As of 21 February 2024[7]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Pos. Nation Player
1 GK   NOR Håvar Jensen
2 DF   SWE Tim Björkström
3 DF   NOR Brage Skaret
4 DF   NOR Stian Stray Molde
5 DF   NOR Simen Rafn (captain)
6 DF   NOR Philip Sandvik Aukland
7 MF   FRO Brandur Hendriksson
9 FW   NOR Henrik Kjelsrud Johansen
10 MF   NOR Morten Bjørlo
11 FW   GUI Maï Traoré
12 MF   CAN Patrick Metcalfe
13 MF   NOR Sondre Sørløkk
14 FW   FRO Jóannes Bjartalíð
No. Pos. Nation Player
17 DF   NOR Sigurd Kvile
18 DF   NOR Ludvig Begby
19 MF   ISL Júlíus Magnússon
20 MF   DEN Jeppe Kjær (on loan from Bodø/Glimt)
21 MF   NOR Oscar Jansson
22 DF   GHA Maxwell Woledzi
25 GK   NOR Ole Langbråten
26 DF   DEN Mads Nielsen
28 DF   NOR Imre Bech Hermansen
29 FW   NOR Oscar Aga (on loan from Rosenborg)
30 GK   DEN Jonathan Fischer
33 MF   NOR Filip Alexandersen Stensland

Out on loan edit

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Pos. Nation Player
FW   SWE Lucas Lima (at Utsikten) until 31 December 2024[8]

Retired numbers edit

8  Dagfinn Enerly, Winger (2004–05)

Coaching staff edit

As of 14 August 2023[7]
Head coach Mikkjal Thomassen
Assistant coach Andreas Hagen
Goalkeeping coach Samuel Dirscher
Fitness coach Torvald Berthelsen
Player developer Stian Johnsen
Physio Håkon Wæhler
Medical apparatus Jørn Pedersen

Coaches edit

European record edit

Season Competition Round Country Club Home Away Aggregate
1960–61 European Cup Preliminary round   Ajax 4–3 0–0 4–3
1. round   AGF 0–1 0–3 0–4
1961–62 European Cup Preliminary round   Standard Liège 0–2 1–2 1–4
1962–63 European Cup Preliminary round   Vasas 1–4 0–7 1–11
1967–68 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup 1. round   Vitória 1–5 1–2 2–7
1972–73 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup 1. round   Hajduk Split 0–1 0–1 0–2
1973–74 UEFA Cup 1. round   Dynamo Kiev 0–1 0–4 0–5
1985–86 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup 1. round   Bangor City 1–1 0–0 1–1
2007–08 UEFA Cup 2. Qualifying round   Hammarby 1–1 1–2 2–3
2009–10 UEFA Europa League 3. Qualifying round   Lech Poznań 1–6 2–1 3–7

References edit

  • Madsen, Birger (1978). FFK i 75 år: Fredrikstad Fotballklubb 1903–1978. FFK.
  • Ellingsen, Odd; Sankey Hansen, Egil; Karlsen, Fritz; Karlsen, Sten; Poppe, Svenn; Svanberg, Sveinung (2003). Fredrikstadgutter våre veier: FFK gjennom 100 år. FFK.
  • "Fredrikstadfk.no – Club History". Archived from the original on 17 December 2008. Retrieved 27 December 2008.
  • "NIFS.no – Statistics". Retrieved 1 April 2006.
  • "100% football – Statistics". Retrieved 1 April 2006.

Bibliography edit

  • Simensen, Jens Olav (2005). Godfotarven: Knut Torbjørn Eggen i samhandling med Nils A. Aschehoug. ISBN 82-03-23225-6.

External links edit

  1. ^ "Fredrikstad fotballklubb - Arenaer". Archived from the original on 21 May 2011. Retrieved 27 February 2012.
  2. ^ "Thomassen ny hovedtrener i FFK". Fredrikstad FK (in Norwegian). 1 November 2022. Archived from the original on 1 November 2022. Retrieved 1 November 2022.
  3. ^ Bakken, Erling (2000). Sarpsborg-idretten gjennom 100 år (in Norwegian). Sarpsborg.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link)
  4. ^ News of Norway. Vol. 29. Norwegian Information Service. 1972. p. 74.
  5. ^ kl.12:37 (14 December 2011). "Tok med seg mapper på ni FFK-spillere – sport". Dagbladet.no. Archived from the original on 6 January 2014. Retrieved 5 January 2014.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  6. ^ "Fredrikstad FK". NIFS (in Norwegian). Archived from the original on 30 October 2022. Retrieved 30 October 2022.
  7. ^ a b "A-laget". Fredrikstad FK. Retrieved 27 March 2017.
  8. ^ "Lima lånes ut" (in Norwegian). Fredrikstad FK. 2 February 2024. Retrieved 21 February 2024.