Norway has kicked off the 2019 season

The Norwegian League of American Football has kicked off its 2019 campaign with five teams, up from four last season.

The defending champion Oslo Vikings who have one lopsided win under their belts already, are joined by the Vålerenga Trolls (0-1), Eidsvoll 1814s (1-0), Kristiansand Gladiators (1-0) and the Sarpsborg Olavs Menn (0-2)

Oslo Vikings (2018: 7-1, Champions)

The Oslo Vikings have picked up from where they left off in 2018 when they dominated the Norwegian league en route to their third straight title and 12th overall. They have opened the 2019 season in similar fashion, with a 46-0 drubbing of the newcomers in the league this year, the Sarpsborg Olavs Menn. With head coach Derek Mann still on the sideline and championship winning quarterback Robert Mehmet still behind center, Oslo look poised to four peat in 2019. The running back duo of Vegard Tysse and Jesper Jørgensen will power the offense while linebacker Kim Schanning anchors what has been the best defense in Norway for the past two years.

Look for the Vikings to reach the Norwegian final again.

Kristiansand Gladiators (2018: Wild Card Playoffs)

The Gladiators are returning to the top league after a four year absence. Kristiansand won the Norwegian title in 2014 and then inexplicably folded a couple of months before the start of the 2015 season. They return this season with Swedish head coach Leo Bilgren. He has signed young Swedish national team quarterback Dennis Isberg and added at running back Ståle Skjævestad. The key to the defense is middle linebacker Mathias Bue. They have opened their season with a lopsided 37-6 win over the Olavs Menn.

The Gladiators could surprise in 2019.

Eidsvoll 1814s (2018: 3-5, Semifinalists)

The 1814s, a former league powerhouse (2009, 2010, 2013 title holders), reached the Norwegian final in 2017 but had a tough time last season. Their record is slightly misleading though as three of those losses were to the Oslo Vikings. They have opened the season with an easy 34-0 win over the Vålerenga Trolls and look ready to challenge in 2019. Returning as head coach is Michael Hall who will also start at quarterback and play at the middle linebacker spot. At running back, Eidsvoll has Arne Søgaard.

Eidsvoll is good enough to reach the semifinals.

Sarpsborg Olavs Menn (2018: Wild Card Playoffs)

This is the first season in Norway’s top league for the Olavs Menn. As one of the top two teams in Division 1 in 2018, the team reached the Wild Card Playoff round but were dumped by Eidsvoll. Travis Cornwell  is the team’s head coach and starting quarterback and helped the Olavs Menn advance from the lower depths of Division 2 all the way to the top league. At running back he relies on Joacim Junhov-Rindberg while the defense is anchored by linebacker Pål Mangseth.

The Olavs Menn will be in tough this season.

Vålerenga Trolls (2018: 3-5, Semifinalists)

The Trolls are have not had a winning season in Norway’s top league since 2011 and are looking to break that trend this year. Under head coach Le’Von Warr and led by quarterback Brage Harby and running back Kristoffer Løken and a defense featuring linebacker Jørgen Gulbrandsen, Vålerenga intends to challenge but will need to get over their opening day 34-0 loss to the 1814s quickly in the short Norwegian season.

Vålerenga will struggle and will be battling for  fourth spot.

American Football International is your source for news and updates about American Football outside the United States!