3 Bodo/Glimt stars for Celtic to watch as Europa Conference League rivals fire up their own ‘Ange Ball’

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They may hail from the frozen Arctic Circle but Bodo/Glimt are one of the hottest properties in football right now.

And the Norwegians are out to turn up the heat on Celtic in the Europa Conference League next month, reports Michael Gannon from Spain.

Hoops fans reacted with a sigh of relief or a shrug of the shoulders when they were drawn with the champions of Norway.

But they should be wary instead.

Punters might not have heard much about this side from the icy Norwegian north but the rest of Europe have taken note.

The club comes from the town of Bodo and Glimt, which translates as Flash – but there isn’t anything flashy about this team.

They’ve managed to climb the divisions in Norway and then win the title twice against all odds, and they’ve done it thought hard graft.

And thinking differently.

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Manager Kjetil Knutsen plays down his own role but he’s transformed the club from Norwegian also rans to champions – and sent shockwaves across Europe when his side smashed Jose Mourinho’s Roma 6-1 in the Europa League.

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Knutsen – who was on Rangers’ radar before Ibrox chefs snapped up Gio van Bronckhorst – said: “At Bodo we have our own DNA, we have our own style and we always play in the same way at home and away.

“We play Glimt football.”

But what is Glimt football? There was a glimpse of it in Spain yesterday, as Bodo kicked off their pre-season preparations against Dynamo Kiev.

The knockabout finished 1-1 but the Norwegians looked the stronger side. Both goals came from corners.

Bodo went ahead when Nigerian Victor Boniface walked in while the Kiev keeper was flapping.

But they didn’t look so clever from a set piece when the Ukrainians leveled before the interval.

Glimt looked pretty sharp for a team on their first round out in their pre-season – with their campaign not kicking off until April.

They’ve come back early to get ready for Celts and there were signs this will be a tough tie for the Hoops.

There’s also a similar look about this side. Glimt Football looks a lot like Ange Ball.


Bodo have a similar shape to Celts. It’s 4-3-3 and players need to work their socks off.

The front three do plenty of chasing to soften up rivals for the midfield to push up and pinch the ball.

Kiev were trying to play out from the back and at times they were getting harassed in their own penalty area.

A couple of times defenders panicked and hoofed the ball out for corner kicks.

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They are quick and strong, and they also have a lot of height in the team. They score a barrel of goals in their home land. The hit 103 goals in 30 games when they won their first title and followed it up with another whack when they retained their crown against all odds.

Bodo were hailed as a Leicester City story when they claimed the championship, but unlike the English outfit, they managed to do it again.

Despite selling some of their big hitters. The players change but the style remains.

It’s pretty intense and – like Celtic – it can appear chaotic at times.

But it’s all meticulously planned.

Bodo play differently to anyone in Norway. They act different too.

They are big on stats and use similar metrics to Brentford in the EPL. They have a former air force pilot who is their mental coach and he runs training sessions.

They are fiercely proud of their northern Norwegian roots – and have an unwritten rule that local players should play at least 35 percent of the minutes in the league.

Bodo have raised eyebrows – and they’ve raised trophies.

three to watch

Ulrik Saltnes


The captain makes Bodo tick. He’s strong, quick and good on the ball. He dictates the pressing and hoovers up the loose balls when they come his way.

Saltness has been reborn at Bodo under Knutsen. He was disillusioned with the game but he started doing sessions with former pilot and he has been flying ever since.

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He’s even more of a key man now after several stars departed earlier this month.

Elijah Hagan

The 22-year-old has emerged as a top talent in the successful Glimt side and the midfielder brings a lot of energy to the team.

It’s Hagen who does a lot of the running and he supports the front players by bursting in to the box.

He can also pick a pass. The player rarely knocks the ball sideways or backwards, it’s always direct and often down the channels.

He’s also vital in chasing players down and winning the ball back in high areas of the pitch.

Runar Mirrorrd

The striker sat out the Kiev gave through injury but there is a lot of his shoulders following the departure of Erik Botheim to Krasnodar.

The frontman might have to win over the punters having come through the ranks at bitter rivals Tromso.

He also had a spell in Holland with Herenveen and is expected to lead the line by the time they come up against Celtic.

The former Norway under-21 cap is tall and quick, and Celts will need to be on their guard.



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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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