Who are Shamrock Rovers Europa League opponents SK Brann of Norway?

Tue, Jun 18 2019

Shamrock Rovers will be in for a tough test when they face SK Brann of Norway in the Europa League Credit: Macdara Ferris (ETPhotos)

Following the proceedings of the Europa League draw, Shamrock Rovers have been drawn against SK Brann of Norway. Founded in 1908 the side currently plays in the top tier of Norwegian football the Eliteserien, where they sit 4th in the table just two points off third spot.

SK Brann was founded on the 26th of September 1908 Christen K. Gran and Birger Gjestland together with eight other men, met in a local café in Bergen. Due to dissatisfaction of the current state of the local football clubs in Bergen, they decided to form a new football club. They called it Ski- og Fodboldklubben Brann (Ski and Football Club Brann). This was later changed to Sportsclub Brann (Sport Club Brann).

The club is situated in the southwest coast of Norway which is a 7 hour drive away from Oslo but has a small regional airport to service travel from Dublin, Rovers will face Brann in the aptly named Brann Stadion which has a capacity of just under 18,000 and has been the sides stadium since 1919.

Brann stuck to their guns in 2001 and opted to improve the stadium instead of building another stadium elsewhere, the stadium has also hosted 17 international games in its time.

The stadium is easily accessible as the Brann Stadion is located in the south-east of the city of Bergen, about 3.5 kilometres from its city centre and main train and bus station.

The stadium can be easily reached with Bergen’s Bybanen light rail (tram), which only has one line. Get on the tram in the centre at, for example, Byparken or Bystasjonen (bus station), and get off at stop Brann Stadion.

SK Brann have played in the Eliteserien since 1987 although they did spend a single season in the OBOS-ligaen in 2015.

Brann have a noted football history in Norway and have plenty of silverware to their name, they have won the Eliteserien three times, 1962, 63 and 2007, Brann have recorded six Norwegian Cups, winning in 1923, 1925, 1972, 1976, 1982 and 2004.

Brann are no strangers to playing in Dublin, in 1996, Brann beat Shelbourne over two legs in the 1996/97 UEFA Cup Winners Cup, they then knocked out Belgian cup winners Cercle Brügge and Dutch cup winners PSV Eindhoven in the next round.

In the quarter finals they went out to Liverpool who won 4-1 on aggregate after two legs. SK Brann have played Shamrock Rovers in the past, facing off against each other in a friendly in February 2015 at Tallaght Stadium, with Rovers winning 3-2.

SK Brann are currently managed by Lars Arne Nilsen, the 55 year old has been the sides manager since 2015, Nilsen has previously been a coach of  Ørsta IL and Volda, he also coached at IL Hødd where he was promoted to head coach in 2010, Nilsen recorded a cup win in 2012 with Hødd, which has been his only success as a manager.

Shamrock Rovers will travel to Bergen to take on SK Brann with the first leg confirmed for Thursday 11 July at Brann Stadion and the second leg at Tallaght Stadium a week later.