Former Liverpool defender John Arne Riise has become the head coach of Norwegian top-tier women’s side Avaldsnes IL.
Riise previously coached Flint before leaving the role last month after the men’s team were relegated from the third division in Norway.
The 41-year-old spent seven seasons at Liverpool from 2001 to 2008, and then played for Roma for three seasons before returning to the Premier League with Fulham.
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Towards the end of his playing career Riise played for a number of sides, including Delhi Dynamos and Chennaiyin in India, while he played more than 100 times for Norway.
“I'm not shocked, but I'm quite surprised that I'm sitting here. I've talked to a lot of people around me. I got a lot of messages about what's going on. I said a new club, but no one tipped Avaldsnes,” Riise said, per Eurosport Norway.
I think many are positively surprised. I bring my experience as a player to women's football and hope it can contribute to something positive and make Avaldsnes even more professional.
“My goal is to develop the players we have. We have young talents who are on age-specific national teams. I will develop my network to bring in experienced players and take steps.
John Arne Riise
Image credit: Getty Images
“Not monster steps, things take time. My job is to build the players and the team to get better, especially on the field. The girls can expect a pretty hard run-up, I will not hide that.”
Avaldsnes’s general manager Norvald Audun Kaldheim said the Toppserien club were delighted to have Riise on board.
“We have followed Riise since he was a young boy and cheered him on throughout his fantastic playing career,” Kalbheim said.
“He has worked with many of the world's best coaches and has in a long career developed a unique football skills. We will greatly enjoy this in Avaldsnes.”
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