Following on from Birmingham City’s FA Cup loss at Wembley, VAVEL spoke to Norwegian international Andrine Hegerberg about how she’s finding the WSL and her superb on-the-pitch partnership with sister, Ada.
An exciting league
With WSL 1, the midfielder’s fourth domestic league (after the Toppserien, a brief stint in the Frauen-Bundesliga and Sweden’s Damallsvenskan), Hegerberg admits the speed of the league is different from what’s she’s been used to before,
“It’s a change for me, the pace is quite high, it’s quite physical as well but I think when you combine the right mix of physical and pace with technique, you have a good game. It’s an exciting league and I think it’s going to grow even more over the next couple of years.”
On the wrong end of a 4-1 scoreline at Wembley, Hegerberg was clearly not at her brightest after the defeat, the shimmer of England’s national stadium having somewhat faded despite her own breathless performance across the middle of the park. Though through her heartbreak, the young Norwegian was still appreciative not just of the chance to play on the famous turf but of the job done by the English FA,
“It’s been an experience just being here, that’s what makes the loss a little harder too because yesterday was so amazing. I think the FA have done well in promoting the final and having over 35,000 here, it’s a big deal for women’s football.”
Importance of family
Fans of both Andrine and Ada will be aware that wherever the sisters are, their parents, specifically mother, Gerd are never far away. With both Hegerbergs having shown a tremendous aptitude for the game (that their parents also played) from a young age, having their nearest and dearest around to see their trials and triumphs on the pitch has always meant a huge amount to both,
“It means a lot, absolutely, to be able to share it with those who mean the most to you; it means so much to me and I spoke to Ada about this as well, we agree, it’s just so wonderful to have them coming over to our games.”
A regular starter for both Birmingham and Norway, Hegerberg has had to adapt to a new coach both internationally and domestically but her new coaches seem to be cut from the same cloth, a happy bonus for the midfielder,
“Training is quite similar, both Marc [Skinner] and Martin [Sjögren] have the same philosophy so I’m picking up important things every day with Birmingham to bring to the national team.”
Fans of the England team will already be aware of the lethal partnership Andrine has with her sister, the Birmingham woman a midfielder with an eye for a defence splitting pass and pin-point cross, Ada a goal-hound who’s in her element in the 18-yard box. Having trained together for so long, independently, as well as during shared time at Kolbotn, Stabæk, Turbine Potsdam and of course the national team, but could the understanding between the pair be one of the keys to Norway’s success?
“I hope so, because we’ve been training together for several years and we know what each other think, I know her strengths and she knows my strengths and we just try and put that in the game. Sometimes it works, so we just want to keep developing that and hopefully it can win us some games.”