When Norway’s squad for the upcoming qualifiers for the 2017 European Championship in the Netherlands is announced, one prominent name will be missing: Lene Mykjåland.
Mykjåland has been a regular with the Norwegian squad for almost 10 years, but the midfielder has decided to hang up her boots.
Norway are already qualified for the tournament, and Roger Finfjord have decided against selecting Mykjåland, to use these games to build up the squad the will play in the European Championships.
The start of something big
Mykjåland was signed by Amazon Grimstad in 2003, when she was just 16 years old. Just two years later she was signed by Toppserien outfit Røa, and quickly became a prominent part of the side despite her young age. She won her first title in 2006, when she won the cup with Røa. In the final she scored two goals.
In 2007 she got her first call-up for the national team, and made her debut against Germany. Later that year she was also called-up for the 2007 World Cup in China where Norway was knocked out in the semi-final by the eventual winners from Germany. They lost the Bronze medal match to USA.
In 2008 she helped Norway reach the quarterfinals at the 2008 Olympic Games. After this followed a period where she and other players refused to play under then Norwegian manager Bjarne Berntsen, but she was back when Eli Landsem took over.
With her club she managed to become a prominent goal scorer and was sought after by several foreign clubs, but decided to stay with Røa, which led to her becoming top-scorer in the Norwegian league in 2009, and Washington Freedom came knocking on the door. She ended her first spell with Røa with three Toppserien league titles.
The American adventure, return to Norway and a silver medalist
With Washington Freedom she ended up playing 19 games, and had 15 goals to show for it, but the stint was short lived and she returned to Røa to get a better shot at getting called up for the 2011 World Cup in Germany.
In 2011 she won yet another league title with Røa, taking the tally to four in total, and was selected for the Norwegian World Cup squad. Norway failed to advance from the group stages to the disappointment of many. However, in 2013 she was part of the Norwegian side who made it all the way to the final of the European Championships in Sweden, only being edged out by Germany after a thrilling final. In 2015 she was part of the World Cup squad that travelled to Canada.
Two years after returning to Norway, she made the move to Lillestrøm in 2013 and joined LSK Kvinner. With LSK she has won two titles, and the team is in pole position to win it again this season. Other than her six, maybe seven, league titles she can also add five cup triumphs.
A football personality bows out
Mykjåland stated that if she had to continue she had to do it 100 % and told Romerikes Blad that it was getting “harder and harder to have the necessary spark during the winter”. She also cited her many injuries and that it was ‘hard to fight her way back’.
Roger Finfjord said that they would miss her and that it was a “football personality who retired”. He was full of praise for the 29-year-old, and said that she had “delighted crowds with her technique”.
Lene Mykjåland has the chance to bow out with The Double as LSK is currently leading the Toppserien and is in the semifinal of the Norwegian Cup.