Lillestrom has a great football culture. The supporters there are top notch. I have followed the Tippeligaen for a little while and always enjoyed the tough football that came out of Lillestrom. Its cold..I mean really cold. You have to be tough just to step on the pitch in Norway, let alone play an entire season there. Not just physically mind you, but mentally as well. These conditions can get to you after a while. In April the average lows are in the 30s…some days even less! (Looking at some temperatures for Lillestrom I see some days at -6 Celsius this month)
Having to battle clubs with much bigger budgets like Rosenborg BK was always a delight. Now my club , The New York Red Bulls are connected to a club in Norway thanks to our Sporting Director Eric Soler. He began his Career in his hometown of Lillestrom in 1979 as a midfielder and then eventually as a right back. After a long career with several clubs he ended where he began: Lillestrom. Eric Soler circa 1979 in Lillestrom kit First row Middle
Now our Feisty forward is playing with the Norwegian side. They finished last season in 13th place but Rodgers is looking towards making a dent at the top of the table. He is a strong, physical English froward. He gets to long balls with his speed. Also, do not try and get into an argument with him and hope him to back down…he fights hard regardless what colors he is wearing. Basically, he is a perfect fit!
I am hoping as a New York supporter and a fan of Norwegian Football (my family immigrated from Norway) that this is just a move to keep Luke fit. Soler must have had this move worked out and has deep connections with Luke Rodger’s new club for it to be announced so quickly after his visa to play in the USA was denied. I say hats off to Lillestrom and their supporters. Luke will be able to play in front of a core group of fans that truly love their club. Even though low in numbers when compared to the bigger groups such as the Klannen (Valerenga) in Oslo, the Lillestrom supporters Kanari-Fansen, make up for it in pure passion. Show him the love he deserves and keep him warm for us! Who knows, maybe this is a relationship between two clubs that has just begun?