Friday, January 23, 2009


This week's Faroe Friday post concerns the man pictured to the right. He's Colin Calderwood, he's a Scotsman, and he's the new head coach of the Faroese National Football Team.

This is not an easy job. Calderwood has to take a team comprised mostly of amateur players and send them out to compete against some of the best athletes in the world. The results are normally predictable. The Faroe Islands team is one of the lowest ranked in the world. FIFA has them ranked 175 out of 207. This is especially rough when you learn that Somalia is ranked 175. Somalia? Really? They haven't had a government in about 20 years. How do they even get to matches? Do they hijack a plane or something? But anyway, they're ranked higher than the Faroe Islands.

But every now and then, they can pull off an upset, but it's still extremely rare. Since the team began international competitions 1988, their wins even in qualifying rounds can be counted on a single hand.

This can work to Calderwood's advantage. The bar is set pretty low. If they can play another European team to a 0-0 tie, the people of the Faroe Islands will consider that as good as a win.
The national team's next match is in March. It's a "friendly" against Iceland. As a matter of fact, it should be extremely friendly. The Faroe Islands recently loaned Iceland more than 50 million dollars as that country slid into a financial meltdown. The very least the Iceland team can do is let the Faroe Islands win.

The match will be played in Iceland at a special indoor soccer pitch that has real grass. And while the odds are always stacked against the Faroes in situations like these, I think you know who I'll be rooting for.

This week's Faroe Photo is yet another from Erik Christensen's collection. It's from the village of Viðareiði, which is the northernmost village in the Faroe Islands. Like most villages in the Faroes, it has a spectacular natural setting and a history with the sea. The village church has silver given to the village by the British government to thank them for helping rescue sailors from a wreck near Viðareiði's shores in 1847.

I would like to go there. The end.



At 7:48 pm, Anonymous michela said...

i travelled to the Faroe Islands by ferry across the North Sea from Aberdeen Scotland in 1995. It was a remarkable experience, one that I have never forgotten. The photographs that I took have been widely exhibited, and I treasure the time I spent on that distant land. Like Mr. Workman, I had become obsessed with the Faroes and decided to visit the island.

What struck me more than anything was the landscape. It is lunar like and haunting in its isolation.

I would love to return to the Faroe Islands, since 'islands' especially remote ones have a unique character.


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