‘Everything is possible’: YMCA football team’s rise to Norwegian top flight

Oslo community club KFUM will make their Eliteserien debut next week after an incredible rise through the divisions

Football’s ability to conjure ridiculous stories is legion, but even so the one about the YMCA club in Norway’s Eliteserien is ridiculous. Yet that is exactly where KFUM-Kameratene Oslo find themselves: on Tuesday, they make their top-flight debut with a home game against HamKam.

Though KFUM remain a local community club – their ground holds only 3,000 and is accessed via a zebra crossing – their rise has been meticulously planned. “We have learned year by year,” says Tor-Erik Stenberg, the general manager. “Small changes to be more and more and more professional.” So they began by giving players amateur contracts, then moved training from evening to daytime, then focused on better marketing, and so on; this season, fortified with the funds to improve more than one aspect, they have added a match analyst, expanded their medical department, and taken the team abroad for warm-weather training.

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