Kristy Moore certainly knows a thing or two about beating Norwegian goalkeeper Bente Nordby.
England v Norway
International Women's Friendly
06 May 2005
If England want any tips on how to beat world class Norwegian goalkeeper Bente Nordby when the two nations clash at Barnsley on Friday, Hope Powell’s players could do worse than ask their Norway based team-mate Kristy Moore.
In a Norwegian Women’s League match between striker Moore’s team Fløya and Nordby’s Kolbotn last season (the keeper has since moved to Asker), Fløya came out 7-1 winners – and Moore hit six of the goals!
The former Fulham player, who flew over from Norway on Sunday to join up with the England squad after watching Monday’s FA Women’s Cup final, said: "That game against Kolbotn was one of those days where everything you hit seems to go in the net.
"We were on top form and it was a great day for me, but despite the scoreline Bente didn’t have a bad game. She’s a top keeper and it’s not often she lets in more than a couple of goals, let alone seven.
"She’s proved herself at international level and she’s rightly regarded as one of the world’s best goalkeepers, but she’s just one of a good number of excellent players in the Norwegian squad."
As practically every member of Norway’s team plays in the country’s League system, Moore has faced them all at club level so is well placed to assess the strengths and weaknesses of the players in a side who sit third in FIFA’s world rankings.
"I’d find it difficult to pick out any weaknesses in the Norway team," said Moore. "From Nordby in goal to players like Fiane Christensen in defence, Solveig Gulbrandsen in midfield and Dagny Mellgren up front, they’re full of quality.
"That’s been the case for a long time now, but as well as the established players in the squad they’ve got a number of exciting youngsters coming through, including my strike partner at Fløya, Stine Frandsen – the fastest striker in the Norwegian League.
"She’s on her first trip with the senior national team for the game against us on Friday, and if she plays any part in the match it will be very interesting to see how she handles the international environment.
"Norway’s results over the past couple of years have been a bit up and down, but they always come good in tournaments so they’ll be a real threat at the Women’s Euro 2005 – and they’ll be very tough opponents for us on Friday.
"It could be the hardest game we’ve had in the build-up to the Euro finals, but it’s the kind of game we need so close to the event because Norway have all the qualities that we’ll be up against during the tournament.
"They’re not in our group so we can’t meet them before the knock-out stage, but if we could produce a good performance and a decent result on Friday it would give us a real boost for the finals – and after our recent run I think we could beat them."
Moore herself has consistently been in the squad but has not been involved in much of the action that has seen England win seven of their eight matches ahead of Friday’s penultimate friendly before the Women’s Euro 2005 kicks off on Sunday 5 June.
But the 28 year-old striker, now in her third season of Norwegian League football, is determined to stake a claim for a place in the 20-player England squad that will take part in the biggest women’s football event ever staged in the UK.
"I love playing in Norway," she said, "but it means I can’t be seen over here in England playing at club level. So it’s obviously difficult for Hope Powell and her coaching staff to keep track of the form I’m showing for Fløya, and that’s frustrating.
"But I’m aiming to make the best impression I can while I’m with the England squad. Hopefully I’ll get the chance to play some part against Norway – and if I could put another goal or two past Bente that could improve my Euro selection chances!"