Aucklander Olli Harder loses job as women’s head coach at Norwegian club

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New Zealander Olli Harder has been fired as women’s head coach at leading Norwegian club SK Brann after less than a year in charge.

Harder (37) moved to Norway last year after two years as head coach of the West Ham United women’s team in England.

The former Auckland schoolteacher has coached professionally in the United States, China, England and Norway, and has completed Europe’s top coaching qualification, the UEFA Pro Licence.

READ MORE: Young New Zealander completes Europe’s top coaching qualification >>>>

However, SK Brann’s general manager Christian Kalvenes says the club decided a change of coach was necessary after the side’s disappointing start to its season, in which it took 11 points in its first seven games, leaving it fourth in the Toppserien.

“We believe that we need a change now to create new energy in the group of players, and then it is often the coach who gets burned,” Kalvenes said.

Reports claim Harder had lost his dressing room, and matters came to a head after their latest loss, a 2-1 defeat to bottom team and arch rivals Arna-Bjørnar.

In a media briefing, Harder said: “I am extremely proud of the results we have had in the last 12 months, and can look back on two golds.

“I wish both the club and the players all the best going forward. This is football, and that’s what happens. There has been respect throughout the process.”

Harder said he planned to take a break before deciding the next steps in his career.

He hinted there might still be a role for him at the club, saying: “It’s not like I’m necessarily finished at this club, we’ve talked about a role around the academy on the women’s side here in Brann.”

Watch Harder’s media briefing

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