Football is a sport which enchants billions of people for the rush of feelings that it gives us in 90′. For a simple enthusiasts’ website like freezeland.it, satisfactions may also come from the backstage. Sometimes it happens to meet protagonists of incredible stories, which manage to let us move like an overhead-kick goal on the last minute.
Thanks to the highlightnings of 2 readers of us, Simone Lionetti and Guido Chisci, we have interviewed Ved Nagurset, a doctor responsible for Víkingur Gøta. Ved comes from Mauritius, an Indian Ocean island, situated at the east of Madagascar, just above the Tropic of Capricorn. Mauritius has beaches which attract turists from all over the world, tropical climate and a shining sun for almost the whole year… So, the opposite of Faroer!
His choice was obviously for love. Asking him about his experience in the North Sea and with the Víkingur Gøta, we have discovered that Ven is well-prepared on the Viking history of Faroer. Have a good reading!
A Mauritian in Faroer. How did you end up in the North Sea leaving from the Indian Ocean?
I ended up here because I met a very nice girl in England who is now my wife. We were studying at the same university in England. We decided to move in Faroer after our first daughter was born in 2004. I like the quietness of the country and safety. I officially moved in 2006.
Moving from the sunny beaches of Mauritius to the freezing climate of Faroese archipelago must have been difficult. How did you manage to adapt yourself?
It is always a hard decision to leave our homeland. I managed to adapt to the Faroe Islands simply because of awesome people of the Islands. I have been lucky to be surrounded by a very nice family and friends of my wife and also, the people in general are very welcoming and friendly.
It is a cold country but the people’s heart is warm. To me that is important when I go to a place. Little by little then I learned the language which made it even easier to adapt.
Mauritius Island has been a formidable crossroads of different cultures: French, English, African, Indian… On the contrary, Faroer has got a well-defined identity since many centuries. Which are the cultural and social aspects which have impressed you once arrived in Faroer?
The Feroese people are very proud of their history and culture. They have a unique identity. The strong alliance to traditions and being together for every events. Families and friends are always together whether it is a celebration or a religious events.
They have managed to keep the Feroese language , direct descendant of the old Norse language. Also the diffusion of modern religion into some viking traditions still is present. A perfect balance of history and religion. I am very fascinated by history and archeology after medicine. The study of Viking era is of great interest to me.
Is there in Eystur any archaeological site belonging to the viking age? And which are the most important archaeological site in Faroe Islands?
You have knocked at the right door. I live right in the heart of Leirvik which is famously known for its Viking ruins located right opposite to the harbour, an old farmstead dating back to around 9 to 10 century. The ruins are well preserved and some of its contents located in the museum in Torshavn.
Also in Leirvik is an old burial site , there are still debates whether it was built by the Vikings or even earlier settlers such as Anglo/ Irish monks. The burial site is traced very well.
There are a few others such as the ruins of Kvivik and the viking burial place in Tjornuvik where they found a viking burial place dating the 10th century. Of course the Town of Gøta next to Leirvik known by its awesome founder viking Trondur í Gotu. His name still reflects power , strengths , courage and fear
What has changed more in your every-day life since you live in the archipelago? And what do you miss more of Mauritius?
It seems that I am much more calmer now and patient. You definitely have to be patient in Faroe Islands both with the weather and their road users deciding to drive 40km/h in a peak time of the day.
Also to accept eating earlier, a nightmare to start with. Eating dinner at 5 pm compared to 7.30 or 8p.m in my country. What I miss the most from Mauritius is my family, the amazing food and the freedom of being loud with my music (laugh).
How did your collaboration with Víking Gøta start? Which are your tasks?
My collaborations started in 2016. Vikingur qualified for a UEFA qualifier tie and they needed a doctor to accompany them to Latvia. The usual doctor reached retirement so I was next in line.
My tasks are to make sure the players are up to the norm established by UEFA in terms of health. Yearly check ups, Cardiological assessments and monitoring of medications. I am in general always available for any team members if they have medical issues. I try to be present in every games.
Were you already passionate about football before starting this experience or you followed other sports?
Football is my passion, being from Mauritius , we are used to the English Premier League so the rivalry between Man Utd and Liverpool is enormous, it is practically a religion there. The whole family involved. Otherwise I enjoy watching Rugby and Formula One.
Which are the most beautiful moments which you have had until now with Víkingur Gøta?
Winning the titles in two consecutive time , 2016 and 2017 coinciding the time I have been their doctor as well. Victory of Vikingur in Trømso, Norway in 2014 is perhaps one of the next biggest event in the history of the club. A plane full of people from Leirvik and Gøta heading there with hope we can make something out and we did.
Víkingur Gøta is a young club, born in 2008 through the fusion of 2 historic clubs, GÍ Gøta and Leirvík. It has been a winning project: in 10 years it has won 2 leagues, 5 national cups and 5 super cups. Not always fusions work well: in the last days we wrote about the end of TB/FCS/Royn project. Which are the strengths of Víkingur Göta project?
The strength is the people of Esturkommuna. There is a huge drive for promotion of football in these two localities for the last 10 years through the integrity and will power to succeed by the people. To us , Vikingur does not only represent a team but also a way of life for many here, starting from kids to potential national talent in senior level.
Many people , irrespective of their background, volunteer to be present and assisting with the needs of the team and organisations in Gøta. It has been an armada of people , looking in the same direction with determination to succeed, succeed and succeed.
2018 hasn’t been a great season for Víkingur Gøta. 5th place and out of European cups after many years. How would you explain this unfavorable year?
Of course, this turn of wheel can happen and we accept it. There has been a multitude of factors, players retiring, young blood in, new coach a whole new dimension and formula. It takes time to formulate and regenerate the mental towards being successful again. It has been a learning process, I would say for the players and management.
What are your predictions for Víkingur Gøta in 2019? What are the favorite teams to win the championship?
Of course always to look in the direction of winning the title, Vikingur has good potentials. For sure I can say we will better than the previous season. It will be a whole dimension of flexibility as we know it with the present coach, Samal Erik Hentze who took us two times in a row as being champion. There are about 4 other teams who are also going to fight for the best spot. The season is looking very exciting.