Christian Kalvenes Interview

Christian Kalvenes

Christian Kalvenes was born on the 8th March 1977, in Bergen, Norway. Born into a footballing family Kalvenes father and brother were involved in the professional game.

Kalvenes started his career with his hometown club SK Brann in 1995. He then had spells with Asane and Sogndal Football Clubs in the Norwegian Premier League, before returning to SK Brann for three years in 2003.

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A £50,000 moves to Dundee United followed in 2006, were he made a massive impact scoring the second goal in a 2-2 on his league debut against Rangers at Ibrox.

Owen Coyle, purchased Kalvenes on a bosman free transfer in the summer of 2008, he went on to make 27 appearances for Burnley and helped them reach the Premier League via the Play-Off Final at Wembley in May 2009.

On 8 April 2010, Kalvenes had his Burnley contract terminated by mutual consent and he returned home to Norway to re-sign for his hometown club SK Brann for the third time.

His third spell at SK Brann but it was disrupted by injuries and he retired in 2012. Kalvenes is now working as Head of Sales & marketing at Chess Communications in Norway.

Interview

Who was your biggest influence in football and why?

The biggest influence on my career was my dad and my brother; they have always been into football themselves as players and managers. I´ve inherited the passion for the game from them and they have always been supportive and believed in me.

What is your best football highlight?

There have been a number of highlights in my football career, such as making my debut for Brann in 1995, winning promotion in the play-off final in Norway in 2000, scoring against Rangers at Ibrox in my debut for Dundee Utd in 2006.

There is also making my Premier League debut for Burnley in 2009, but the one that stands out the most is playing in the Sky Bet Championship Play-Off Final win against Sheffield Utd at Wembley with Burnley.

What is your football lowlight?

The lowest point in my football career was when I returned to my hometown club Brann Bergen in 2004. I was injured for the whole first season and never managed win regular spot in the starting eleven.

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League Debut?

I made my league debut for SK Brann in the Norwegian Premier League in 1995; my debut in Scotland came at Ibrox against Rangers in 2006 when I scored a header. My English football league debut was for Burnley at Selhurst Park against Crystal Palace in August 2008.

Best Goal You Scored?

The best goal I scored must be the goal against Rangers at Ibrox on my debut for Dundee United (2006). It was a bullet header from a Barry Robson corner.

Toughest Opponent?

I think it´s hard to pick a single player, the hardest times I faced as a player have been when we played teams that were clearly better than your team.

I experienced this quite a few times against Rosenberg, when they won the Norwegian League 13 consecutive times and qualified for the group stages of Champions League more or less every year.

Who is the best manager you have played for and why?

The best managers I played for was Craig Levein when I played for Dundee United, he has a fantastic knowledge of the game and he developed me a lot as a defender. I loved every minute I played for him.  I will also mention Owen Coyle who was a fantastic team builder, I´m grateful that I played under such great manager who has developed me as a player and as a person.

Who was the best player you played with and why?

Graham Alexander is the best player I played with because his influence, character and quality were of great importance to the team. He helped me both in training and in games; he would be the first player I would put in my starting eleven any time. I am grateful to have played alongside him.

CK

What have you been doing after leaving Burnley?

After Burnley, I travelled back to Norway to play another two and a half years for Brann Bergen before I retired from football in January 2013. I now work for mobile network company called Chess (similar to O2) as Head of Sales and Marketing. I also coach the local 9 and 10-year-old kids, so I still have a leg in the game.

As an active member in the campaign against bullying for Norwegian schools, what did this involve and how did you become involved?

That campaign was a couple of years ago, I got involved through my club as they encourage us to do community work. I was holding lectures to kids and youth.

I´ve have also been involved in the work for fair play in football. The business I work for Chess Communications had a lounge at Brann Bergen´s stadium and we gave it away for a whole season to teams or individuals that had done something special for fair play. It was a great way to reward them.

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