Koln confirm Stale Solbakken as new coach for next season

The Norwegian will hope to usher in a new era when he takes over the reins at the Rhein Energie stadion when his contract at Copenhagen expires this summer.

Koln have confirmed the appointment of Stale Solbakken as their new head coach, who will join the club on July 1 after his contract at Danish club Copenhagen expires.

Solbakken, who is one of Europe's brightest young coaches at just 43 years of age, was the first choice of the club's sporting director Volker Finke to replace Frank Schaefer, who recently stepped down as he wanted to prioritise his faith and his family life.

The major sticking point for the Billy Goats was Solbakken's agreement to become national team coach of his home country Norway from January 2012, with the Norwegian FA wanting compensation amounting to around €400k.

However, according to the club’s official website, Koln have now reached an agreement with both Solbakken and the Norwegian footballing authorities, and will officially announce the appointment during a press conference to be held on May 17.

Solbakken has experienced substantial success at Copenhagen, clinching Superliga titles in 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010 and 2011, as well as winning the 2007 Superliga Manager of the Year award. He has also picked up coach of the year awards in both Norway and Denmark.

Solbakken also guided Copenhagen to the last 16 of this year’s Champions League, where they lost 2-0 on aggregate to Chelsea.

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