Mikael Harbosen Haga (23) has signed a contract with KIL for the rest of the season. Now the Kongsvinger boy is ready to seize the opportunity.
– First of all, it’s fun and an exciting opportunity. I know it’s special. I’m from here, and grew up going to matches at Gjemselund. It’s kind of been my upbringing. So it’s kind of weird, in a way. It’s been pretty quick from the two weeks I’ve been training, and then the ball just started rolling. It has been quite hectic. But it is exciting and fun, and very fun for me to be able to contribute. It will be a lot of fun.
That’s what Mikael Harbosen Haga says. The 23-year-old from Kongsvinger has signed an agreement with KIL until the end of the year.
Having initially approached the club with a request to train with the club while at home on holiday, the attacking-minded local lad has been proving himself in training.
Today, about two weeks later, he sits here with an A-team contract with the club he has been with since he was a child.
And the road there has been long, via several different routes.
– That path has not been very classic. I have taken some detours. And I may have a slightly different relationship to football than many. I’ve always thought it was fun, and that’s been priority one. And I have found football to be the most fun when I get to challenge myself a bit. When it’s a level you feel you get some matching at. And it has really been continuous throughout.
Football became a hobby
Haga started with children’s football in Kongsvinger, before he went to Eidskog when he was 13-14 years old. Then he came back to Kongsvinger and junior football.
– It actually went quite well, but then there was military service and that bit, so I was a bit forced into it. And then there was the corona pandemic and something different, so then there was another year where I didn’t get to play football. Then I thought I was done. I was 20-21 years old and moved to Molde to study nursing.
In Molde, Træff became a natural place to play football, alongside intense studies. It was actually supposed to be a hobby on the side.
– That was the plan. The last season they had when I arrived was in 2019, and then they were almost at the bottom, in the 3rd division. I thought it was a perfect level for me. And then I got there for a tremendously good project and many good people, so we went straight up from the 3rd to the 2nd division. Then it was not entirely compatible with the nursing studies.
Then Haga made a choice. After completing the first year of the school year, he devoted himself to his studies.
– The second year of nursing, for those who know, is almost just practice. At least that was it. It didn’t work, and then I had to make a choice. I thought it was even funnier than ever, and the arrows only pointed upwards, in one direction. I chose to ride that wave, and now I’m sitting here, so it has turned out to be the right choice.
There were 23 goals in 49 games for Træff.
– A bit surreal
Haga’s example is both cool and inspiring. That there are several paths to the goal, and that it is not only those who break through with a professional contract as an 18-year-old who can reach the top.
– It’s absolutely cool, and there are several stories on it. It just goes to show that it is possible as long as you enjoy what you do. At least that’s how it has been for me. I would never have done it if I didn’t think it was fun. It has been the most important thing for me, and now it has gone very well, and now I am sitting here.
– How do you imagine the moment of walking out on Gjemselund in a KIL kit, for the club you supported as a child, after actually putting aside the idea of becoming a footballer?
– It is very special. I was born and raised in the city as a completely ordinary youth, and at least as a child it was the great heroes, that. Several of those I remember as a child are still here. So it will be very, very fun, but also a bit surreal. It will be fun, for sure.
The 23-year-old now gets a great chance to show off in KIL. He hopes to be able to contribute in several areas.
– It’s probably first and foremost goals. I’m a striker, and that’s probably where I have my greatest strengths. I score goals. And then I also know that it’s a level up, a level I’ve never come across. So it’s just a matter of putting in as much as you can in your daily training to match that level, because it will require a part of me. And just build on the qualities I already have.
– Now it’s just a matter of sticking to those months here?
– Quite simply, there is nothing to save on, in any case. I have signed a contract until the autumn, and then the autumn season applies. It is the next four months and all the time, the next match and the next training session that apply. So it will be four intensive months, and it will be fun. There is nothing to lose in this way, here it is just to “gun on”.
Story worth telling
Sports director Espen Nystuen is happy to be able to give a chance to a local boy.
– We know he is not used to the pace we have, but we hope he can acquire it. Now we’ll see what’s in him, and make a new assessment after the season. We will do what is best for Mikael anyway, says Nystuen.
He thinks Haga’s story is both funny and special, and hopes it can be an inspiration to others.
– It says that it’s about standing in the player. It’s never too late. He turns 23 this year, and there is no age for a footballer. Look at Holtan too, which has a similar story. So it is not always that going the right way is the right thing for everyone. There are many roads to Rome. Mikael’s story is worth telling, because it tells you that you should never give up – or that you can take it easy sometimes and then it can go away because you are not so stressed about succeeding.
The fact that the 23-year-old is a Kongsvinger boy and has been a fan of the club for many years makes it extra fun.
– I keep a close eye on those who are local and those from the district who play around in the 2nd and 3rd division. It’s nice to see someone who succeeds and has been as good as Mikael has been in Træff.
– I am very happy to get a loan to Kongsvinger now. I heard about it a couple of days ago, that there was interest in it and that Brann thought it was a good opportunity. I totally agreed, so it felt really good and natural to do it.
The forward has played ten games for Brann’s A team and scored twice. For Brann 2, he has brought in online knowledge. He is listed with 39 goals in 42 games for the red-shirted second team, according to fotball.no.
– Why is Kongsvinger a good place for you now?
– It looks like a team that can score goals. They create many chances and play fun and attractive football. So it will certainly be a fun adventure to take part in, he says with a smile.
Myrlid was initially on loan in Kristiansund, but due to the injury situation in Bergen was brought back earlier in the season. Now he is looking forward to an exciting autumn with KIL.
– Yes, we are talking about promotion, so it will be a lot of fun to be part of the journey.
The 21-year-old has six goals and one assist in seven games for Brann’s team in the second division this season. KIL manager Nystuen is satisfied with the loan agreement.
– We have three injured, and Holtan is now injured for a period of time. Therefore, we choose to make a quick move, so that we get Myrlid in right away so that we are not left checkmate without a top tip. Although we know that both Güven, Hoel and Langrekken can play there, in addition to Haga who we also signed today, we want to replace Holtan right away.
– The long line, Güven and Holtan have struggled, so now it is perfect to bring in someone who scores goals, appears in the box. We need someone to score and decide the tight and even games for us. Myrlid is good there, we know that. He has been very good for Brann 2, and we have received very good reports on him from those who play with him, train him and managers at the club. We hope he can come and give us something and help us beyond the autumn, says Nystuen.