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'Needing to try something new,' Simen Lyngbo takes talents to ADT

Simen Lyngbo
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--Simen Lyngbo seemed like he is already at home with Norweigan squad Baerum.

Lyngbo has been with the said club ever since he moved there from Eliteserien outfit Stabaek's youth football program.

He even got a start in his first official match with the senior squad for Baerum, a 1-0 win against Oppsal in the 2017 Norweigan Football Club.

He even thought he will have a brighter career ahead with former Norweigan national team player Jan-Derek Sorensen mentoring him for the 2019 season.

But following a meeting with Azkals coach Scott Cooper, Lyngbo was convinced it is time to move on.

"It started when I called up with the national team in March 2019. Coach Scott Cooper called me up for the training camp in Bangkok. We stayed in touch after that camp. Then when around July and August, he presented an opportunity to me to come here and play with the ADT (Azkals Developmental Team)," Lyngbo relayed to Dugout Philippines the career changing meeting.

Sorensen, a former Bundesliga champion for Dortmund, actually gave Lyngbo a lot of pointers to improve on his game.

In fact, Lyngbo, who played defender for Baerum, somehow got a favorable role under Sorensen's run-and-gun system that even sees defenders running up the field to play offense since Lyngbo actually began playing as a midfielder.

"He wanted offensive fullbacks, so I used to run a lot, oftentimes on the sides," continued Lyngbo, who was switching between the left back and the right back then. "He taught me a lot of good things especially in my role."

However, Cooper's development proposal weighed too much for Lyngbo.

"He told me about his plans for my development and how he can see my career develop here in Asia. That was quite interesting. Since he had such a good plan and everything was in order, I decided to go,' he further said.

After his contract at Baerum ended, Lyngbo opted not to re-sign with the club and pack his bags for the Philippines and officially join the ADT instead.

"I needed to try something new after staying at Baerum for seven years. I knew it was time to move on to take the next step," he continued.

Asian football may not be as good as European play, but after seeing the upsides of playing here, Lyngbo was further convinced Asia is the way to go.

"It's another pathway to go through Asia. I guess all roads lead to here. It's a really interesting opportunity, and I was searching for something new after my last season at Baerum," he quipped.

Right now, Lyngbo has no regrets leaving Baerum for the ADT.

"When Scott presented this opportunity to me, I felt it's the right thing to do. I believe it's a good one, because the level here in Asia is really getting great especially in the Philippines also with the previous results in the AFC Cup with Ceres (United City) and also the national team doing well," he further said.

After playing defender for most of his playing days, the 21-year-old Lyngbo is making a return to his old position.

"I think it's exciting because I have a base. I feel it's a good thing to go back there because I can do more," he further said. "I feel good about the decision of getting me back in the midfield. I feel confident about it. I feel good about it."

The ADT will be playing as a guest team for the 2020 PFL season, which will mark the first time Lyngbo will ever play in the first division.

"I'm also quite excited to start the league and to play here because it's a totally new experience for me. It's a quite different type of football compared to Scandinavian football, I could tell. I'm excited for this opportunity," he further said. "It will be good because there are some really good quality players in this league, and I'm looking forward to play against them."

Although he is still waiting when the season will actually start pending the country's ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 22-year-old Lyngbo said that being in the ADT alone is already an honor.

"It's a good feeling to know that people recognize your skills and talents in football," he continued.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno_