– We never doubted it

BODØ (VG) He arrived at Bodø / Glimt in record numbers, but the road to conquering midfield was longer than many expected for Hugo Vetlesen (22).

GOOD BUS: After the 2-1 win over Roma in Aspmyra, it was a pleasure to track down Kjetil Knutsen and Hugo Vetlesen.

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According to VG information, Bodø / Glimt pocketed around five million kroner to Stabæk for Vetlesen – which is a club record.

However, the midfielder has only started two league games since he arrived on “deadline day” in October 2020 and has entered a crazy golden year.

In the following season, which started in early May, he had to wait until a home game against the Vikings before getting his chance from the start.

– There’s a reason why we brought Hugo to Bodø/Glimt. “We have identified him as a player who fits our way of playing football as an inner runner,” Kjetil Knutsen told VG at a press conference after the 2-1 win over Roma in the first half of the Conference League quarter-finals.

VENI, VIDI, VICI: But Hugo Vetlesen spent time conquering Bodø / Glimt.

Early in Glimt Vetlesen’s career, Knutsen preferred to use Aalesund’s hired Sondre Fet over a club record signing.

In Thursday’s game, he kicked off his socks, won the ball and eluded Serie A’s experienced stars, before ending it all by scoring the winner at Aspmyra.

– He has spent some time physically adjusting and meeting our demands. We never doubted him and his capacity. The journey that Hugo has had and the level he is at now – we have many similar stories, says Knutsen, and mentions among others Alfons Sampsted and Ola Solbakken, at the same time that Marius Høibråten sat in the chair next to him on the pulpit.

– The hardest thing for a soccer player is not playing, but the show culture you manage to build in Bodø / Glimt is truly unique. When you manage to put together good, hungry footballers who know what to get in the way, you get rid of a lot of discontent and what comes with it, Høibråten told VG.

Vetlesen ended the 2021 season starting five of the last six league games. The one match he was substituted for was against Haugesund, where Knutsen “Cut it down to be cursed”.

The runners in responded by scoring twice and securing a point at Haugesund. Since then, he hasn’t looked back and started every match for Bodø/Glimt.

– Hugo got tougher with himself. When he sees progress and the way we work, it motivates himself, Knutsen said.

Until then, Vetlesen had started just six league games for Bod/Glimt that season. While Erik Botheim said he “Has a bad conscience for his friend”Hugo Vetlesen was honest at the time that it was hard not to play.

– Yes, nothing to hide. I feel like I’m in really good shape lately. Then there were a few times where I had one chip when I thought I was going to start, but that didn’t happen. I’m cursed, so the only thing that matters is to be prepared and adapt if given the chance. “I did it today, so it was a good response,” said the 21-year-old.

Marius Høibråten says he barely remembers the moment when Hugo Vetlesen broke free and slotted home the score 2-1 through Roma’s men and in goal.

– Then I thought my head was completely cut off. I elbowed him in celebration. It was great for Hugo to get one. He, like so many others, stood every day to get better, and that goal came at the perfect time, he said.

Henrietta Fairbank

"Amateur analyst. Zombie geek. Hardcore troublemaker. Internet expert. Incurable twitter fanatic."

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