Infobox football club
clubname = HamKam
fullname = Hamarkameratene
nickname = "Kamma", "Grønnbuksene"
August 10, 1918
Briskeby gressbane Hamar
capacity = 8,068
chairman = Erik Stensrud
Arne Erlandsen| league = Tippeligaen
season = 2007
Hamarkameratene, often abbreviated to HamKam, is a Norwegian football club based in the town of
Hamar. The club was founded in 1918, originally under the name Freidig.
HamKam were most recently promoted to the
Norwegian Premier Leaguein 2007. A third place finish in 1970 is the highest position that the team has held in the Premier League; the club has never progressed beyond the semifinals of the Norwegian Cup, last reaching the semifinals in 1989. Briskeby gressbanehas been the home ground of Hamarkameratene since 1936. The construction of a completely modernized stadium began in 2007. Upon completion, expected in 2009, Briskeby will have a capacity of 10.200 spectators, whereas the capacity prior to the modernization was approximately 8000.
Hamarkameratene were founded as Freidig on
August 10, 1918by a group of teenagers. The prerequisite for joining the team was being able to pay for the football. Freidig applied for entry into the regional series in 1926, but were only admitted after their second attempt, in 1927. At the time a club by the name of "Freidig" was already playing in the series, so the boys from Hamar were forced to rename their team. The natural choice was Briskebyen Fotballag ("Briskebyen" Football Team), "Briskeby" being the name of their neighbourhood. The club had no permanent playing location until 1936, instead renting fields from various other clubs. Eventually this situation grew intolerable and ground for a stadium of their own was bought in 1934. Briskeby gressbanewas inaugurated two year later and has remained the club's home ground ever since.
In 1946, Briskebyen Fotballag joined up with the multimodal sports club Hamar Arbeideridrettslag (Hamar Workers' Sports Club) to form Hamarkameratene (literally meaning "
Comrades of Hamar"). It was the wish of the municipality that all the sports clubs in Hamar merge, but in the end only these two clubs, who shared a common political viewpoint, were able to reach an agreement. The first manager was Roy Wright, a former Wolverhampton player. His experience from English football, however, did not benefit the club and he was considered a disappointment. The Czechoslovakian, Willem Cerveny, on the other hand, proved to be an influential asset to club and the development of a football culture in the region.
The first half of the 1970s was the club's most successful period to date. Having won promotion to the 1st Division for the first time in 1969 (the highest level in Norway at the time), the green and white placed third overall in their first season, as well as reaching the semifinals of the Norwegian Cup. HamKam remained a stable contender in the 1st Division until 1974, when they were relegated. The club would earn promotion to the highest division three more times before 1980.
The '80s continued in much the same fashion as the latter part of the '70s, with the club going back and forth between the two top levels in Norwegian football. In 1984, a new stand with a capacity of 2,346 was constructed at Briskeby. A considerable loan was taken up to fund the stand, of which the club would feel the effects for the decade to come, among other things because of the rise in interest rates after the 1987 stock market correction. A measure of success was still achieved, however, the club reaching the semifinals of the cup in 1987 and 1989.
A successful season in 1991 saw Hamarkameratene once again win promotion to the highest dissivion (now called "Tippeligaen"/Norwegian Premier League), under Swedish coach
Peter Engelbrektsson. The club managed to avoid relegation in 1992 by virtue of a better goal difference, and entered into 1993 with renewed confidence. After a slow start, the team began climbing towards the top, and were in reach of second place and even the championship towards the end of the season, but with a slump in form a fifth place was the still-positive end result.
HamKam spent another two years in the Premier League before entering a recession. In 1994, the municipality bought the stadium to remove the debt which had nearly bankrupted the club. Coach Engelbrektsson left after relegation to the 1st Division in 1995, and the club failed to earn promotion in 1996 and 1997. Serious financial problems emerged at the beginning of 1998. This time a group of private investors prevented bankruptcy, but Ham-Kam were unable to even retain their spot in the 1st Division and were relegated to the 2nd Division. Promotion back into the 1st Division was won the following season, and a slow process followed to rebuild the team. In 2001 the club nearly made it back to the Premier League but lost the playoff against Bryne. The following season was a disappointment, however, with only eighth place to show for, and the club was yet again experiencing financial problems.
After struggling for seven years, the hiring of
Ståle Solbakkenas the team's coach before the start of the 2003-season marked the beginning of another short stay at the top of Norwegian football for the green and white. Having won the 1st Division in 2003, they entered the Premier League for the first time since 1995. The first season in the top flight in eight years was a formidable success. Under Solbakken's leadership, HamKam were in contention for a spot among the final four and a place in the UEFA Cupqualifying rounds. They would eventually end the season in fifth place. Thought by many to be unable to cope in the company of wealthier clubs, this was an impressive feat by the team with the second-smallest budget of them all.
Expectations were high in 2005, but despite early prospects of a good season (in their first game, they defeated would-be champions Vålerenga), HamKam were unable to perform consistently and ended up in a disappointing tenth place. Soon after, Solbakken announced that he would be leaving the club to become manager of
FC København. His was succeeded by the former Norwegian national goalkeeper Frode Grodås.
Solbakken's tenure at Hamarkameratene had left the club in a much improved state from prior to his arrival. Gone were the financial problems that had plagued the club for two decades. People were once again coming to see the team play, with attendances now averaging more than 5,500, a number not seen since the '70s. Fans of the club had even gone as far as to nickname their manager Ståle "Salvatore" ("the saviour") in recognition of his achievements.
His successor failed to capitalize. Ham-Kam picked up where they left off in 2005, scoring some spectacular wins against top teams while again being unable to perform consistently. As the season neared its end, however, Frode Grodås failed where Solbakken had succeeded, namely in keeping Ham-Kam away from the relegation zone. Going into the final round of the season, they found themselves third from the bottom of the table and in need of a win. HamKam instead suffered a humiliating 1-5 loss at home, dropping to 13th place and relegation.
As a result of this, the board decided to fire Grodås from his position as head coach, and on
November 13 Arne Erlandsenwas hired as his replacement. Vegard Skogheim, a long-time favorite amongst the fans, was hired as assistant coach.
Norwegian Premier League:
**2nd Runners-up (1): 1970
Norwegian Football Cup:
**Semifinals (6): 1969, 1970, 1971, 1973, 1987, 1989
*Greatest home victory: 12-0 vs.
Pors Grenland I.F., July 28 1991
*Greatest away victory: 8-0 vs. Ringsaker,
May 23 2003
*Heaviest home loss: 0-6 vs.
F.K. Bodø/Glimt, October 1 1995
*Heaviest away loss: 1-9 vs.
Rosenborg BK, September 2 1995
Briskeby gressbane: 11,500 vs. Lillestrøm S.K., May 27 1976
*Highest average attendance, season: 5,634, 2005
*Most appearances, total: 506, Cato Erstad 1982-1994
*Most goals scored, total: 360, Knut Eriksen 1958-1969
. Briskeby was the first ground in the county to feature a grass pitch.
The stadium was the venue for the Norwegian Cup final in 1937, only a year after its completion. The crowd of 14,500 is the highest ever for a match at Briskeby, and was set at a time when the official capacity was a mere 1,200. HamKam's own attendance record is 11,500 and was set against Lillestrøm in 1976.
HamKam's comeback in the Premier League has sparked renewed interest in the club, with increasing attendances as a result, but Briskeby is considered to be outdated and unfit for use in the highest division. Only one stand has proper seating and of the stadium's 8,086 capacity only 2,768 are seated.
HamKam launched several proposals for a complete redevelopment of Briskeby in 2005. The Munipicality of Hamar finally approved the plans on
February 1, 2006. With construction likely beginning in the summer of 2006, the first phase will be completed sometime in 2007. Once finished, the stadium will be a modern all-seater with a capacity of 10,200 spectators.
*1995: 2,608 (Tippeligaen)
*1997: 1,010 (1st Division)
*1999: 917 (2nd Division)
*2000: 916 (1st Division)
*2004: 5,580 (Tippeligaen)
Out on loan
*cite book | author=Gjerdåker, Brynjulf | title=Stiftstad og bygdeby: Hamars historie 1935-1991 | publisher= | year=1998 | id=
*cite web | title=Hamkam.no - Club history | url=http://www.hamkam.no/presentation/showcontent.asp?id=135&clicked_id=106&menunames=Historie&parent_id=135&nodeNumber=1 | accessmonthday=May 16 | accessyear=2006
*cite web | title=NIFS.no - Statistics | url=http://www.nifs.no | accessmonthday=May 16 | accessyear=2006
* [http://www.hamkam.no Official Website]
* [http://www.briskebybanden.com BriskebyBanden (Supporter Club)]
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