Wednesday, December 1, 2010
With the 2010 Norwegian soccer season now over, Baerum SK defender Sebastian Troupe has quickly turned his attention to focusing on 2011 and making next year the best one in club history.
Troupe was a mainstay all year long for Baerum playing an array of positions, however his natural position resides in defense at right back.
The 18 year old says he was disappointed with how Baerum performed this season in Norway's 2. Division, but that he gained valuable experience playing at different positions throughout the season.
"For the team it was a mediocre season," Troupe recently told YA. "We finished seventh in the standings. For me, personally, it was good. I think I developed because I played a lot and also played different positions like striker and right winger. The coaches brought me forward when we played teams who didn't have much pace in the back. I love playing striker and it's fun but I know that it's not my position."
Utilizing a right back as a key ingredient in a team's attack is a focal point of the Baerum coaching staff who are looking to Troupe to add that necessary punch and pace.
In order to improve on that front, the dual citizen says this offseason his aim is to better his passing and ball-handling skills.
"I really want to be better at crossing and passing and improve my offense. Defensively, I think I'm good but I need to improve in areas like ball-handling with pace," he noted.
Heading into this season Baerum was considered a candidate for promotion to the 1. Division but some poor results early in the spring derailed any hopes of that coming to pass.
For Troupe, the number one goal in 2011 is for Baerum to get off to a good start so come fall, they will be playing more meaningful matches.
"I want Baerum to fight for promotion so we have to win at the start of the season," he explained. "This year we fell in the standings early on. I'm hoping we can improve our game and team so we are playing important matches later in the season."
When pressed if he ever foresees himself leading Baerum as high as the Eliteserien, Troupe quickly waives off that notion explaining that Baerum currently do not have the resources to reach that premier level.
"At the moment we do not have the financial ability to be in the Eliteserien but I think we can get to the 1. Division and establish ourselves there and then maybe one day make it to the Eliteserien."
It is difficult to tell if Troupe could ever be part of a Baerum team that aspires for promotion to the Norway's top flight as many Eliteserien teams have now noticed the versatile son of an Indiana native.
Troupe says he has spent some time training with a couple Eliteserien teams so a move away from Baerum could come earlier than expected.
But no matter what happens, as long as he is wearing a Baerum jersey, Troupe is adamant that all of his attention and focus will be with the club that has trained him since the tender age of seven.
"I have been able to train with Lillestrom and Valerenga which has been a great experience especially training with [Norwegian] national team players, " he added. "But first I want to help Baerum to the 1. Division. What's nice about the club is that they have told me that they won't stop me if a 1. Division or Eliteserien team wants me. They understand that they develop players who eventually move on to bigger clubs."
Internationally, Troupe remains uncommitted since neither the United States nor the Norwegian youth national teams have reached out to him.
Troupe was invited to join the US Under-20 camp in Holland this past spring but his club commitments precluded him from joining head coach Thomas Rongen's squad that week.
Outside of a non-UEFA sanctioned tournament in May where he donned the Norway jersey, Troupe says he has not had contact from either the US or his brith country.
"I have not spoken with Coach Rongen or anyone from the US and I have not heard from Norway since I played in a tournament last May. We'll see what happens but for right now I'm focused on my career at Baerum," concluded Troupe.