NEWS SUMMARY WEEK 20
A fantastic run of 15 matches without defeat ended on the last match of the season - with a defeat. But going down 3-1 at home to 3rd placed Brøndby was of no significance when arch-rivals and fellow relegation strugglers AGF lost 3-0 at home to 2nd placed OB.
Randers started the spring season 22 points behind AGF after a disastrous autumn season and the prospects looked grim. Ove Christensen was brought in to replace legendary player John Faxe Jensen as head trainer and managed the impossible: reorganising and motivating a flagging team to win and win again and again. Meanwhile, AGF went in the opposite direction after a good autumn season to nose-dive into the 1st division. Although it has to be said, that never before has a club been relegated with 38 points! An indicator of how intensely competitive the 2009/10 season has been.
After the match and amidst scenes of wild jubilation from the capacity 12,000-strong crowd, Christensen quoted a well-know song to declare himself 'almost happy' and said:
"It's the players who are closest to my heart. I've been hard on them but they have never complained. This is the biggest moment in my training career and I am almost happy. After the first three matches of the spring season, I said that we needed 10 points from the next four matches and we got them. Since then, we have never slipped up and there has been no room for individual or collective off-days.
"I love being a trainer and seeing potential realised. I have had my reward and am very happy. We are the champions of the spring season and I am just deligthed," concluded Christensen.
Trainer extends contract, striker leaves
After pulling off the miracle of league survival, Ove Christensen has been offered a new contract by Randers FC through to June 2011 and has accepted. Striker Marc Nygaard, brought to the club in 2007 and top scorer in the 2008/9 season, is leaving the club when his contract expires on June 30.
European fotball bonus
Randers FC qualified for the seconnd season in a row for the UEFA Europa League thanks to the club's record of fair play. The final list of qualifiers is not complete yet, but the club looks forward to some great moments like beating Hamburg SV away last year!
Official reception on town square
Concurrent with Randers FC's hard-won survival in the SAS League, neighbours Randers HK ladies handball team won the European Handball Federation's championship. A reception was organised for the handball champions on the town square and the mayor took the opportunity to let the public show their appreciation to the Randers FC players on the same occasion. The square was packed with handball and football fans and the atmosphere was truly festive!