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Møller Dæhli: “I’ll keep smiling”

On 18 January 2017, i.e. exactly two years ago today, Mats Møller Dæhli took part in his first training session for the club during the winter training camp in Sotogrande in Spain. The attacking midfielder came out with a smile on his face, a smile that has been a very common sight over the last two years. Reason enough, then, for the club's Twitter account to showcase the ebullient Norwegian every day for the last five weeks under the hashtag #1910smilesofMats. The campaign comes to an end today but that doesn’t bother Møller Dæhli – far from it.

Towards the end of this season’s training camp his spirits were dampened, however, but not by the muscle problem that ruled him out of the warm-up game against Wehen Wiesbaden. Not at all, it was the news that his teammate Philipp Ziereis had sustained a serious knee injury. “It’s such a bitter blow and we all feel for him,” Møller Dæhli said. "When you hear news like that, it makes you feel bad yourself.

The injury to Ziereis was the only black spot of the winter training camp. The Boys in Brown trained with the right level of intensity and had some fun as well. “The balance between good humour and hard work was just right,” said the 23-year-old, who played his part in ensuring the mood was good.

For on day four, captain Johannes Flum captured the Norwegian singing and dancing to the song Danske med campingvogn by Øystein Sunde on film after training. The video - CLICK! – was a smash hit on the club Twitter account. It was seen more than 47,000 times and attracted over 800 likes. “It’s a very old Norwegian song I first heard when I was a little boy. It's not about much apart from being happy. It’s a good mood song.”

For the last five weeks, Møller Dæhli has been putting people in a good mood on our Twitter account every evening at 1910 CET. The idea was born spontaneously and after a comment by one of our followers the original hashtag #1000SmilesofMats was changed to #1910SmilesofMats. The response was so enthusiastic that the photos elicited more than 200 likes on occasions. “I’m very happy the reactions to the pictures were so positive, of course, but I can’t understand why they got so many likes,” said Mats, modest as ever.

Initially, the Norwegian knew nothing about the campaign. “Just before Christmas my mother informed me that the club were tweeting photos of me but she didn't understand why, so I had a look and then explained the hashtag to her," he said. "The pressure to spread good cheer all the time grew because of #1910SmilesofMats. If ever I'm not smiling, people keep asking what's wrong. The good thing is that I'm usually in a good mood anyway."

The #1910SmilesofMats campaign may be coming to an end today but Mats remains as cheerful as ever: "It isn't a problem for me that it's finishing, five weeks is more than enough. I'll keep smiling, especially if we maintain our form of the first half of the season. I won't have any reason to stop if that's the case."

Of all the photos in the #1910SmilesofMats series, Møller Dæhli chose this one, taken after the 4-1 home win over Magdeburg just before Christmas, as his favourite.


Photos: Witters