You have just led KÍ Klaksvik into the UEFA Conference League. By doing so, KÍ Klaksvik have become the first Faroese team to play in group phase European football. How proud of you of that achievement?
“It is an incredible achievement by myself and the players to make history for the club and for the nation.
“I felt that we could give a good account of ourselves in European games this season but I could never foresee the journey that we went on and are still on.
“We defeated Ferencváros and BK Hacken in the opening rounds of the Champions League qualifiers before narrowly losing out to Molde in the third qualifying round.
“That was an achievement in itself but to push Sheriff Tiraspol — who defeated Real Madrid only a few seasons ago — close and almost reach the Europa League was another special achievement for us.
“Losing that game was disappointing for all of us but our progress up to that point also rewarded us with a place in the Conference League group phase given that it was a playoff game.
“We now prepare to face Lille, Slovan Bratislava and Olimpija Ljubljana in that competition as they have been drawn in our group and we cannot wait for the games to begin.
“Lille is a massive club throughout all of Europe while Slovan Bratislava and Olimpija Ljubljana have European heritage in their own right.
“So, to be able to welcome them to the Faroe Islands for competing European matches is going to be special for our club and for the whole country.
“We are preparing hard for those games – as well as our domestic games – with a determination to be competitive in every game that we play in.
“We have come a long way as a team during my time at the club so far and this is only the beginning of the journey.”
Remarkably the job at KÍ Klaksvik is your first job as a manager, how would you reflect on your time in charge from a domestic viewpoint so far?
“I am really enjoying the challenge of managing the club domestically as well as in European competition.
“The league itself is an interesting one because we have four or five teams who have strong squads at the top of the league while the others are not as strong.
“It is almost like two leagues of five within the one division such is the quality differential.
“That being said, we are pushing to win the league title this season and to win a league title at the end of my first season as a manager would be very special.
“However, we still have games to go so I am taking nothing for granted and we remain committed to winning every game that we play in to make that aim a reality.”
As a footballer, you had two significant spells at Molde FK and won three Norwegian league titles and a Norwegian Cup under the management of Ole Gunnar Solskjær. What are your memories of those successes and playing under Ole?
“Both of my spells at Molde were fantastic.
“The club was regarded as a nearly club in Norway as we had a habit of challenging for titles and cups without getting over the line.
“That changed when Ole took over in 2011. He led us to those league victories and a domestic cup success.
“It was such a big deal for the club and it is a testament to the work at Ole did as a manager.
“He instilled great belief in us as players and he was tactically astute in how we approached games. I thoroughly enjoyed playing for him.”
You also won a Norwegian League title with Vålerenga in 2005. How special was that success given that it was your first taste of success in Norwegian domestic football?
“That was also a fantastic experience and winning your first league title is something that never leaves you.
“I have so many memories of celebrating that success in Oslo with ten thousand of our fans.
“It was a massive moment for the club and I also played alongside some fantastic players during that period such as Tore André Flo who used to play for teams such as Chelsea and Rangers as well as Ronny Johnsen who won the treble with Manchester United in 1999.
“It was a fantastic period for the club and for myself too.”
In addition to the league titles that you won in your native Norway, you also won a Danish league title with FC Copenhagen. What did it feel like to achieve success abroad?
“I loved my time in Denmark because the standard of football is very good and Copenhagen is a beautiful city to live in.
“We had an incredible year together at Copenhagen culminating in winning the league title then I returned to Norway after only one season.
“That move is my only regret in football. I wish I had stayed longer in Copenhagen because I was playing regularly and I believe if I had stayed I could have earned a move to an even bigger club.”
You represented Norway on 22 occasions from 2001 to 2010. How do you reflect on your time with the national team and the coaches that you worked under?
“I loved representing Norway because it is a dream for every footballer to one day represent their country.
“My favourite time with the national team was when Åge Hareide was head coach because he always believed in me and picked me.
“From my 22 games with Norway, I have seventeen wins, three draws and only two defeats. It is not a bad record to have as an international player.
“My most vivid memory was facing Italy away from home in Palermo.
“I was feeling very nervous before the game as I wanted to compete against such a strong team and show my quality particularly as I was a huge fan of Italian football and the great players that they had such as Del Piero and Totti.
“I also walked out last going on to the pitch. That was something that I always did and before that game, I think a few others could tell that I was nervous.
“Then, in the tunnel, a tall man with black hair put his hand on my shoulders and said ‘Relax and don’t worry, it is only football.’
“That man was Gianluigi Buffon. I could not believe it. He was an icon of world football and he was going out of his way to help me and speak to me before the game.
“I went on to play a good game that night as we narrowly lost by two goals to one after a late Luca Toni goal sealed the game for the Italians.”
Finally, Magne, what are your ultimate ambitions as a manager?
“As a footballer, my overriding determination was to progress as far as I could and that is the approach that I have taken into management too.
“I want to work at the highest level possible and to work in one of the top five European leagues but I am only starting out on my journey and I know that it will take a lot of work to get me there.
“I am enjoying my role as manager of KÍ Klaksvik and my sole focus at this moment is to take this club as far as I can.”