New signing Runar Hauge has already won one league title in his short career. Now he’s hoping to do to it again in his spell with Dundalk.
The on-loan recruit from Hibernian was part of the Bodø/Glimt side which captured its first Eliteserien title in his native Norway back in 2020.
While he made just eight substitute appearances towards the end of that historic campaign for his hometown club, it gave the 20-year-old a taste for silverware.
While many Dundalk fans would simply be happy just to see the Lilywhites qualify for Europe between now and the end of the season, Hauge says he has come to Oriel Park with the genuine belief his new side can cause an upset and land a league title under Stephen O’Donnell this season.
Indeed, the Norwegian underage international said the prospect of a title challenge meant he didn’t hesitate in accepting the offer of a move to Dundalk when the opportunity came up last week.
“The club said to me that a loan deal would be best for me and then I heard Dundalk were interested,” said the winger, who is the Lilywhites’ second loan signing from Hibs this season, following in the footsteps of Steven Bradley.
“I didn't really think about it after that because I knew it was a good club and they're fighting for the league here and for trophies so I knew it'd be interesting here.”
Hauge – whose older brother Jens Petter was part of the Eintracht Frankfurt squad which won the Europa League title against Rangers back in May – is just the fifth Norwegian to play in the SSE Airtricity League after Glen Atle Larsen (St Pat’s), Tim Nilsen (Derry City), Stanley Anaebonam (Shels) and Ole Erik Midtskogen, who was at Dundalk last season.
Were he to achieve his aims of silverware here, he would be the first to have won both the Eliteserien and League of Ireland titles. While his time here is likely to be limited to a maximum of a maximum of about 17 games, presuming Dundalk can go all the way to the FAI Cup final, Hauge is confident he can leave an imprint on the league over the coming months.
“It's my childhood club so it was huge for a local boy to do that,” he said, reflecting on Bodø/Glimt’s title win from two years ago.
“When I was growing up Bodø/Glimt was not the top team in Norway so to be a part of that change was great from going from the Championship up to then win the Premiership, it was amazing.
“Now that I’m here I’d love to do something similar. It's a new surface and new team-mates and everything so it might take some time to get up to speed but I'm confident that I will get to a decent level and hopefully help the team win the league.”
So what can fans expect from their new number 22?
“There were small things I showed today like the stopovers and cutting down to the line and trying to cross it or going for the shot myself. That's the player I am and what I'm trying to do so that's what the fans can expect more of,” he said.