Casper Ankergren

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Casper Ankergren
Personal information
Full name Casper Ankergren
Date of birth (1979-11-09) 9 November 1979 (age 35)
Place of birth Køge, Denmark
Height 1.91 m (6 ft 3 in)
Playing position Goalkeeper
Club information
Current team
Brighton & Hove Albion
Number 16
Youth career
Solrød
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1998–2000 Køge BK 44 (0)
2001–2007 Brøndby IF 124 (0)
2007–2010 Leeds United 124 (0)
2010– Brighton & Hove Albion 67 (0)
National team
1995 Denmark U17 2 (0)
2000 Denmark U21 3 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 09:15, 20 April 2013 (UTC).
† Appearances (Goals).

Casper Ankergren (born 9 November 1979) is a Danish professional football goalkeeper currently playing for English team Brighton & Hove Albion. He played three matches for the Denmark national under-21 team.

Club career[edit]

Køge BK[edit]

Born in Køge, Sjælland, Ankergren started playing youth football with Solrød FC,[1] before moving on to Køge BK in the Danish 1st Division,[2] and represented Denmark at various youth levels. He made a good display in a pre-season friendly against many-times Danish champions Brøndby IF, and was rumoured to be joining that club in April 2000.[3] He signed a contract with Brøndby in May 2000, initially sending him on loan back at Køge.[4]

Brøndby IF[edit]

He eventually joined Brøndby IF in the top-flight Danish Superliga championship in January 2001.[5] He made his debut in October 2001, and therefore played only one match as Brøndby won the 2001–02 Superliga title.[6] Ankergren got his breakthrough with Brøndby following the retirement of club legend Mogens Krogh in December 2002. He played all 15 Brøndby games in the second half of the 2002–03 season,[7] and helped the club win the 2003 Danish Cup.[8]

For the 2003–04 season, Brøndby bought goalkeeper Karim Zaza who became their first choice, leaving Ankergren to spend the season as back-up keeper, playing only one game.[9] At the start of the 2004–05 season, Zaza suffered an injury and Ankergren played the entire season as Brøndby's starting goalkeeper, even after Zaza had recovered. --> Ankergren finished the season setting a league record 18 clean sheets in 32 games, and helped Brøndby win the Double of both the 2004–05 Superliga and 2005 Danish Cup titles.[10]

He started the 2005–06 season in the Brøndby goal, but at the winter interval, Zaza was once again selected as first choice keeper. However, Zaza left the club in the summer of 2006 and Ankergren signed a new three-year contract. Brøndby had a disappointing start to the 2006–07 season, sitting in seventh place at the winter break. However, Ankergren was called up to the Denmark national team by national manager Morten Olsen in October 2006, where he served as a back-up goalkeeper for Jesper Christiansen. When Brøndby bought former Danish international goalkeeper Stephan Andersen, Ankergren announced his decision to leave the club.

Leeds United[edit]

In January 2007, he signed a loan deal with English club Leeds United.[10] who were battling relegation in the Football League Championship. He signed for the remainder of the 2006–07 Football League season, with an option for Leeds to buy him at a fixed transfer fee at the end of the season. Ankergren established himself as a firm favourite with the Leeds fans and displaced Neil Sullivan, Tony Warner and Graham Stack, putting in a number of matchwinning saves and performances. His popularity was further increased during the 1–0 victory over Luton Town when he made his second save from a penalty kick since joining Leeds. An injury temporarily forced him out of the side with another Leeds loanee goalkeeper Graham Stack taking his place, although Ankergen reclaimed his place in the side once he regained match fitness. He soon made it publicly known that he wanted to continue his stay at Leeds past his loan spell,[11] and Leeds' manager Dennis Wise stated he wanted to keep Ankergen at the club.

He transferred to Leeds for an undisclosed fee from Brøndby, signing a three-year contract on 6 August 2007.[12] Ankergen was Leeds' first choice goalkeeper in the 2007–08 season. On 8 October 2007, he was named League One Player of the Month for September due to his great goalkeeping displays. In the first 18 games of the season, he kept 10 clean sheets and retained the number one jersey for a further 23 games. He played in Leeds' first match at the new Wembley Stadium, the 1–0 League One play-off Final defeat to Doncaster Rovers. He pulled off a string of impressive one-handed saves to keep his side in the match.

He took part in Leeds' pre-season tour of Ireland for the 2008–09 season but was rested on occasions to give understudies David Lucas and Alan Martin first team goalkeeping experience. He started the first four games of the full season but failed to keep a clean sheet as his team conceded six goals. He was dropped for the League Cup tie against Crystal Palace in favour of Lucas, which Leeds went on to win 4–0, and missed out in the subsequent 2–2 draw with Bristol Rovers. He was also dropped for the 5–2 win over Crewe Alexandra again in favour of Lucas, but returned to being first choice keeper under new manager Simon Grayson.

At the start of the 2009/10 season, Ankergren was Leeds' number two goalkeeper behind Shane Higgs. Ankergren made his first appearance of the season coming on as a substitute for Higgs who suffered an injury during the game against Milton Keynes Dons, opening the door for Ankergren to start a few games after Higgs was ruled out with a thigh injury. Leeds signed goalkeeper Frank Fielding as backup to Ankergren whilst Higgs was injured. Ankergen made his first start of the season against Carlisle United. He started a second successive game with Higgs still out and he kept a clean sheet in the game against Charlton Athletic. He continued to deputise for the injured Higgs and has played 11 games in all competitions with six clean sheets so far. New loan signing David Martin came into the side for the Football League Trophy game against Accrington Stanley with Ankergren dropping to the bench, but he returned to the starting line-up against Southampton and kept another clean sheet. With Higgs' injury more serious than originally thought, Ankergren has been given an extended run of games.

On 3 January 2010 Ankergen made several important saves for Leeds in their 1–0 FA Cup victory against Premier League champions Manchester United at Old Trafford, particularly from Wayne Rooney and Danny Wellbeck shots.[13] The following games for Leeds saw a slump in form with Leeds drawing against Wycombe Wanderers and losing against Exeter City and Carlisle United. Ankergren had a fine game for Leeds in the FA Cup game against Tottenham Hotspur on 23 January 2010. Ankergen saved a first half penalty from Jermain Defoe, and also pulled off a string of fine saves as Leeds earned a replay with a 2–2 draw.

On 3 February 2010 Ankergren put in an impressive performance after making several impressive saves against Tottenham in the FA Cup despite Leeds losing 3–1. Ankergren was involved in a penalty shootout for Leeds, but was unable to save a penalty for Leeds in the Football League Trophy Northern Area final second leg against Carlisle as Leeds were knocked out of the tournament after losing 6–5 in the shootout.

After Leeds' number one goalkeeper Higgs returned from a long injury lay-off in a match against Norwich City, Ankergren dropped back to the substitutes bench.. Leeds were promoted to the Football League Championship after finishing in second place. It was announced on 14 May 2010 that Ankergren would not be offered a new deal at Leeds and that he was free to find a new club. Ankergren was replaced at Leeds by a fellow Dane Kasper Schmeichel who signed a deal two weeks after Ankergren was released.

Brighton & Hove Albion[edit]

On 6 August 2010, Ankergren signed for his former Leeds assistant manager Gus Poyet at Brighton. Ankergren made his Brighton debut the following day, in Brighton's opening game of the season 2–1 win over Swindon Town. He started well at Brighton, winning the League One Player of the Month for September 2010. He won the award again in March 2011, keeping 5 clean sheets in 8 games. On 12 April 2011 he helped Brighton gain promotion to the Football League Championship after a 4–3 win over Dagenham & Redbridge on Tuesday 13 April 2011.

International career[edit]

While at Køge, Ankergen played his first youth football for Denmark, making his debut for the under-17s in August 1995. He played three games for the under-21s,[14] but found himself the reserve of Rune Pedersen[15] and eventually Stephan Andersen.[16] While at Brøndby, he served as sparring partner in various Danish national team training sessions around 2003.[17] In October 2006 he received a call-up to the Denmark national team by manager Morten Olsen, as a replacement for injured Thomas Sørensen,[18] but he was an unused substitute in the game, and has not featured in a Danish squad since.

In January 2006 and January 2007, he played unofficial international games with the Denmark League XI national football team.[19]

Honours[edit]

Club[edit]

Brøndby
Brighton & Hove Albion

Personal[edit]

League One Player of the Month – September 2010,[20] March 2011[21]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Mikael Koldby, "Sofaspil: Solrød FC er klar til kamp", Politiken, 1 July 2000
  2. ^ "Křge Boldklub – fotogalleri Fřrsteholdstruppen efterĺr 1998". Koge-boldklub.dk. Retrieved 6 October 2010. 
  3. ^ Søren Olsen, "Superligaen: Mogens Kroghs afløser er fundet", Politiken, 30 April 2000
  4. ^ "Kroghs afløser kørt i stilling", Ritzaus Bureau, 9 May 2000
  5. ^ Søren Olsen, "Superligaen: Trængsel i FC København", Politiken, 4 January 2001
  6. ^ "DBU's Officielle Statistikere". danskfodbold.com. Retrieved 6 October 2010. 
  7. ^ "DBU's Officielle Statistikere". danskfodbold.com. Retrieved 6 October 2010. 
  8. ^ "Pokalturneringen 2002/2003 – Finale". www.haslund.info. Retrieved 6 October 2010. 
  9. ^ "DBU's Officielle Statistikere". danskfodbold.com. Retrieved 6 October 2010. 
  10. ^ a b "Ankergren completes move to Leeds". BBC Sport. 31 January 2007. Retrieved 1 May 2010. 
  11. ^ Pearson, James (22 February 2007). "Casper eyes Whites stay". Sky Sports. Retrieved 1 May 2010. 
  12. ^ "Leeds boosted by keeper signing". BBC Sport. 7 August 2007. Retrieved 7 August 2007. 
  13. ^ Kay, Oliver; Trafford, Old (4 January 2010). "Leeds United shock Manchester United in the FA Cup third round". The Times (London). 
  14. ^ "Landsholdsdatabasen spiller information". Dbu.dk. 28 March 2000. Retrieved 6 October 2010. 
  15. ^ "To debutanter med i startopstillingen". Dbu.dk. Retrieved 6 October 2010. 
  16. ^ "Endelig sejr". Dbu.dk. Retrieved 6 October 2010. 
  17. ^ "Thomas Sørensen tror på det". Dbu.dk. Retrieved 6 October 2010. 
  18. ^ "Thomas Sørensen skadet". Dbu.dk. Retrieved 6 October 2010. 
  19. ^ "Landsholdsdatabasen spiller information". Dbu.dk. Retrieved 6 October 2010. 
  20. ^ "Ankergren named player of the month". 
  21. ^ "Ankergren named player of the month again". 

External links[edit]