sport news Kyle Lafferty's experience has helped Norwegian side Sarpsborg 08 out of the ...

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Kyle Lafferty's career has taken him from his hometown of Enniskillen, sandwiched between Upper and Lower Lough Erne in the north of Ireland, to the ancient city of Palermo in Sicily, via Sion in Switzerland's Rhone Valley. 

The 6'4 striker, who is renowned among UK fans for his spell at Rangers in Scotland, now finds himself living in Oslo, Norway, and making a 180 km daily round trip to turn out for Sarpsborg 08, a modest club in a modest town of the same name. 

He is noted for his exploits in Glasgow and his performances for his country, but he is now inadvertently carving himself out a niche as a hipster footballer, one of those players - not quite journeymen - who aren't afraid of a left-field opportunity. 

In August this year, Northern Ireland's Kyle Lafferty joined Sarpsborg 08 on a three-month deal

In August this year, Northern Ireland's Kyle Lafferty joined Sarpsborg 08 on a three-month deal

He turned down clubs in Scotland to take up the offer of playing at arguably his lowest level yet, a relegation dogfight in Norway. With a young daughter and a wife of three years, you might ask...why? 

'Apart from Rangers and Hearts, I've probably had my most successful spells away from the UK, especially Palermo. 

'For me, it doesn't really matter where I play my football. Obviously in the UK, it's closer to home, closer to the family, but if an opportunity comes up and it excites me then I'm not afraid to take it,' the 32-year-old explained to Sky Sports. 

The free agent left Rangers when his contract was terminated by mutual consent in July 2019

The free agent left Rangers when his contract was terminated by mutual consent in July 2019

Lafferty played for his boyhood club over two spells after joining as a 20-year-old in June 2008

Lafferty played for his boyhood club over two spells after joining as a 20-year-old in June 2008

KYLE LAFFERTY'S CAREER 

Burnley: (2005-08) Apps: 86 Goals: 10 

Darlington: (2006, on-loan) Apps: 9 Goals: 3

Rangers: (2008-12, 18-19) Apps: 164 Goals: 42

FC Sion: (2012-13) Apps: 28 Goals: 8

Palermo: (2013-14) Apps: 36 Goals: 12

Norwich City: (2014-17) Apps: 39 Goals: 4

Caykur Rizespor: (2015, on-loan) Apps: 15 Goals: 2

Birmingham City: (2016, on-loan) Apps: 6 Goals: 1

Hearts: (2017-18) Apps: 48 Goals: 20

Sarpsborg: (2019-) Apps: 8 Goals: 1

Northern Ireland: (2006-present) Apps: 75 Goals: 20

And the move is working, so much so that the Enniskillen man is the subject of a chant from the Sarpsborg fans, a simple but effective 'we love Kyle Lafferty'. 

Before he moved, the club's sporting director Thomas Berntsen called Lafferty a 'warrior' and a 'tough guy'.

'There will be some yellow cards, but also many goals. We think this will be very good,' he added.  

Lafferty, who started his professional career with Burnley, joined Geir Bakke's side in August with them rooted to the bottom of the table midway through their season - having left Steven Gerrard's Rangers by mutual consent. 

While he has only scored once in eight games, and assisted just twice, Bakke and Lafferty's teammates credit the big man's personality and experience with giving the minnows a chance at survival. 

'He's a clever player and he understands football. He's good at finding space behind the opponent and in between them and he gives something to his teammates out there with his charisma and his passion for the play,' Bakke explained.  

Aside from his exploits at Rangers and Hearts, he is known for his Northern Ireland career

Aside from his exploits at Rangers and Hearts, he is known for his Northern Ireland career

His first move out of the UK came when he joined FC Sion in Switzerland in June 2012

His first move out of the UK came when he joined FC Sion in Switzerland in June 2012

'He's a British player coming to Norway, it's fun for us and for Norwegian football. We didn't take enough points from the summer but when he comes in the boys around him, they like to see this smile and the way he is every day.' 

Sarpsborg now sit 11th out of 16 teams in the Eliteserien, formerly Tippeligaen, with today's game proving to be a relegation decider. 

Lafferty and co travel to Lillestrom, 20km east of Oslo, with their opponents also on 29 points, just two above the drop zone. 

Sarpsborg's superior goal difference of minus 10 keeps them above Stromsgodset, Lillestrom and Tromso. The two teams below that in the relegation zone are locked on 27 points, so it is all to play for come 5pm. 

He signed on a three-year contract and scored eight times in 28 games for the Swiss outfit

He signed on a three-year contract and scored eight times in 28 games for the Swiss outfit

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Banter and smiles alone can't win the game, so Lafferty will have to dig deep into

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