Dundalk FC have agreed a deal to bring B36 Torshavn’s Faroese international defender Sonni Ragnar Nattestad to Oriel Park.
Born in August 1994, Nattestad was selected for the Faroe Islands at U17, U19 and U21 level before winning his first senior cap against Malta in a friendly on November 19th, 2013.
Four days earlier, he was part of the Faroes U21 team that was beaten 5-2 by a Republic of Ireland side that contained current Dundalk midfielder Sean Murray at The Showgrounds in Sligo.
Since then, the 26-year-old has gone on to feature 31 times for the Faroes. He won his last cap against Latvia in the UEFA Nations League game in Riga last November where he lined up against fellow new signing, Raivis Jurkovskis.
At club level, the 6ft 6in central defender made his first-team debut with Faroese side 07 Vestur as a 17-year-old in 2011 before making the switch to Danish side Midtjylland three years later.
He made four appearances in the Superliga before going on loan to first division Horsens and he also spent just under a year on loan at Vejle Boldklub, the club where Murray plied his trade before making the switch to Dundalk in 2019.
Dundalk midfielder Sean Murray in action against new Lilywhites defender Sonni Ragnar Nattestad in a UEFA U21 qualifying round game between the Republic of Ireland and the Faroe Islands at The Showgrounds in November 2013. Photo: Barry Cregg / SPORTSFILE
A move to FH Hafnarfjordur of Iceland followed in 2016 and Nattestad was an unused substitute in both legs of FH’s Champions League first qualifying round tie with Dundalk that summer. He spent the second half of the Urvalsdeild campaign on loan at Fylkir.
Norway was his next port of call but a move to Molde FK in December 2016 was badly disrupted by injury and in March 2018 he moved to Ålesund on a six-month loan deal where he played regularly. He had subsequent loan spells at AC Horsens in Denmark and FC Frederica in Denmark before he returned to the Faroes in January 2020 to join B36 Torshavn.
Nattestad made 22 starts for Torshavn, helping them to a fourth-place finish in the Meistaradeildin and he also played in their Europa League qualifying round victories over St Joseph’s, FCI Levadia and The New Saints before missing the playoff round defeat to CSKA Sofia.
“Sonni is a national team player with international experience,” said Lilywhites coach Filippo Giovagnoli, “and a player I have followed for a long time. He was a big talent when he was young and went to play overseas in Denmark, Iceland and in Norway, where Ole Gunnar Solskjaer signed him for Molde.
“He’s really big, strong and physical. He is six foot six, left-footed, fast and good on the ball so he is exactly the kind of centre-back we were looking for. I am really happy that he has signed for Dundalk and I’m looking forward to having him in the squad.”