Iceland – A Task For Society
The good thing, however, is that fostering talent works without investors. Promoting sport is considered a task for society. The numerous sports centres that have been built since the 1980s and allow clubs to train on artificial turf all year round are a key factor in this. V’idir Stgurdsson believes the efforts of recent years and, in particular, the profusion of indoor training facilities arc already having an effect on the standard of youth football: ”Icelandic clubs have a lot of outstanding talent. Some ha\e only just turned 16 and are already playing regularly in the first division. Lidur Gudjohnsen started out like that as well.”
One of the biggest talents is l7-year-olcl Holmar Orri Evjolfsson, the son of Jolly Sverrisson. Should he star in the national team one day, though, he will not be coached by his father, who stepped down at the end of October to make way for Olafur Johannesson. The 50-vear-old carpenter enjoyed some success at Icelandic club HF Hafnarfjordur, bur has no international experience whatsoever. Following the failure to qualify for EURO 2008 in Austria and Switzerland, the people of Iceland arc now dreaming of reaching the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa.
If that dream also comes to nothing, it will do little to dampen the country’s passion for football. A 3-0 defeat to Liechtenstein, however, is not acceptable. On that, everyone agrees.