Wednesday, May 10, 2006

ICELANDIC FOOTBALL IN A NUTSHELL - Part 1

This excellent article appeared in the Dutch magazine ´Toeter´ in 2003. The author of the article is Icelandic by the name of Tryggvi Már Ingvarsson. It's so great that I thought it would be perfect to put it up on this site.

ICELANDIC FOOTBALL IN A NUTSHELL
by Tryggvi Már Ingvarsson


It is January. The temperature is below zero and it is snowing. A group of men is jogging along Elliðaá River in the suburbs of Reykjavík. They are on their way to training that takes place in a building which usually is used to tame and train horses, but they are going there to play football. On coarse gravel field that smells like the wrong end of a horse!

Icelandic football players are starting preparation for new season! Next months contain endless jogging in all kinds of weathers; sunny, raining, snowing, windy, or all these weather combined in one! They emphasize on physical training without football. The reason for this has been the tremendous lack of facilities which has prohibited Icelandic players to train the technical aspects of the game. The emergence of big indoor football facilities recently in Iceland is now hopefully changing this.

The preparing season is from the beginning of January until middle of May when the Icelandic league starts. During this time players build up stamina and muscles, some ambitious teams also go abroad to warmer countries like Portugal and Spain to train and play friendly matches. In March, April, May there are also two competitions played on artificial grass, the local Reykjavík competition and the 'League cup' but they are not taken very seriously by most teams. Young players get the first experience from senior football in these competitions.

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