BSP-25 Iceland name Swede Hamren as new coach

ZCZC

BSP-25

FBL-ISL-SWE-HAMREN

Iceland name Swede Hamren as new coach

REYKJAVIK, Aug 8, 2018 (BSS/AFP) – Former Sweden coach Erik Hamren was on
Wednesday announced as Iceland’s new manager, replacing Heimir Hallgrimsson
who stepped down after leading the island nation to its first World Cup in
Russia.

Selected ahead of 30 other candidates, the 61-year-old now faces the task
of taking the team to Euro 2020, which would be their third major
championship in a row after reaching the Euro 2016 quarter-finals in France
and the World Cup in Russia earlier this summer.

“I like the challenge and I believe we can do it,” said Hamren, who has
been a coach for more than 25 years at the highest level in Sweden, Denmark
and Norway.

“I’m coming into a new country and new team. It’s important that I won’t
change everything. We have to hold onto the things that have worked well in
the past.”

Iceland’s former coach Hallgrimsson, 51, stepped down in July, saying it
would be “good for the team to have a new vision”.

Hamren signed a two-year contract with the possibility of an extension for
another two years.

Under his leadership, Sweden qualified for Euro 2012 and Euro 2016, but
were knocked out in the group stage on both occasions.

But Hamren failed to take Sweden to the 2014 World Cup after losing in a
playoff to Portugal.

He previously coached several clubs in his home country, but won his only
league titles with Denmark’s Aalborg and Norway’s Rosenborg.

Hamren had been the technical director of South African club Mamelodi
Sundowns since January before resigning two days ago to take on the Iceland
job.

He will be assisted by Freyr Alexandersson, who has been coaching the
Icelandic women’s team for five years.

The two men will begin work in September for the start of the inaugural
UEFA Nations League.

“I’m very happy getting Freyr into the setup with me,” Hamren added. “In
the short time since I met him he has impressed me hugely.”

Iceland are to face Switzerland on September 8 and Belgium on September
11.

BSS/AFP/FI/ 2205 hrs