Icelandic defender Ólafur Örn Bjarnason is preparing for a unique footballing endurance test − playing two games in two nations, for two clubs, in barely 24 hours.
The 35-year-old has been living a double life this season, serving out the remainder of his contract as a player with Norwegian club SK Brann – his home since the start of the 2004 season – while preparing for a new role as player/coach at Icelandic outfit Grindavík. Since early June he has been splitting his time between the two roles.
Due to his contract with Brann, Bjarnason has not been able to play for Grindavík − his club from 1992-97 and 2000-03 − but he is very much looking forward to his new position, explaining: "It's different, but exciting. I feel a lot more responsibility when I am coaching."
His final playing commitment for Brann is a 25 July match against Sandefjord Fotball, which kicks off at 18.00. The following day, he is expected to be in the starting lineup when Grindavík take on Keflavík, the match starting at 19.15. He will thus have less than 24 hours between the final whistle in one game and kick-off in the next.
Stefán Janković, Grindavík's assistant coach, who has been covering in Bjarnason's absence, told UEFA.com: "I think Ólafur will play as soon as he arrives and will get a game against Keflavík. I have decided where I want him to play. I guess I should go to Norway to see what shape he is in but he should be good enough to get in the team."
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