Logi Ólafsson is hoping his Urvalsdeild leaders KR Reykjavík can make their presence felt in the inaugural UEFA Europa League next season, saying: "It's always tomorrow's goal to improve and make our mark in European football."
The 54-year-old took over at KR midway through the 2007 campaign and a little over a year later guided the capital club to Icelandic Cup glory. The end-of-season triumph earned KR a place in the UEFA Europa League, form they have carried over into the new campaign where Ólafsson's team lead the fledgling table on goal difference from Fylkir with ten points from four matches. "The competition is very tough and there are still 18 rounds to go but the points we have got will not be taken away from us," said Ólafsson, Iceland coach from 2003 to 2005.
"We are pleased with our start but realise teams like FH [Hafnarfjördur] know the routine and it helps that they have had very few changes in personnel over the years," he continued. "I think FH, Keflavík, Valur [Reykjavík] and KR will occupy the top spots but there are always some surprise teams like Stjarnan [a point behind in third]."
As cup winners KR will enter the UEFA Europa League in the second qualifying round and Ólafsson is keeping his fingers crossed for a favourable draw. "We have amassed a 22-man squad, who always strive to do their best what competition we are in," he added. "It is an incentive for Icelandic players not to see the same faces all summer and if the European draw is in our favour we can achieve good things there. It is always tomorrow's task to improve and make our mark in European football."
Ólafsson views continental action as the ideal opportunity for Icelandic players to further their careers but still holds the domestic league in high regard. "Players see UEFA competition as a good opportunity for themselves but the Icelandic league is also a good shop window for them," he said. "It is better for players in the lower divisions in Scandinavia to play in Iceland because scouts attend every game. There are many good players; you can even go to a fourth division game and see good football, not to mention the top division."
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