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Pressure keeps FH coach on his toes

Published: Monday 17 August 2009, 10.30CET
Now committed to Icelandic champions FH Hafnarfjördur until 2011, the club's head coach Heimir Gudjónsson said: "The pressure is always on FH coaches to battle for first place, but that's the way I like it."
by Stefán Stefánsson
from Reykjavik
Pressure keeps FH coach on his toes
Heimir Gudjónsson will look to lead FH to their fifth title in six seasons ©Stefán Stefánsson
Published: Monday 17 August 2009, 10.30CET

Pressure keeps FH coach on his toes

Now committed to Icelandic champions FH Hafnarfjördur until 2011, the club's head coach Heimir Gudjónsson said: "The pressure is always on FH coaches to battle for first place, but that's the way I like it."

Announcing his decision to sign a new contract, binding him to FH Hafnarfjördur until 2011, coach Heimir Gudjónsson said: "It is good to be at this club; we have been successful in recent years, we have good players, the management are great and the fans are too, so there is no reason to go anywhere else."

Dominant force
There is certainly no arguing with Gudjónsson's logic. Promoted to Iceland's top tier in 2000, FH – or Fimleikafélag Hafnafjardar (Hafnarfjördur Gymnastic Club) to give them their full name – have dominated local football in recent years, winning four of the last five titles and they lead the chase for the 2009 crown.

Faithful servant
Gudjónsson has played a pivotal role in all of this success. Having represented FH as a player as they won promotion, he was team captain by 2004, and after retiring at the end of the following season, moved on to become assistant to coach Ólafur Jóhannesson, taking sole command following the 2007 campaign.

Solid foundation
The 40-year-old coach feels continuity has been crucial to the club's success. "We have had the same 4-3-3 formation for the last ten years and, since the club is doing a very good job in our youth section with good coaches, the players coming into the first team know exactly what they are doing because they know every position.

Pressure inspires
"We have also been lucky with our players," Gudjónsson continued. "They are happy at FH so we have managed to maintain a stable squad over the years. The pressure is always on FH coaches to battle for first place, but that's the way I like it; it is no fun being a coach unless there is some pressure to get results."

Brief negotiations
Gudjónsson's contract was due to expire this autumn, but settling on a new deal proved to be a swift process. "The board spoke to me two weeks ago and since I am no good at negotiation, we sealed the contract in no time." He may be no hot-shot haggler, but at FH, Gudjónsson's achievements continue to speak for themselves.

 

Last updated: 17/08/09 15.12CET

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