Breidablik's Kristjánsson excited by Nordsjælland

Breidablik coach Ólafur Kristjánsson wants to play exciting football and "develop players" when he takes over at FC Nordsjælland after eight years at the Icelandic club.

Breidablik coach Ólafur Kristjánsson will soon be taking on a new challenge abroad
Breidablik coach Ólafur Kristjánsson will soon be taking on a new challenge abroad ©Breidablik

Ólafur Kristjánsson is "looking forward" to building on the work of Kasper Hjulmand when he steps down as Breidablik coach in the summer to take over at FC Nordsjælland.

Kristjánsson will leave the Kopavogur team in June, one month into the Úrvalsdeild campaign, after an eight-year spell at the helm that yielded the 2010 title and Icelandic Cup glory the previous season. He will succeed Hjulmand, who in 2011/12 guided Nordsjælland to their maiden Danish crown and into the following season's UEFA Champions League group stage, where they rubbed shoulders with Chelsea FC, FC Shakhtar Donetsk and Juventus.

The 45-year-old, who played in Denmark for AGF Aarhus between 1997 and 2000, feels now is an appropriate stage in his career to move overseas. "I have always had an ambition to coach abroad but did not want to rush into anything. However, now seems to be the right time," said Kristjánsson.

"I am very excited about FC Nordsjælland, as a football team and a company. The club has had great success building themselves up, both on and off the pitch. I'm looking forward to taking part in that and continuing Hjulmand's work, which I respect a lot. As a coach I want to win games but also play football and develop players and the team. Hopefully I can do so with Nordsjælland."

Developing local talent has been one of the success stories of Kristjánsson's time with Breidablik. Not long after the 2010 title triumph, Kristjánsson sold Alfred Finnbogason to Belgium's KSC Lokeren OV, from where he moved to sc Heerenveen in 2012. Earlier this month the 25-year-old passed a half-century of Eredivisie strikes and is the Dutch top flight's 27-goal leading scorer this season.

Kristjánsson will be replaced at Breidablik by Gudmundur Benediktsson, his No2 since late 2010. In a statement, Breidablik – who finished fourth last term – said: "Kristjánsson led the team to some great victories and produced some outstanding football players who have done well for Breidablik, not to mention abroad."

Nordsjælland owner Allan K. Pedersen said of his new appointment: "We have known each other for a long time and Ólafur was in our scouting squad for the Champions League. He is a coach who has his values and emphasises what FC Nordsjælland stand for. He achieved great domestic and international results with a small club who have limited funds, developed young players and played attacking football."