ICELAND COACHING STAFF LAUD ASPIRE ACADEMY AFTER VISIT
13 Nov 2017, General
Doha,13 November 2017. A delegation from Iceland national football team, current in Qatar for international friendlies took time to visit Aspire Academy on Monday 13th November 2017. Iceland team manager, Heimir Hallgrimsson led his coaching staff during the guided tour of the Academy. Joining manager Hallgrimsson were Gudmundur Hreidarsson, goalkeeping coach, Sebastian Boxleitner, fitness coach and assistant coach, Helgi Kolvidsson.
Last month Iceland became the smallest nation to qualify for FIFA World Cup finals a remarkable achievement for Iceland, a country with a population of approximately 335,000. Qatar is almost similar population size to Iceland and naturally the latter’s ascendancy in world football draws interest among Qataris. Inevitably Iceland team manager, Heimir Hallgrimsson saw some similarities on his tour of Aspire Academy.
‘‘In Iceland we set out to build infrastructure that would enable us to beyond what our natural climate allows, ours is the cold and yours being the heat. I see you have done the same here in Qatar with amongst others these state of the art Aspire Academy facilities. With the youth development programs you have initiated you can but only reap the benefits when these young players grow and mature into senior players. Our current team that qualified for Euro Championship 2016 and FIFA World Cup 2018, Russia has the bulk of the team, seven to eight of these players having come through the professional ranks from youth team age. I am sure Qatar in building a team for 2022 when you host the World Cup, you are working along similar lines and we wish you well I that endeavour. Iceland has shown that it is possible for small nations to purposefully plan, build and execute their own style of football that will see them compete at the very top with the big footballing nations,” said Heimir Hallgrimsson
On Tuesday, November 14, Iceland is going to face Qatar in an international friendly at Abdullah bin Khalifa Stadium at 7:30pm.