INTERNATIONAL FOOTBALL

Iceland: Erik Hamren named new manager

Iceland: Erik Hamren named new manager

JONATHAN NACKSTRAND

AFP

The Swede replaces Heimir Hallgrimsson, who stepped down after leading Iceland to their first World Cup.

Former Sweden coach Erik Hamren was on Wednesday announced as Iceland's new manager, replacing Heimir Hallgrimsson, who stepped down after leading the team to its first World Cup.

The 61-year-old faces the task of guiding Iceland to Euro 2020, which could be their third major championship in a row, after reaching the Euro 2016 quarter-finals and the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

"I like the challenge and I believe we can do it," said Hamren at a press conference on Wednesday.

"I'm coming into a new country and new team. It's important that I won't change everything. We have to hold onto the things that have worked well in the past."

The Swede has signed a two-year contract with the possibility of an extension for another two years.

He will be assisted by Freyr Alexandersson, who has been coach of the Icelandic women's team for the last five years.

Over 30 years of coaching experience

Hamren has been coaching since 1987, when he took charge of Swedish third division team Enkopings SK.

He has been at the helm of several teams in his home country, but his only league titles came with Danish side Aalborg in 2008 and with Norway's Rosenborg in 2009.

In November 2009, Hamren was appointed head coach of the Sweden national football team. Under his guidance, the Blue-Yellow qualified for Euro 2012 and Euro 2016.

He chose to step down after a disappointing performance at the European Championship in France.

Since January, the Swede had been technical director of South African club Mamelodi Sundowns, before resigning three days ago to take on the Iceland job.

Iceland are to face Switzerland on 8 September and Belgium on 11 September in the group stage of the 2018-19 Uefa Nations League, a competition that will seed teams for the Euro 2020 qualification process.

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