Former Sweden team coach Erik Hamren has been named Iceland’s national team coach, the Icelandic football Federation (KSI) announced on Wednesday. He made his League debut on 8 September in Switzerland, before defying Roberto Martinez and his red Devils three days later.
“Erik’s appointment is a logical continuation of what we are all aiming for,” said KSI President Gudni Bergsson during the presentation of the new coach in Reykjavik, who signed a two-year contract with an option for an additional two years.
The 61-year-old Swedish technician succeeds Heimir Hallgrimsson, who announced his surprise departure just over three weeks ago after driving Iceland to Russia for his First World Championship.
He will be assisted by the Icelandic Freyr Alexandersson, who also retains his position as coach of the Icelandic women’s team, which he has held for five years.
“I’ve been coaching for more than 25 years at the highest level, I’ve faced many challenges but this could be the most important one of my career,” said Erik Hamren, who will have the task of qualifying Iceland for its third consecutive Euro Final in 2020.
He led Sweden until the final phase of Euro 2012 and 2016, without however managing to exceed each time the phase of groups. He also failed to qualify Sweden for the 2014 World Cup after two damning losses to Portugal (0-1, 2-3).
Hamren was also the Swedish club coach, but it was Aalborg in Denmark and Rosenborg Trondheim in Norway that he won his most significant titles.
Since January, he was the Technical Director of the Mamelodi Sundowns FC, a South African club, before being released from his duties two days ago.