Dundalk's Icelandic opponents have a decent pedigree

They have regularly participated in Europe and enjoyed success in their own league

BY Raf Diallo 14:51 Wednesday 13 July 2016, 14:51 13 Jul 2016

Heimir Gudjonsson, FH Hafnarfjordur manager in 2008. Picture by: Mike Egerton / EMPICS Sport

"As soon as an Icelandic team comes out, you think; 'Hang on a second. We have a chance'. They do have a chance, however they need to be really cautious. You only need to look at the state of Icelandic football in general, look at the Euros. This country has invested in football in the past ten years and it's starting to pay dividends."

Those are the words of ex-League of Ireland midfielder Stuart Byrne on Off The Ball last night as Dundalk prepare to take on Fimleikafélag Hafnarfjarðar (FH) in the second qualifying round of the 2016-17 UEFA Champions League.

But what do we know about the champions of Iceland, especially in a summer when that country has captured the imagination with a run to the Euro 2016 quarter-finals at international level?


FH have actually been around since 1929 but until the turn of the Millennium, their history of success was rather non-existent.

However since 2004, they have won the Icelandic league seven times as well as two national cups and six league cups. So that's 15 of Iceland's biggest club trophies in about as many years. Indeed, they have won more national trophies in the past 16 years than Iceland's most successful club KR Reykjavík.

Their success means they are not novices in Europe either, having regularly competed in the Champions League, UEFA Cup and Europa League qualifying rounds since 2004.

Biggest results in Europe

They twice faced Aston Villa in the 2008-09 UEFA Cup qualifying round but lost 5-2 on aggregate.

However, back in 2004-05 when they made their first appearance in Europe, they beat Welsh and Scottish opposition en route to the UEFA Cup first round.

First they dispatched Haverfordwest County 4-1 on aggregate round before surprising 2004 and 2007 Scottish Cup finalists Dunfermline Athletic in the second round by a 4-3 aggregate margin, largely thanks to an injury time winner.

They also defeated Northern Ireland's Glenavon 6-2 over two legs in the 2014-15 Europa League qualifiers.

Their local area

The city of Hafnarfjörður is about a 5-10 minute drive from the capital of Iceland and is the third largest urban area in the country.

Swansea and Iceland midfielder Gylfi Sigurddson actually started his career with FH back in 2002 when he was 13, as did national team colleague Emil Hallfreðsson of Serie A side Udinese.

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