Breidablik – History of the Football Division
Breidablik Sports Club was founded in Kopavogur, Iceland in the year 1950. In the beginning Breidablik was a general sports club with no special division between the different activities. In 1957 the football (soccer) division was established. When Breidablik was founded, Kopavogur was a small village at the outskirts of Iceland’s capital, Reykjavik. Inhabitants were only just over 1.500. Now more than 60 years later over 30 thousand people live in Kopavogur and the town is the second largest one in Iceland. And Breidablik has grown from its humble origins to becoming the largest sports club in Iceland, with over 3.500 members of which more than 1.300 are active participants.
The name Breidablik comes from Norse mythology, where it was the home of Baldur. The nickname Blikar is formed from the second part of that name, meaning splendors or twinkles (like a star). The singular form Bliki is also a name for male ducks. The old nickname UBK (Youth Club Breidablik Kopavogur) was dropped more than 15 years ago. The followers of Breidablik like to be called ,,Blikar” !
In the early years Breidablik did not have much success on the football pitch. The club played mostly friendly matches and participated in local and regional tournaments. In 1957 Breidablik entered the Icelandic football league for the first time. After some unsuccessful attempts Breidablik finally won the 2nd division in Iceland and played among the best in 1971. The club went all the way to the Cup final that year but lost the decisive game.
Breidablik managed to hold its seat in the top division for three years but was then relegated. The next three decades were like a roller coaster ride for the team. Breidablik up and down between top and second division not being able to stabilizing themselves among the best the best teams for any length of time Finally in 2006 the team won a seat among the best teams in Iceland and has stayed there since.
Like other clubs in Iceland Breidablik was hit by the credit crisis in 2008. Activities were toned down. Coaches and players took a pay cut. Many sponsors pulled back and some sponsors never returned. These were challenging but educational times for the club. But Breidablik was able to make a quick turnaround financially when former player, Gylfi Sigurdsson, was sold form Reading to Hoffenheim FC in Germany. Breiðabliks’ financial situation was secure. The club paid all depts. Breiðabliks’ future was bright, both financially and on the pitch.
In 2009 the club finally won its first major trophy, The Icelandic Cup. Consequently Breidablik competed in a European competition for the first time in 2010, facing Scottish Premier League side Motherwell in the Europa League. They lost the first leg 1–0 in Scotland, and lost by the same score line in the return leg, meaning that the team lost 2–0 on aggregate.
The year 2010 was indeed very exciting for the team. With almost all of its players coming from the youth division and with the average age of its players with less than 22 years Breidablik won the Icelandic Championship for the first time. After the season the top scorer Alfred Finnbogason was selected the best player in the Icelandic top league and his fellow teammate Kristinn Steindorsson the most promising player. This good result of the team was not unnoticed by many European Clubs. Finnbogason was signed by the Belgian club Lokeren and other followed in pursuit.
The 2011 season was not as joyful for the team and its fans. The pressure on the players and the group around them seemed to too wear them down. In addition 5 players from the team were in the squad in the U-21 National team that played in the European Final in Denmark in June. This seemed to disrupt the concentration of many of the players. Finally Breidablik ended in 6th place which in a historical context was not so bad. But considering that the team was trying to defend a title the result was a disappointment for everybody around the team. During the summer the team also met the experienced Norwegian club Rosenberg in the European Championship Cup. Breidablik lost the first leg in Throndheim 5:0 but came back in the return leg and won 2:0.
Pre season: Preparation for the 2012 season was more upbeat than the year before. The team won the so-called "Fotbolti.Net League” which is a pre-season tournament for all teams outside Reykjavík. But again this year Breidablik has been forced to say goodbye to two very important players; the top scorer Kristinn Steindorsson who was signed by the Swedish team Halmstad and the strong midfield national player, Gudmundur Kristjansson, was initially transferred to the Norwegian team Start on a loan deal, but signed a 2 year contact with Start at the end of the year. The team was therefore once again forced to rely mostly on its own young homegrown players. Before the season striker Petar Rnkovic, from a club in Norway, and middle defender Renee Gerard Japp Troost from Holland, were signed.
Main season: The team had a very slow start due to very poor scoring. After the first 5 games the team had 4 points and 1 goal scored. Next 4 games were 3 wins and 1 draw. Then came a shocking 0-4 loss to Keflavik. The team reacted and signed 2 strikers: Ben Everson, an English footballer, transferred from the 1. Division club Tindastoll and signed a short term contract with Breidablik. Ben later signed on with York City FC in the UK. And Danish striker Nichlas Rohde came to Breidablik on a loan deal from FC Nordsjælland in Denmark. Nichlas scored 6 goals in 10 games. The team began doing much better and won some memorable victories one being a 3-4 win against Valur FC with all 4 goals scored in the last 20 minutes of the match. The 0-4 win against Reykjavik club KR (est. 1899) was for the history books, never before had KR lost that big at home. After struggling in the beginning of the 2012 season Breidablik finished the season in style! The team took 2nd place with 35 points in 22 matches and a spot in the Europa League qualifying rounds in 2013. This will be the 3rd time in 4 years Breidablik plays qualifying matches in European Championships.
Post season: Two players were signed. Iceland’s National Team goal keeper, Gunnleifur Gunnleifsson, transferred from FH Hafnarfjordur and signed a 3 year contract with the club. Striker Ellert Hreinsson re-signed with Breidablik after several years studying abroad and playing for Stjarnan in Gardabaer. At the club’s annual meeting in February 2013, Borghildur Sigurdardottir was elected Chairman for Breiðabliks Football Division. Borghildur is the first woman to be elected for that position in the club’s 55 year history.
Pre season: Attacking midfielder Gudjon Petur Lydsson transferred from Valur in Reykjavik and signed a 2 year contact with Breidablik. The Duch middle defender, Renee Gerard Japp Troost, re-signed for one year, and so did the Danish striker Nichlas Rohde who to Breidablik for the second time on a loan deal from FC Nordsjælland in Denmark. And in July middle defender, Elfar Freyr Helgason, returned to Breidablik after leaving the club in 2010 to play with clubs in Geece, Norway and Denmark. Elfar signed a 2 year contract. Preparations for the 2013 season were successful. In early February the team won the so-called "Fotbolti.Net League” which is a pre-season tournament for all teams outside Reykjavík. The team also won the main pre-season tournament Deildarbikar KSÍ (Lengjubikarinn) a tournament organized by the Icelandic Football Association.
Main season: In July the team had 23 points only 3 points behind the team in top place. Some say that there is no such thing as luck in sports. But if there was the Breidablik team should have 3+ more points and actually be at the top of the table after 11 games out of 22. The team is still in the FA Cup after 3 games. The team needs to win the next march to get to the final where Breidablik has been twice before; a loss against Vikingur Reykjavik in 1971 and a win in 2009 against Fram Reykjavik. But the team’s participation in the 2013 UEFA Europa League qualifying rounds is the big news. In the first round Breidablik beat FC Santa Coloma from Andorra 4-0 at home and drew 0-0 in Andorra. In the second round the team drew 0-0 against Sturm Graz from Austria. Breidablik went on to win the away game in Austria 0 -1. FC Aktobe form Kazakhstan was the nex topponent. Breidablik lost the away game 1-0 when FC Aktobe was awarded a questionable penalty in the 92nd minute. Breidablik won the home game 1-0 at Laugardalsvollur National Stadium, but lost the game in a penalty shootout. The conclusion was a very respectable six goals scored and one penalty goal conceived in 6 UEFA qualifying machetes. Also the team played very important matches in Iceland during the 3 weeks of playing in the UEFA competition. Breidablik won all those games except the game needed to win to advance to the FA Cup Final. The number of matches, the long international air travels and the fact that the team simply did not get the much needed rest before the game, turned out to be major factor in losing this FA Cup semi final match to Fram. Fram went on to win the FA Cup in a penalty shootout against FC Stjarnan from Gardabær. Disappointment and loss of focus may have been contributing factors the following weeks when the team did not perform well enough to qualify for European competition in 2014. Draws against the bottom two teams Vikingur Olafsvik and IA. Loosing 1-4 at home against Fylkir and 1-2 against Fram, almost placed the much desired 3rd place out of reach. Breidablik need a win against Stjarnan to secure 3rd place. Not the first time in resent years these two teems meet in the last or second to last game of the season with a European competition on the line, games normally won by Breidablik. But not this season. Stjarnan from Garðabær won the game 3-2. Breidablik won its last game of the season against Keflavik 3-2 and ended the season in 4 place with 39 points in 22 games.
Post season: Only two days after the last game of the season goalkeeper Arnór Bjarki Hafsteinsson signes a 3 year contract. But several players were not offered new contract and some young players decided to not sign a new contract with the club. Jökull I. Elísarbetarson and Atli Fannar Jónsson signed with ÍBV, Hrannar Einarsson signed with KR, Ósvald Jarl Traustason signed with Fram, Sindri Snær Magnússon signed with Keflavik (in Jan 2014), and Arnar Már Björgvinsson signed with Stjarnan (in Jan 2014). Sverrir Ingi Ingason was sold to Viking FK in Stavanger, Norway. Renee Troost returned to Holland (he signed Rijnsburgse Boys in Jan 2014). Niclas Rohde returned Nordsjælland (he is now playing with AB on loan). Defender Damir Muminovic transferred from Víkingi Ólafsvík and signed a 3 year contract. Breidablik players; Höskuldur Gunnlaugsson, Hermann Ármannsson, Viktor Örn Margeirsson, Ernir Bjarnason, Páll Olgeir Þorsteinsson, Gísli Eyjólfsson, Guðmundur Friðriksson and Ingiberg Ólafur Jónsson, all signed a contract with the club. And just before the Holidays Season, Breiðablik player Árni Vilhjálmsson extended his contract through the year 2016
Pre season: Scottish defender Jordan Halsman transferred from Fram and signed a one season contract. Former Breiðablik defender Arnór Sveinn Aðalsteinsson returned home from frá Hönefoss in Norway and signed a 3 year contract. Breiðablik forward Elvar Páll Sigurðsson returned from his studies in the US and signed a 3 year contract. And one of Iceland’s best player, Stefán Gíslason, moved back to Iceland after several succesful years abroad as a professional. Stefán signed a 3 year contract with Breiðablik. Two players left Breidablik to play with clubs in Europe; Þórður Steinar Hreiðarsson signed with FC Locamo in Switzerland, and Kristinn Jónsson plays for FC Brommapojkarna in Sweden on loan from Breidablik through the 2014 season. Preparations for the 2014 season have been successful. In January the team participated in the "Fotbolti.Net League” – a pre-season tournament for these teams located outside the city of Reykjavík; Stjarnan, FH, Keflavík, Haukar, Breiðablik, ÍBV, Grindavík, ÍA. The team made its first appearance in The Atlantic Cup in Portugal February 4-13. The team played 3 matches. The first match was a 1-1 tie against SV Mattersburg from Austria, but Breidablik won the penalty shootout and took the 2 points out of 3 possible. The second match was against FC Midjylland from Denmark. Breidablik won that match 2-1. We lost the third and final match 2-0 to FC Köbenhafn, who went on to win the tournament. The team participated in the main pre-season tournament Deildarbikar KSÍ (aka. Lengjubikarinn) a tournament organized by the Icelandic Football Association. The team played a total of 10 games in Lengjubikarinn and once again made it all the way but lost the final match to FH from Hafnarfjordur.
In late April it was announced that Breidablik’s head coach, Olafur H. Kristjansson, had accepted an offer to become head coach for Danish club FC Nordsjælland. The assistant coach Gudmundur Benediktsson was hired to take over from Olafur. Gudmundur selected Willum Thor Thorsson, a former Breidablik player, as his assistant. Olafur stayed on as head coach through June 2.
Main season: The 2014 season turned out to be full of surprises. The goal was clear. Compete for the Iceland Championship and the FA Cup. Due to pitch conditions in Kopavogur the first home game was moved to Hafnarfjordur and ended in a 1-1 draw against FH in Hafnarfjordur. The draw result was the first of 12 draws during the season and a “draw record” was broken in 2014 – a record that was not celebrated. Breidablik won 5 games and lost 5 games but the “lost points” that came with the 12 draws placed the team in 7th place with 27 points, only 3 points from a spot in the UEFA Europa League next year. In July Gunnlaugur Hlynur Birgisson retund to Breidablik after 2 yearas with Club Brugge. Oliver Sigurjonsson returned to Breidablik after 2 years with AGF in Denmark. Baldvin Sturluson joined Breidablik on a loan from Stjarnan and David Kristjan Olafsson signed a 3 year contract with Breidablik.
Post season: Former Breidablik player and pro footballer, Arnar Gretarsson, signed a 3 year contract as head coach. Another former Breidablik player, Kristofer Sigurgeirsson, was hired as assistant coach. Gudmundur Benediktsson signed on with his former club KR as assistant coach. Willum Thor Thorsson has returned to his position as a member of the Icelandic Parliament.
Player Transfers (sold) from Breidablik 2005 - 2015
|Click name for full profile||Club(s):||Year|
|Viktor Unnar Illugason||Reading/Valur/Selfoss/Haukar/Þrottur/HK||2007|
|Johann Berg Gudmundsson||AZ Alkmaar/Charlton||2009|
|Alfred Finnbogason||Lokeren/Helsingborg/Heerenveen/Real Sociedad||2010|
|Elfar Freyr Helgason||AEK/Stabaek/Randers/Breidablik||2011|
|Steinthor Freyr Thorsteinsson||Ulf Sandnes/Viking FK||2010|
|Kristinn Steindorsson||Halmstad BK/Columbus Crew||2011|
|Gunnlaugur Birgisson||Club Brugge/Breidablik||2012|
|Adam Orn Arnarson||NEC Nijmegen/Nordsjaelland||2012|
|Alexander Sigurdarson||AZ Alkmaar||2013|
|Viktor Karl Einarsson||AZ Alkmaar||2013|
|Sverrir Ingi Ingason||Viking FK/Lokeren||2013|
|Thordur Steinar Hreidarsson||FC Locarno/Valur||2014|
|Finnur Orri Margeirsson||FH/Lilleström||2014|
The Board, Coaches and Staff.
- Coach (men): Arnar Gretarsson 2015 -
- Coach (women): Þorsteinn Halldorsson 2015 -
Players, Coaches, Board and Staff - With one of the best youth facilities in Iceland, Breidablik almost entirely built on home grown talent. The team has 4 current Iceland internationals with recent call-ups, as well as several current U21, U-19 and U-17 international players. In March 2012 six Breidablik players were selected to play for the U-17 Icelandic National team. Much of this success can be thanked to a dedicated group of volunteers that have worked relentlessly for years for the club. The town authorities in Kopavogur have also supported the work well and have built up world class football facilities in the town. Among them are two indoor sports arenas with full size football pitches and various outdoor football fields both with artificial and natural grass. Kopavogur Sports Arena has new stand with very good view of the football ground. This has also attracted the best coaches to work for the club. Consequently this has led to very many Icelandic titles for both the young boys and girls in Breidablik Football club.
Most Apperances for Breidablik
Team position from beginning:
2009 - Winners of the Icelandic FA Cup
2010 - Champions!
2012 - Runners-up
2010 Europa Leauge - 2nd round. Motherwll FC
2011 Champions League - qualifyng round #2. Rosenborg BK
The Womens Team
The women's football team used to be the powerhouse of Icelandic women's football and nearly made a clean sweep in 2005 by winning the championship and cup plus almost all of the younger division titles. In International competitions Breidablik has taken part in The Nordic Open Championship in the years 1995, 1996 and 1997 among teams such as Fortuna Hjørring from Denmark, Trondheims Örn from Norway and HJK from Finland.
Breidablik was the first team in Iceland to offer regular football practices for girls alone. It is also the only team that has participated in Icelandic league from the beginning
Breidablik was the first Icelandic team to earn a seat in The European Women's Cup 2001–2002 but due to financial reasons Breidablik did not participate. The club did however take part in the Women's Cup the following year where they played in group with the Danish Champions Fortuna Hjørring, Belarus Champions FC Babruyshanka and Moldovan Champions FC Codru Anenii Noi. There Breidablik won Iceland's first win in the Women’s Cup against FC Codru Anenii Noi.
In the Women's Cup 2006–2007 Breidablik qualified again and this time won their group with some differences. The team did not conceive a goal and scored 14 in the three matches. Their opponents were SV Neulengbach from Austria, SU 1° Dezembro from Portugal and Newtownabbey Strikers from Northern Ireland. In the second qualifying round Breidablik was very unlucky to have as an opponent the great team from Germany 1. FFC Frankfurt. It turned out the German team was too big for the Icelandic team but they did well and came in second with two wins, against HJK from Finland and Universitet Vitebsk from Belarus and qualified to the quarter finals. In the quarterfinals in 2006–2007 competition Breidablik played home and away matches against the team that later won the competition Arsenal Ladies FC from England. No need to say Arsenal was way better team but Breidablik could still walk strong and hold their head up high.
The third time Breidablik qualified to the European Women's Cup the name of the Competition had been changed to UEFA Women's Champion League and the season was 2010–2011. Breidablik came in as a second Icelandic team to the competition and had to play in the Qualifying round, group 4 along with FCF Juvisy Essonne from France, FC Targu Mures from Romania and FC Levadia Tallinn from Estonia. Breidablik came in second in the qualifying round with 7 points like FCF Juvisy and was one of two teams to qualify to the main round of 32 teams.
Most appearances for Breidablik in the National Division only Sigrun Ottarsdottir, 178.
Most goals for Breidablik in the National Division only Asta B. Gunnlaugsdottir, 154.
Biggest win 18-0 against Selfoss in 2nd Division1988.
Biggest loss 1-7 against IBV in 1st Division 2004.
Sources: The homepage of the Football Assocation of Iceland
The Annual Magazine of Breidablik Football Club
The official homepage of Breidablik
Breidablik Football Division