It is a rare thing these days for Jim Bett to watch his beloved Aberdeen in person.
Bett lives just outside Reykjavik, the Icelandic capital, and mainly watches games on television.
However, this week presents the chance for him to relive fond memories. A Scottish and League Cup winner with the Dons, Bett was inducted into the club’s hall of fame on the back of 300 appearances in red, as well as 26 caps for his country.
Aberdeen head to Iceland this week to face Breidablik in the third qualifying round of the Europa Conference League. Breidablik sit fourth in the Úrvalsdeild karla and they disposed of Austria Vienna in the previous round.
Bett hopes to be at the game on Thursday, which is due to be played at the home of the Iceland national football team at Laugardalsvollur in Reykjavik, rather than at Breidablik’s home ground in neighbouring Kopavogur.
Bett said: “I get to one or two games. My grandson asked me to take him to the Valur game; they played Dinamo Zagreb in the Champions League qualifiers.
“I don’t see a lot. I see one or two of the games on the TV. I’m hoping to be able to go to the game on Thursday – the national stadium is only about 15 minutes away.
“I’ve seen Celtic over here against Reykjavik, but to see Aberdeen over here will be very good. I’ll be taking my grandson to the game and everyone is looking forward to it.
“It’ll be nice to see them live, especially when the stadium is so close to my house.
“My family know all my Aberdeen stories by now. My grandson picks up on them as well.”
Breidablik played on Monday night against Vikingur, where former Don Kari Arnason plays, and have eight games left in their league season.
Their win over Austria Vienna in the last round caused some waves, given their opponents have been European regulars over the years.
Bett added: “I’ve seen one or two of their matches on the TV. I saw their match away against Austria Vienna and they were very impressive. It was 1-1, but they could have won that game.
“Beating Austria Vienna, people stand up and take notice a bit, especially a team from Iceland beating a team from Austria.
“You could see they had the match-fitness. They were knocking the ball about really well. Their movement off the ball was very good – they’ve played 14 games in the league and it’s a big advantage for them. They’re well up to speed.”
To get to this point, Aberdeen triumphed 5-3 on aggregate over Swedish side BK Hacken, which was aided by a thumping 5-1 win in the first leg.
Bett added: “I watched the first leg and Aberdeen were very good. One of the main features from Aberdeen was they pressed Hacken; teams are sometimes allowed time on the ball, but Aberdeen didn’t give them that.
“The game in Sweden was difficult, but with the 5-1 result at home, they had a comfortable advantage there.
“I think you can see they’re pressing high up the pitch because all the good Aberdeen teams have done that, especially at home. They don’t give the opposition any time on the ball and the two young full-backs have been impressive.
“With Scott Brown coming in as well, it gives them a good presence in the team. I think Stephen has done a good job getting them all together and there seems to be a good team spirit, which is important.”
Bett believes with Breidablik having such a pivotal league game just three days before they play Aberdeen – Vikingur are second in the division – could count against the Icelandic side.
He added: “To play Aberdeen three days later, it’s going to be difficult for them. I think over the two games Aberdeen should get through to the next stage.
“People were quite impressed with Breidablik beating Austria Vienna, but Aberdeen are quite strong at the moment and confidence is very high. Over the two games they should go through.”