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More than 40 veteran Icelandic footballers set for tournament at Aberdeen FC’s Cormack Park

Icelandic side Throttur Reykjavik Old Boys are set to play in Aberdeen.
Icelandic side Throttur Reykjavik Old Boys are set to play in Aberdeen.

More than 40 Icelandic football veterans are set to star in a tournament at Aberdeen’s Cormack Park training complex.

Throttur Reykjavik Old Boys have jetted in from the Icelandic capital for the eight-team Lava Cup.

Aberdeen Football Fans in Training (FFIT) will enter two teams for the tournament which runs on Saturday from 3pm to 6pm.

FFIT offers a platform for supporters aged between 35 to 65 to get fit and active.

The Lava Cup is a pilot event with the hope the format can be expanded to include more international teams in future years.

The tournament will also include other SPFL Trust FFIT-aligned teams Livingston and Raith Rovers.

Throttur Reykjavik Old Boys boast Magnus Dan Bardarson in their ranks.

The 71-year-old played for Vikingur Reykjavik against Legia Warsaw in the European Cup Winners’ Cup in 1972.

Throttur Reykjavik Old Boys ready to kick-off their 2019 Scottish tour in Falkirk. Photo by Marc Boal.

Lava Cup organiser and Throttur Reykjavik UK coordinator Marc Boal said: “This tournament is a pilot to see how it all goes.

“There are more than 40 Icelandic players coming over.

“I have already had a phone call from a guy in Spain who is talking about putting across a team.

“We also have contacts in England and Denmark.

“There is a possibility to expand this and make it an 11s tournament and run it over two or three days in a city in Scotland each year. Whether that is Aberdeen, Glasgow, Edinburgh – wherever.

“I spoke to the guys at Aberdeen FFIT who are affiliated with the SPFL Trust through Aberdeen.

“They have decided they want to do a return leg in Iceland at some point.”

AFC FFIT Legends will play in the Lava Cup tournament at Cormack Park. Photo supplied by Lee Carver

Aberdeen FFIT set for Lava Cup

FFIT is currently being delivered to more than 25 clubs across Scotland.

Thousands of football fans across Europe have also benefitted from the healthy lifestyle programme, powered by clubs in a host of countries.

Open to both men and women, FFIT provides football fans with an opportunity to become fitter and healthier.

Throttur Reykjavik Old Boys had initially planned to compete in Scotland in May 2020, but the trip was cancelled due to the cororavirus pandemic.

Throttur Reykjavik Old Boys in action against Stenhousemuir 35s at Ochilview. Supplied by Marc Boal

Boal said: “We have Lava Cup trophies commissioned in Iceland that have been brought over.

“The players are really excited. International games are a huge thing for them.

“Magnus Dan Bardarson, who will be 72 in July, is Throttur’s oldest player.

“He played against Legia Warsaw in the European Cup Winners’ Cup in 1972.

“He played in few big European games and just wants to keep kicking a ball.”

Throttur Reykjavik Old Boys before their match at Falkirk Stadium. Supplied by Marc Boal

Close ties with Icelandic football

Lava Cup organiser Boal has had connections with Iceland since 1986 and has since forged footballing links between the north-east and the Scandinavian nation.

He recently penned a book on Icelandic Football, Sixty Four Degrees North.

Boal became the first non-native to win an Icelandic media award for the book.

He said: “I travelled the whole country in 2015 and started visiting all the teams in the West and the North.

“Then I did the East and the South. It was a four-year project and I wrote about that.

“Then I decided to write a story about Icelandic football.

Marc Boal won a prestigious award from the Icelandic FA.

“My book Sixty Four Degrees North won a recognition award from the Icelandic FA.”

Icelandic footballers’ two-year wait to play at Cormack Park

Throttur Reykjavik Old Boys have been travelling to Scotland since 2018 to play games.

Having had their scheduled 2020 trip cancelled due to Covid, the team have waited two years to return.

In anticipation, they have been watching reruns of past matches… and sometimes wear kilts!

Throttur Reykjavik Old Boys’ Otthar Edvardsson has his eye on the ball against Stenhousemuir. Supplied Marc Boal

Throttur Reykjavik Old Boys committee member, Otthar Edvardsson said. “It has been a long overdue wait for this trip due to the pandemic.

“We have tried to make the time pass by replaying the videos of past matches we have played in Scotland.

“Every chance we get we always put on our kilts on.

“We had planned to visit Aberdeen in 2020 for a match against Aberdeen FFIT.

“However, this had to be scrapped due to Covid.

“Finally, we will travel to the Granite City on this tour for an eight-team competition.

“We may also look at hosting future T8 tournaments in Aberdeen with teams from England, Spain, Scotland and Denmark.”

The Lava Cup will take place at Cormack Park on Saturday May 14 and the Icelandic footballers are excited to take part after the tournament was delayed by the pandemic.

Rod Stewart and Wembley turf

Committee member Edvardsson reveals his love of Scotland stems from listening to Rod Stewart and his father’s trip to Wembley with the Tartan Army in the seventies.

Such is Edvardsson’s love of the nation, he even has a Scotland tattoo on his arm.

He said: “Our Scottish friend Marc Boal helps us with all our planning and scheduling.

“He is a massive part of organising our trips.

“Long before our first tour, many of the Throttur committee had a long-standing admiration for Scotland.

“Gudberg Jonsson, our chairman, studied in Aberdeen.

“My father loves Scotland, I was brought up with a deep devotion about everything Scottish – listening to Rod Stewart.

“My father telling me stories about all his trips over.

“One such story, he was visiting friends in Airdrie, and they invited him to go to London to see England against Scotland at Wembley.

“Scotland won 1-0 and he had the time of his life, proudly wearing a Scottish shirt.

“He told me that guys from the group came back to Scotland a week later due to excessive drinking and celebrations.

“Some of them had a chunks of the Wembley turf in their bags, and one even had a piece of the goalpost.

“I love everything about Scotland, the people, landscapes, castles and the culture.

“I even got a Scottish tattoo on my arm during our last tour.”

 

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