PSC’s Icelandic and Norwegian Scouting Representative, Jón Páll Pálmason, will be heading over to the States this winter for our women’s Pro Soccer Combines.
Not only will Jón be recruiting on behalf of Norwegian Premier League club Klepp IL, but he will also be looking for talented players to recommend to a number of sides across Scandinavia.
Jòn helped secure contract offers for 2015 San Diego Combine attendees Sarah Dilling and Mykaylin Rosenquist, following his recommendation to Icelandic Premier League outfit FC Hafnarfjordur.
Take a look at what he had to say when we chatted to him about soccer in Scandinavia, what qualities he’ll be looking for in a player during the tryout events and much more.
Hi, Jón. Firstly, can you give us a brief background about your career in football?
I’ve been coaching in Iceland and Norway since 2003. In Iceland I started as a youth coach, and for a six-year period, between 2004 and 2010, I coached each age group with my hometown club.
In 2010 I worked as head coach of a men’s team in Norway’s third tier, but the following year I was coaching a club in the women’s Icelandic Premier League.
From 2014 until this very day I have coached in the women’s Norwegian Premier League.
With the women’s game still developing, what more do you think can be done to improve and further develop women’s football?
I believe women’s football is getting better and better. More nations are stepping up their game and I think it will continue to improve in the near future. I also believe that the youth programs and the marketing of the game in Scandinavia can be improved.
Having coached in both Iceland and Norway, what can a player expect if they play women’s professional football in either of these countries?
I think most individuals would love it in Norway and Iceland. The people are very friendly, both countries are very beautiful and the mindset of the players, coaches and clubs is of a very competitive nature!
Despite not possessing the biggest and most well-known clubs, I would tell everyone to try and play football in Norway and Iceland. It’s a great opportunity if you get an offer, and there are many clubs who are always looking to recruit players.
Does Icelandic and Norwegian football differ? If so, how?
The main difference is that there are more players in Norway. Around 330,000 people live in Iceland and around five million people live in Norway. The best players in Iceland are as good as or even better than the top Norwegian players, but the leagues in Norway are stronger.
Which qualities will you be looking for in a player during the Combines this winter?
Every coach is looking for good players; technical attributes are always very important, but players have to be open-minded and willing to work very hard to make it to the professional level.
Finally, what advice would you give to players attending PSC’s tryout events?
I would advice them to relax, enjoy it and do their absolute best. Soccer is supposed to be fun – enjoy playing it while you can!
Thanks, Jón. We’re looking forward to seeing you during the Combines!
See you guys over there!
Jón will be attending both of our women’s Pro Soccer Combines in San Diego, California (December 5, 6 and 7) and Fort Lauderdale, Florida (December 10, 11 and 12). Click here for more information on the events.
This article was written by Joe Angove – a sports journalist currently working with PSC. Joe’s work has been published and broadcasted by The Independent, the BBC, Goal.com and Plymouth Argyle FC, among other news outlets and sports clubs.