So exactly who are IBV?

Wed, Jun 29 2011
IBV (short for Íþróttabandalag Vestmannaeyja) face St. Pats this Thursday evening in the first round of Europa League qualifying, but who exactly are IBV? To those of you not versed in the lore of Icelandic football, here's a quick bluffer's guide.

IBV are a multi-disciplinary sports club as they compete across sports including football, badminton, gymnastics, basketball and ice hockey. Currently, IBV are second in the Urvalsdeild - the Icelandic Premier Division. It's a summer league so at the moment they are eight matches into the seaso with IBV having won five and drawn one. Four points ahead of them in the table sit KR Reykjavik, who are unbeaten so far this season.

This season IBV have an average attendance of 819 (according to Soccerway) in their Hasteinsvollur stadium. Hasteinsvollur, situated in IBV's hometown of Vestmannaeyjar, has a 1,500 seated capacity. Vestmannaeyjar is a city situated on an archipelago of islands off the south coast of Iceland and has a population of just over 4,000. The archipelago of islands on which the city is built are named the Westman (Vestmann) Islands- the word Vestmann coming from the Old Norse name for the Celts. Vestmann was also the name given to the slaves taken by Viking and Norse raiders from the Irish coastline.

Club legends

Among the famous past players for IBV include two names familiar to English football fans- Hermann Hreidarsson and Ivar Ingimarsson. Hreidarsson started his career at IBV in 1993 before leaving for Crystal Palace. His career has seen him win 88 international caps (making him the second most-capped Icelandic player ever) and play for Palace, Brentford, Wimbledon, Ipswich Town, Charlton Athletic and Portsmouth- where he still plays. Ingimarsson, currently of Ipswich Town, started his career at Valur of Reykjavik before signing for IBV in 1999. He only played with IBV for half a season before leaving on loan for Torquay United. From there Ingimarsson went on to Brentford and Wolves, eventually signing for Reading in 2003. Then Reading captain Andy Williams said that Ingimarsson "will go down as a Reading legend" when he announced last season that he was leaving the club for Ipswich.

Dangermen

Currently, IBV boast a number of Icelandic underage internationals, one Danish under-21 international and one of Iceland's leading strikers. Tryggvi Guðmundsson has scored 12 goals in 41 appearances for his country and currently jointly leads the club's scoring charts this season with three goals. Also in the team are several English players, including striker Ian Jeffs who has also scored three goals this season. Veteran midfielder Bryan Hughes, formerly of Birmingham City, Charlton, Hull City and Derby County amongst others, is also on the club's books. Ugandan international Tony Mawejje is a defensive midfielder for the club and his compatriot Abel Dhaiira plays in goal for the Westman Islanders.

History and Icelandic football's structure

IBV has won the Icelandic Premier Division three times- in 1979, 1997 and 1998. They have also won the Icelandic Cup four times- 1968, 1971, 1981 and 1998. IBV qualified for this season's Europa League qualifying rounds by placing third in the Urvalsdeid last season- two points off winners Breidablik. The Icelandic season is a short one due to the harsh winters (just 22 games), with the eleven Urvalsdeid sides playing each other home and away. Below the Urvalsdeid there are two lower divisions- the 1.Deild and 2.Deild. Each has 12 clubs- and all Icelandic clubs compete for the Icelandic Cup. The Icelandic Super Cup is a curtain-raiser to the season- acting as their version of England's Community Shield.