Snorri Steinn Reportedly Hired as Coach of National Handball Team

Handball, Handballer, Snorri Steinn

Snorri Steinn Guðjónsson has reportedly reach an agreement with the Icelandic Handball Association (HSÍ) to become the head coach of the men’s national handball team, Vísir reports. He will lead the team at the 2024 EHF European Men’s Handball Championship in Germany.

Extended negotiations

Negotiations between representatives of the Icelandic Handball Association (HSÍ) and Snorri Steinn Guðjónsson have been protracted, with talks appearing to have broken down last weekend. According to Vísir’s sources, however, it is now clear that Snorri will be introduced as the new national team coach over the coming days: “possibly less than a hundred days after the departure of Guðmundur Guðmundsson in February.

According to Vísir, Arnór Atlason – Snorri’s former teammate from the national team – will be hired as the national team’s assistant coach, although his contract has yet to be finalised. Arnór is the current assistant coach of the Aalborg handball team and head coach of Denmark’s U21 national team. He will relinquish both positions this summer and take over as assistant coach of TTH Holstebro in Denmark.

Among the first interviewed

As noted by Vísir, Snorri was among the first individuals that representatives from HSÍ informally interviewed as a possible successor to Guðmundur. Dagur Sigurðsson was also interviewed informally – and he subsequently criticised the association for their handling of his interview, which he characterised as “sloppy.”

Snorri Steinn, who is 41 years old, returned to Iceland in 2017 following a successful professional career abroad. He was hired as a playing coach of Valur, which he managed in concert with Guðlaugur Arnarsson.

Under Snorri’s management, Valur became Icelandic and Cup Champion in 2021 and 2022. Valur also secured a league title in 2020 and again this spring. The team also achieved notable success in the European League this winter and reached the round of 16.

Icelanders Disappoint the Danes at 2020 Euro

Danes Exit Euro 2020

The Hungarian national handball team defeated Iceland in the teams’ final game of the 2020 Euro group stages. As a result of the Icelanders’ loss, the Danish national team was eliminated from the competition. The Danish press expressed its disappointment following the Danish exit, Vísir reports.

Following a six-goal loss against Hungary yesterday, the Icelandic national handball team advances to the main round of the 2020 Euro (with zero points). As noted by the Danish Jyllands-Posten, “what Hungary and Iceland have in common is that they will play their first game of the main rounds on Friday. Denmark will not.”

The Danish press has criticised the performance of the Danish national team ever since its loss against Iceland last Saturday. The criticism continued yesterday. The Danes did, however, secure a consolation victory against Russia yesterday – in a game that, as far as the competition went, meant nothing.

“No help: Danes exit the Euro,” a headline from Ekstra Bladet reads. Other observations include, “Iceland couldn’t help the Danes” and “the Danes needed the Icelanders’ help to advance to the main round, but no such thing happened.”

Claus Møller Jakobsen, a commentator with TV 2 Sport, agrees that there is no other word for the Danes’ performance than “fiasco.”

“There’s no doubt that this is a fiasco. Denmark has, in two games, not displayed the quality the team possesses.”

Iceland will face off against Slovenia tomorrow at 3 pm in the team’s first match in the main rounds.