Son of ex-Stoke City star Bjarni Gudjonsson has trial at Rangers, makes senior debut at 15



Introducing Jóhannes Kristinn Bjarnason, a player with Stoke City running in his genes.

The 15-year-old is the son of former midfielder Bjarni Gudjonsson and grandson of ex-manager Gudjon Thordarson.

This week he has made his first senior appearance for KR Reykjavik, in a friendly against Keflavik as they warm up for tomorrow’s Super Cup match against Vikingur.

He’s a midfielder himself and DV, in Iceland, report that he has already been on trial with Glasgow Rangers and trained with FC Copenhagen, in Denmark, and Genk, in Belgium, while also captaining Iceland under-15s.

“Johannes is a tremendous prospect,” they add.

“The team have been watching his progress for some time, despite his young age… It will be interesting to see if he gets a chance with KR this summer but the Pepsi Max division starts in just two weeks.”

Bjarnason – sons in Iceland take their father’s forename as their surname – scored for Rangers under-17s in a 3-2 youth tournament win over Suwon Samsung in Qatar in February.

Gudjon Thordarson sparked an Icelandic chapter in Stoke City history when he helped build a consortium to take over the club in 1999. The former national team manager then replaced Gary Megson as boss.

He won the Auto Windscreens Shield at Wembley in his first season but had two heart-breaking play-off campaigns before a thrilling promotion in 2002 – when he was controversially sacked within days.

Now aged 64, he left Faroe Islands team NSI Runavik last October, saying: “The Faroe Islands suited me well. Football was fun, challenging, but fun.

“I lived in a small community and there was really nothing about it. I missed not getting a chance to play golf but the football was fun. We practiced more or less every day and when it came to holidays there was a man with special exercises.

“The football filled up completely in the empty space… I just decided that now I wanted something different.”

He has been looking for a chance to return to the front line.

“There are hooks out there,” he told RUV. “But it’s like fishing in turbid water, you never know if something will happen.”

Bjarni Gudjonsson arrived for £250,000 from Genk in 2000. He was a regular for three seasons, including 2002/03 after his father had left and Steve Cotterill then Tony Pulis took over.

He went on to play for Bochum, Coventry and Plymouth before returning to Iceland, where he managed Fram and KR and is currently assistant boss to Runar Kristinsson at KR.

The 41-year-old is also an account manager at VIS Insurance.





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