The Welshman and the Icelandic Youtube sensation – SBBU exclusive!

Posted on August 21, 2010

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A WELSH footballer who played for the Icelandic team that have become an internet sensation with their unique goal celebrations has lifted the lid on his time at the club.

Stjarnan FC’s original extraordinary goal celebration has been viewed almost eight million times by fans enthralled by goalscorer Halldor Orri reeling in team mate Johann Laxdal, who’s surname means ‘salmon valley’, like a fish before posing for a mock photo with his catch.

The nine times capped Wales under-19 international Richard Hurlin helped Stjarnan FC avoid relegation in their first season competing in Iceland’s top division last year.

Hurlin celebrates in more conventional style with Stjarnan

Hurlin, who has also represented Cardiff City, Swansea City and Llanelli at youth level, said he was shocked when a friend alerted him to his former club’s new found fame.

“A friend of mine in Puerto Rico sent me a web link to the first three celebrations, so it had reached Puerto Rico before I had even seen it,” he said.

“So obviously I called my friend over in Iceland and they said they had a few more coming.

“They’ve done one called the human bicycle and also there is one where they give birth to a football.”

Although Hurlin found the atmosphere at the club was as special as the celebrations suggests, he said they weren’t something the team practice in training whilst he was playing there.

“The celebrations are something new this season, they have a good group of players and they’ve played together for a long time so it’s a really good atmosphere amongst the players and the team.”

“Also a lot of the fans have played for the club along the way.

“It’s the whole sort of club atmosphere, it’s really relaxed and you can have a good time there.”

Hurlin, 26, joined Stjarnan after a successful trial with the club, set up by an Icelandic team mate he played with for a college team in America, but wasn’t able to establish himself in the first team.

“It was difficult, it was the first time I’ve played in a country where I don’t speak the language but everyone at the club was great and the fans were absolutely brilliant,” Hurlin said.

“I was out of favour at the club, I came in half way through the season because I was still in college and I didn’t really get into the starting eleven there, I was kind of sat on the bench for a while there and the club is not really where I wanted to be playing.”

Halldor Orri, undisputedly the star of the original Youtube hit, might be following the Welshman out of the club he has helped make famous in the near future according to Hurlin.

“I played with Orri whilst I was there, he has bags of pace and I think there were some clubs in Germany looking at him, in the second and third divisions there,” he said.

“He’s strong, he’s got a lot of pace and he knows where the goal is.”

Hurlin with his new Swedish club

Despite leaving the club that are quickly becoming every football fan’s second team to join Swedish side Syriac IF, where he has just signed a new contract, the Llanelli product has no desire to return to play in Wales any time soon.

“I really think it would be a step backwards to come and play in the Welsh Premier League,” said Hurlin.

“I don’t really want to live in Wales, that’s the problem, but I always keep up to date with the Welsh Premier League and I’m always seeing how Llanelli are doing.”

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Posted in: Iceland, Luke James