Adelaide United’s combative midfielder, Gunnhildur Jónsdóttir, says she could not resist the offer of playing for the Reds after speaking with Head Coach, Ivan Karlović.
The Icelandic international signed with the Adelaide ahead of the Westfield W-League 2018/19 season and immediately bought into the team’s project.
Gunnhildur, or simply Gunny, said her move to Adelaide came about by spending 2018 in the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) with Utah Royals.
“For me it was playing in the US and when I signed there I talked to my coach about maybe coming in the off-season,” she explained.
“So I had it always in the back of my mind to come to Australia.
“And just talked to Ivan (Karlović) and he sold me on coming here.
“He said it was a young team with big potential and I wanted to be a part of that to try and build up this team and couldn’t really say no to the opportunity.”
The experienced midfielder has impressed in her two league matches against Melbourne Victory and Brisbane Roar to start the season.
And her initial impressions of the competition have been positive.
“Well I think the league here is a good league,” she admitted.
“There’s a lot of girls coming over from the NWSL so it’s a strong league.
“A lot of the girls who I’ve played with have played here and recommended coming to this league.
“And I’m all about being on a team that’s built off of characters and not really experience.
“But Ivan kind of talked about trying to build this team and I wanted to be a part of that and I think I’ll learn a lot from being on that kind of team rather the team with the most talent.”
Gunny’s career has taken her to places all over the world. From beginning her footballing journey in Iceland, to spending five years in Norway before heading to the United States, and now Australia – in addition to 58 caps with the national team.
But she takes nothing for granted and believes as a player you are always learning regardless of how impressive one’s pedigree may be.
“It’s an honour to get the opportunity that I’ve gotten here and being able to play abroad,” she said.
“I think from each team you play for or the national team everything is an experience, everything you learn from.
“And I think each time you’ve to think how am I going to better myself, how am I going to help the team get better.
But equally, in possession, she is just as effective controlling the tempo of matches with minimal touches on the ball.
“I’m more of a box-to-box midfielder,” Gunny stated when quizzed about her playing attributes.
“When I see the ball I just want to win it and I’m a one, two touch type of player.
“I just want to feed it to the forwards and make them look good.
“But I just like to keep it simple and keep the ball moving and then I’m just very hard in the tackle.”
Gunny is confident her temperament can get the best of her teammates, particularly the younger players in the squad.
“I think for me my expectations are to help the team reach their potential,” she insisted.
“Do my best to bring out the best in the other players.
“Because I know this Club is building and I always go into every game thinking I’m going to win.
“But at the end of the day it’s just helping the young players grow so whenever they have to take over they’re ready.”
Gunny’s sheer determination to win, while being humble and always thinking of her fellow peers at the same time, is indicative of the type of character she is. The definition of a team player.
Adelaide United host Canberra United in Round 4 of the Westfield W-League 2018/19 season on Thursday, 22 November at Coopers Stadium. Kick-off is at 7.00pm ACDT. Gates open at 6.00pm. Enter via Holden Street.