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Gudjon Thordarson

Nationality: Icelandic
Date of Birth: 14/09/1955


Barnsley named former Stoke boss Gudjon Thordarson as their new manager on June 30th 2003.

Thordarsson was with Stoke from November 1999 until May 2002 but after guiding them into Division One via the play-offs, he left the Potters.

After parting company with City, Thordarson was out of management for a little over a year. In June 2003 he confirmed he was part of a new consortium attempting to take over at Barnsley, and that they were "very serious" about beating Peter Ridsdale, who was also challenging for control at Oakwell.

He said: "I am keen on returning to football and if we are successful I would be Barnsley's new manager".

This proved to be the case and Thordarson will be confident his experience at Stoke will put him in good stead to lead the Tykes out of Division Two.

Thordarson was controversially appointed as Stoke City's manager in November 1999 by the club's Icelandic owners, replacing Gary Megson who felt aggrieved that he had been forced out of the Britannia Stadium after just 23 games in charge.

The former Icelandic national team manager had transformed Iceland from the whipping boys of European football into a powerful united outfit.

Under Thordarson, Iceland came close to qualifying for the final stages of Euro 2000, losing narrowly to world champions France in Paris.

At club level, he twice won the Icelandic championship with different teams and in 1996, the year before he took over as national manager, his team, IA, achieved the Icelandic league and cup double.

In his first season with The Potters, he helped the team reach the play-offs where they were beaten by Peter Taylor's Gillingham, who went on to win promotion.

In 2000/2001 he guided Stoke into a position where they were challenging for automatic promotion to Division One. However, they finished in fifth and were beaten in the play-off semi-finals by eventual play-off winners Walsall.

The following season Thordarson guided The Potters into the play-offs once again, this time with more success. Victories over Cardiff City, over two legs in the semi-final, and Brentford, in the final at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium, took them into Division One.

It came as something of a shock therefore when, five days later, Thordarson's contract as manager at the club was terminated, with the chairman Gunnar Gislason saying their working relationship had become "untenable".
Reproduced under permission from the League Managers Association.
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