Southern United midfielder Ben O'Farrell signs for Icelandic football club KF Fjallabyggd

Southern United's Ben O'Farrell, right, battles with Eastern Suburbs player Sean Lovemore in their national league ...
David Joseph /

Southern United's Ben O'Farrell, right, battles with Eastern Suburbs player Sean Lovemore in their national league football match last season.

Eighteen-year-old attacking midfielder Ben O'Farrell may struggle to spell the name of his new football club, but he is excited about the prospect of playing in the Icelandic third division for KF Fjallabyggd.

One of the more promising players for Southern United in last season's Stirling Sports Premiership campaign, O'Farrell decided to combine his love of both football and travel after completing his studies at Dunedin's Kavanagh College in 2016.

He lives in a town in the north of Iceland called Ólafsfjörður after former Southern United player Victor da Costa who now plays in Iceland, got him a trial.

"I finished school last year and I just wanted to travel and play football and I also really wanted to go to Europe, so I came over to Europe," he said.

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"I trialled for a top division under-19 team, but didn't get in there and they said come over and trial for this club, they have a reasonable history and a reasonably professional setup, so I came here and played all right and signed and now I am here for the summer."

The former Roslyn-Wakari club player enjoyed the challenge of lacing up his boots for Southern United in the national league, where he made nine appearances over two seasons.

"It was a good experience, it was definitely the biggest step up from what I had played before and the training although I didn't always enjoy it, was hard and it definitely made me better," he said.

"It threw you into an environment where everyone else was good and you just had to step up and be good, otherwise you just wouldn't cope."

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The teenager is unsure if he will be back in Southern United colours next season, with his Icelandic club contract finishing in September.

"I have been thinking it would be cool to go back and get another summer and hopefully return quite a bit better if I did and would be able to play for Southern which would be cool," he said.

"I will see, I think I am going to stay in Europe after this for a bit at least and if things aren't working out or I just want to go home, Mum has bought Ed Sheeran tickets then I will come home and if I am in Dunedin, I would definitely play for Southern if I can."

 - Stuff


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