Fans’ favourite insists he’s not finished at Pompey

Hermann Hreidarsson says he's a 'young 37'
Hermann Hreidarsson says he's a 'young 37'
Conor Chaplin could start againsyt Plymouth. Picture: Joe Pepler

Pompey v Plymouth: pre-match talking points

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Hermann Hreidarsson surveyed his 19th season in football and warned: Don’t write me off.

Iceland’s evergreen skipper turned 37 earlier this month, making him one of the oldest outfield players in the Football League.

Not that the veteran defender is feeling his age.

Having penned a new 12-month Pompey deal this summer, Hreidarsson is striving to overhaul the 29 appearances he chalked up last season.

Steve Cotterill is on the look out for more competition at left-back, with Chelsea’s Patrick Van Aanholt in his sights on a loan deal.

Regardless of whether that comes off, Hreidarsson is in no mood to step aside.

And he has pledged to keep on fighting to feature in Cotterill’s regular starting line-up.

Hreidarsson said: ‘This is my 19th pre-season.

‘You work as hard as you can and really put everything in. It doesn’t matter how old you are.

‘In a sense, I feel the same as I did when I was younger. It’s just that it takes you longer to recover, that is the difference with age.

‘My age is not a problem, though. I am a young 37.

‘I’m still feeling in good nick and I haven’t got any problems.

‘Most of the time, there is some sort of niggle and you go through stages of those. But I feel good, I feel fit and staying fit is the main thing.

‘People talk about my age but these days I take one year at a time, as I have done in the past few years.

‘Football has been part of my life for a long time. When physically I am not capable then obviously I will stop. But it is a long time to be retired.

‘I just love doing it and, if I can physically, I’ll still be out there.’

Hreidarsson is a player who just won’t be written off.

He fought back from a career-threatening Achilles tendon injury to start the last 19 matches of the previous campaign.

In the 2008-09 season, he battled back to line-up in the final 17 matches having been overlooked by Harry Redknapp and then largely by Tony Adams.

And the former Charlton man does not intend to start waving the white flag during the forthcoming campaign.

Hreidarsson added: ‘I remember the first time I had been out of a regular spot was at Portsmouth when Harry brought a few players in.

‘It was a bad time but all you can do is put your head down and try to get back. You have to prove who is wrong and who is right.

‘I want to play, of course I do, it wasn’t my choice back then.

‘Regardless of what happens, you have to train, be positive and see where it takes you.

‘Just believe you will be back and that you will get a chance again.’