By Arnar Steinsson.
This is the start of a new series looking at ex-Reds who are still playing. We’re starting with a Q&A interview Arnar had with Academy Graduate Victor Pálsson, now of NEC Nijmegen in the Netherlands.
Arnar: To start things off I would like to ask you how it was like for a teenager to move from Fylkir in Iceland to AGF in Denmark and then soon Liverpool FC came knocking. Can you describe that process and did you know if there where scouts observing you or did it come out of the blue when LFC made an approach?
Victor Pálsson: The move from Fylkir to AGF was fantastic. I was really fortunate to move to a team like AGF at only 16 years of age. Of course it was difficult at first but looking back things couldn’t have been better. My mother and my little sister were with me so that helped. I went to school and made a lot of friends. It wasn´t exactly the ‘Pro Footballer’ lifestyle as I was studying as well as playing football. It was like being back at Fylkir. Life revolved around school and football.
But this all changed when I went to Liverpool. I didn’t know that the club was scouting me at the time, it all happened very suddenly. My agent called and told me they were interested. To my knowledge scouts had watched me both with the Icelandic national team at youth level and AGF. I then went on trial for a week which went very well and it all started from there.
Arnar: How did it feel when you came to Liverpool? What kind of reception did you get? Who were the first people you met and introduced you to the Academy and who is in charge of helping you settle in?
Victor Pálsson: The feeling that a team like Liverpool were interested in signing me was of course fantastic but at the same time I was a bit nervous. I was only seventeen years old but Liverpool are amazing at looking after young players and when I arrived everything was top notch at the club.
Everything I needed was arranged for me and they helped out in every aspect necessary. So I felt comfortable from day one. I remember the first day I landed and the driver Carl picked me up at the airport in Manchester. I was driven straight to Melwood for the medical. And then I went to meet Rafa Benitez and Sammy Lee along with Norman the team manager of the club. After the medical and the meeting I went with my mother and sister to look for an apartment and we found a very nice one straight away. Then we got the news that everything was fine with the medical and we headed for Anfield where I signed a contract for two and half years.
Arnar: When you arrived at the club there were a lot of changes happening with the Academy set up. Benitez had just hired Frank McParland, Pep Segura and Rodolfo Borrell along with Kenny Dalglish to run the Academy. Did you notice any of those changes in any way?
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