"I'M LOVING MY TIME HERE": JOKULL ANDRESSON ON RETURNING TO EXETER AND PLAYING FOR FANS
It is fair to say that few Exeter City loanees have won the fans hearts as much as Jökull Andrésson has since arriving at St James Park from Reading in 2020.
Originally on an emergency loan at the Grecians, with both Lewis Ward and Jonny Maxted out injured, Andrésson impressed many Exeter fans with not just his goalkeeping ability, but his enthusiasm for the club on and off the pitch.
The Icelander was brought back to the club in January after Ward departed to Portsmouth on a season long loan, an opportunity which Andrésson has been delighted to take.
“I’m loving my time here at Exeter, it has been great so far, it’s been great playing games, it’s been great meeting again with all the lads and the coaches and all the staff.”
“Exeter have done so much for me in my career. They gave me my first professional appearance; they gave me a platform and I’ll be forever grateful for that because it helps me massively for the future.”
He made his debut in a 1-1 draw against Leyton Orient, on the same day which he found out he was moving to Exeter.
“You never know what it’ll feel like until you play at the level, when I played my first game, I was so nervous, I was traveling away with Reading’s first team, I was just in the training group and I get a call-up saying ‘you’ve got a game tomorrow with Exeter, you’re playing your first professional game.”
Andrésson duly impressed, and as both senior goalkeepers remained side-lined, the Reading loanee ended up making eight more appearances for the club, which he believes helped him realise the level he was at.
“Getting those nine games at Exeter during the emergency loan, that’s what makes it more comfortable for me now and I know I can play at this level and I feel comfortable and I feel confident playing with the lads and playing against these other top players.”
The one criticism of Andrésson’s game has been his kicking, which is something Exeter manager Matt Taylor has pointed out, but this is something the shot-stopper is aware of and is putting in the work to improve on.
“My feet haven’t always been coordinated, so any time I’m training or any time we have time off where there’s no games, I’m on that training pitch trying to improve because that’s something I need to improve on. I’m getting there gradually and that’s why I’m so grateful to be doing what I’m doing right now, to get this experience because this is what I need right now.”
The story of how Andrésson arrived at Exeter is an interesting one, and one the goalkeeper admits he owes more to his brother Axel Andrésson than himself.
“I actually had nothing to do with my family coming to England, it was my older brother Axel Andresson, he used to play at Reading, and he got scouted to England, and the whole family went over to England for just a family holiday.”
“For some reason they let me and my little brother train with Reading for two or three sessions and they just thought, ‘you know what you’re alright’, so when they decided to sign my older brother, they decided to get the whole crew over!”
Andrésson also spoke about a how he owes a lot to a name familiar with both Reading and Exeter City fans, Eamonn Dolan.
The goalkeeper paid tribute to Dolan and believes he is the main reason he signed up with the Royals.
“Reading have always been linked with Icelandic and Scandinavian players because of Eamonn Dolan, he used to bring in a lot of Scandinavian players, and he’s really the main reason why we came over and god rest his soul, he is the reason why we are all in Reading, he is the reason why they scouted my older brother.”
“He brought us over and he helped us with everything, he’s a great man, he helped us with the house, he helped us with the car and settled us in, he invited us to dinner, so the main reason was because of him.”
Andrésson has also made appearances for his country, playing once for Iceland u17s and four times for Iceland u19s, but has big ambitions of playing for the country he loves.
“It’s a real honour to play for a country you love so much, and hopefully if everything keeps going alright, I keep playing games, no injuries, hopefully soon I’ll be able to play first team for Iceland, you never know.”
While the goalkeeper’s main ambitions at club level is to play for Reading’s first team, Andrésson’s love for the Grecians may possibly open up a potential loan move back to St James Park.
“I adore this club, and you never know what’s going to happen. If we go up, I would love to come here again, even if we don’t go up, we’ll just see what happens. I love playing for this club, I love being here on loan and being with everyone.”
“The only thing I’m missing now is just the fans, they’ve been so nice to me on social media and everywhere else. Hopefully one day I’ll be able to see them in real life!”