TRANSFORMING a team from Division One relegation candidates to a Premier League side in two years, a football coach from Bingfield is making a big name for himself in Iceland.

Gregg Ryder (27), who became the country’s youngest manager when he took over Reykjavik-based Throttur FC two seasons ago, has spearheaded a remarkable turn around in fortunes by returning the team to the top flight of Icelandic football.

Throttur were last in the Premier League in 2009 and were close to dropping out of Division One when they finished one place above the drop zone in 2013.

They turned to Ryder, who had worked under former Portsmouth and Charlton Athletic defender Hermann Hreidarsson at IVB, after they were impressed with his determination by flying from England to Iceland for an interview despite being told he was low on the list of candidates.

And the former Queen Elizabeth High School pupil has worked wonders at the club, finishing one place off the two automatic promotion spots in his first season before going one better and securing the runners-up spot this year.

Ryder said: “After finishing 10th in the season before I arrived, we were third in my first year which was a good turn around.

“I got offered the IVB job in the Premier League but I turned it down as they didn‘t consider me when Hermann left and I was doing a good job with Throttur.

“We went one better and finished in the automatic promotion spots and now the aim is to keep them in the Premier League for two successive seasons which has never been done before.

“It has been a great turn around since I came here and we‘re not even thinking about relegation, and I honestly think we can finish mid-table next year.

“By the year 2017, I’m looking to get the team in the qualifiers for European competition which I’ve had a bit of a taste of with IVB and is something I definitely want to experience again as a manager.”

Ryder’s taste of European football came when he was listed as the team manager for IVB’s Europa League qualifier at Serbian side Red Star Belgrade.

With Hreidarsson player/ manager, it was over to the Tynedale man to step up to the hot seat and give the press conferences.

And the whole experience whetted his appetite to push on in his aim of becoming a full time manager.

He said: “My first game in charge was in Belgrade in front of 35,000 people, and I was listed as the manager on the UEFA team sheet so I was thrown right in at the deep end. The atmosphere was unbelievable and the home fans were deafening, and they were so loud I could only give instructions to the left back and left winger when they were 10 yards away!

“I had always wanted to be a manager but that experience was unbelievable and made me want it even more.”

Ryder returns to Iceland next month and has six months with his squad ahead of the new season kicking off in April.