March 2009 Archives
WHILE most of Coventry City's squad are enjoying a late-season break over the next fortnight, Aron Gunnarsson will be logging a new milestone in his exciting young career.
The midfielder is due to step out in front of a passionate Hampden Park crowd on April 1 as Iceland take on Scotland in a World Cup qualifier - another prime opportunity to demonstrate the development that has stunned the Sky Blues management team this season.
Boss Chris Coleman admits that he expected the 19-year-old to be a squad player this season while he found his feet in English football.
But having turned in some impressively muscular midfield displays, proven his versatility by filling in at right-back and unveiled the attacking potential of his prodigious long throw, Gunnarsson is now regarded as one of the Ricoh Arena's crown jewels.
He has also become a cult hero with the fans - that status reaching stratospheric heights during the midweek trip to Bristol City when he and mum Jona joined the Sky Blue Army in the Ashton Gate stands.
And his importance to the club's future was underlined when - along with Kieren Westwood, Scott Dann and Danny Fox - he was offered a long-term contract extension designed to fend off interest from Premier League predators after the usual speculation about possible suitors emerging.
But Gunnarsson insists he won't be trying to exploit that situation with some hard-ball negotiating.