Holmar happy

To say Holmar Orn Eyjolfsson's loan spell at Belgian club KSV Roeselare has been a success would be something of an understatement.

The West Ham United loanee has made just four appearances since moving to Roeselare, but has already helped the club to reach the Belgian Cup semi-finals and record a vital victory over relegation rivals Lokeren.

The 19-year-old, already an established Iceland Under-21 international, has been a revelation since his arrival at the Schiervelde stadium, earning rave reviews for his commanding, composed performances at centre-back.

A narrow 2-1 defeat by KV Mechelen was followed by a 3-2 loss to KV Kortrijk in the first leg of the Belgian Cup quarter-finals. With Eyjolfsson an influential figure, Roeselare would get back to winning ways with a 4-1 success at Lokeren, lifting the club above their hosts and off the bottom of the table.

Then, last Wednesday evening, the youngster was part of the side that defeated Kortrijk 1-0 to secure their passage to the semi-finals on away goals.

Now settled into his own apartment in the quiet Flemish town, Eyjolfsson is enjoying life in the Low Countries.

"Things have been going really well for me," he said. "We lost the first two games I played, but we were unlucky both times. Since then our results have been superb and we've won twice and reached the cup semi-finals.

"The win over Lokeren was very important as we are both involved in a relegation battle."

A regular in Alex Dyer's reserve team at West Ham, Eyjolfsson is no stranger to first-team football, having starred for HG Kopavogur in his homeland at the tender age of 16.

At Roeselare, Eyjolfsson has settled in quickly to the demands of the Belgian League, helped by the presence of Iceland U21 colleague and former Everton midfielder Bjarni Vidarsson.

"I have been hanging out a lot with Bjarni and also Nikita Rukavytsya, who is from Australia. We've been checking out the town, which is very quiet, and chilling out, so it's been good," said Eyjolfsson.

"The football is quite similar to the English game, too. The standard is good and the forwards that I've come up against have all been quick and powerful, so the move has worked out better than I could ever have imagined, to be honest.

"It's been a great experience for me to be playing regular first-team football."

Aside from a two-legged cup semi-final against Cercle Brugge KSV, Eyjolfsson has plenty more to look forward to before the league season reaches its climax at the end of March.

"We have some big league matches coming up," he confirmed. "We are at home to Anderlecht on 28 February and are away at Club Brugge, who are second, the week after. Both of them are going to be massive games.

"We need to keep doing well to stay away from the relegation zone. The club has signed four new players, including myself and Nikita, and we're doing well.

"I'm happy here. I've got my apartment sorted out now and I've settled in really quickly, so it's been great so far."

Roeselare, whose home league fixture with KRC Genk fell victim to snow on Saturday, travel to Cercle Brugge for a cup semi-final dress rehearsal in this weekend.

For more information about KSV Roeselare, click here.