AX News

Combine participant Gibson Bardsley instant success at Kiruna FF


AX are proud to report of Gibson Bardsley’s move to Division Three Norraland outfit Kiruna FF, and his immediate impact on the club’s fortunes. His glittering performances at the 2014 San Diego combine earned him his big opportunity in Europe.

Centre forward Bardsley’s high school and college career was filled with accolades. He showcased his goalscoring exploits at Western Washington University, finishing his tenure at the Vikings varsity team with 41 goals, making him tied for first in the school’s history.

The Fall City, Washington native’s good form continued into his professional career where he was regularly on the scoresheet for USL Pro sides Charlotte Eagles and Dayton Dutch Eagles. His enhanced reputation earned him a move down coast from his hometown to the Orange County Blue Stars.

Unfortunately his burgeoning career halted in Irvine, California and he fell out of the first team picture in summer 2014. This is when he was invited to our San Diego summer combine.

Many coaches from Sweden and Finland and AX agency staff attended the combine, but it was coach Lars Svensson, scouting on behalf of several Northern Scandinavian clubs, who acted quickly to recommend Bardsley to Kiruna FF.

Kiruna seized on the opportunity, with Bardsley quickly putting pen to paper on a contract and bagging a goal and assist on his debut in European football. The club has since risen to second to table, with plenty of it down to further five goals and relentless work rate of Bardsley. His form has already alerted clubs in Division One and beyond.

Kiruna FF have a fine reputation for nurturing young talent. In 2007, Allsvenskan club Gefle IF signed winger Jonas Lantto after he was named footballer of the year in Norrbotten, and he was joined in Gävleborg County by Pär Asp in 2011. If Bardsley continues to light up Division Three he could be the next to follow this duo into Sweden’s top tier.

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