Since I have arrived in Sweden, I have been on the search for a football team to support. One of the things I really do miss from home is going to see Chelsea play each week. This is the first year that I have been absent as a season ticket holder, and I was hoping that I would be able to find a team that I can follow here.
I had many conversations with my Swedish friends and basically it seemed that there were two teams they all said I should follow, Djurgarden or AIK. But, for me, a football team is someone that I was going to support for two main reasons, one they were local, and secondly I didn’t want to support a team that was too popular (I didn’t want to jump on the bandwagon).
I went to a Norrkoping game last year but didn’t feel any connection. Maybe it was the game, maybe it was the atmosphere, but somehow I just didn’t feel any support there. So after 4 months and the season closed I still had nobody to follow.
The idea of following a female football team started to grow a few months ago. Back home I have always been a huge follower of women’s football and go to each Chelsea game that I can to support them. Many of my friends laugh but women’s football has grown so much over the last decade that it is just an enjoyable to watch as the men’s game. I was glued to the World Cup the past few weeks and followed Sweden throughout. They had many great players, none more so than the vastly impressive Josefine Oqvist.
So yesterday I decided that I would go to see my local women’s team, Linkoping FC, play. It was a beautiful summers evening, and we got to the ground around 5 minutes before kick-off. Of course, we had to have a ritual beer before the game otherwise it would not be like a proper game!
The first thing that caught my attention was the amazing condition the pitch was in! I have seen worse pitches as Old Trafford and Wembley! The crowd was I would say around 400, mainly families, and for once it was great to see a game of football without any swearing.
The opposition were Tyresö FF. Placed two places above Linkoping who have two of the best players in Swedish football with Internationals Madeleine Edlund and Josefeine Oqvist.
It was an incredible start! Tyresö went 1-0 up after just 5 minutes with a goal that defied belief. Though I was at the other end of the stadium a sensational 20 yard overhead scissor-kick then thumped off the post brought applause from the opposition supporters. I wish I could see this goal again!
But we were not to be outdone, straight from the kick off a determined run, and a cross brought a goal just 22 seconds after kick off and the game was level at 1-1.
Then right back Tyresö went 2-1 up! Three goals in just eight minutes, what a start.
The game then settled into a pattern where the Tyresö were controlling the pace of the game, at times it seemed there were thirteen players on the pitch, they were simply that good.
At the end of it, all Tyresö ran out 4-1 winners and rightly so. Linkoping FC did not play badly, Tyresö just played to good and on this performance it is hard to see why they are only mid table. Especially with the impressive strike force that they have.
So I have finally found my Swedish team! Linkoping FC and I will attend as many home games as I can also will do my best to travel away as it is not only a good way to support these wonderful players but also see new parts of Sweden.
Below are some pictures and videos of the game.
All I need now is a t-shirt!