“They don’t do it every time. But we suggested it to the FA (English Football Association) and they talked to the team and lobbied them a little bit,” Anna Coyet from the British Embassy told The Local.
In cooperation with Fryshuset, a youth centre based in Stockholm, 25 teenagers between 13 and 20 years old, were invited to watch the English football team train on Tuesday evening. The training session took place in the recently opened Friends Arena, where the game will be played on Wednesday night.
“They first watched the training for about an hour and 15 minutes. After that they got a chance to talk to the players and get their autographs as well as some photos,” Coyet said.
“The players went by all the kids one by one. No one snuck back to the dressing-room,” she added.
The kids were excited to meet the international players.
“I love Liverpool and I really wanted to meet Gerrard,” one of the teenagers told the embassy staff.
Meeting the players and getting their autographs was a definite highlight. However, being able to be in the new arena was an added bonus.
“It was awesome to be allowed to go to the new arena and to meet the whole English national team,” another visiting teenager said.
The England-Sweden friendly will be played in the Friends arena, in the Solna district of Stockholm, at 8.30pm on Wednesday.
Sanne Schim van der Loeff