Andreas Welander, ÅKARPS, breath of fresh air, Division 3 Södra Götaland, Eremal Zejnullanhu, Furulunds, interlopers, Kävlinge Municipality, Ljungvalla IP, Markus Folkesson, Martin Varga, pin badges, Pontus Oor, Robin Sander, Swedish football
Tuesday 22nd May 2012 ko 19.00
Division 3 Södra Götaland
FURULUNDS IK 1 (Varga 90)
ÅKARPS IF 2 (Zejnullahu 29 Oor 52)
Att 208 (h/c)
Pin Badge Comp’
“1910-2010” centenary book Comp’
From Landskrona it was a mere 30 or so km south to Lund, and nearby Furulund. Its a small town of around 4,000 inhabitants, in rural Kävlinge, and is typically pretty as a picture. After watching 3 games as a reasonably high level it was a breath of fresh air to watch a grass-roots game. There’s nothing amazing about Ljungvalla IP, just a railed off pitch, and a small amount of cover in front of the changing rooms. Seating is provided by benches along one touchline. We got there early, around 2 hours before kick off and if there hadn’t been a game to watch, we’d have probably written off Furulunds IK as unremarkable, and so missed out on a gem.
It all happened slowly, firstly assistant manager Jörn Pettersson asked after the two interlopers, including the one who spoke no Swedish! We were then offered coffee and a seat in the clubhouse, and as we enjoyed the hospitality, Chairman Börje Schoug came over to present us with “FIK” pin badges, and soon after Jörn returned with beautiful hard backed histories of the club. He commented to me “You’ll have to learn Swedish” I was, and am deeply touched, and there’s quite an incentive!
With a welcome like that it goes without saying we wanted Furulunds to win the game, but with one glance at the league table that looked unlikely. Rock bottom with no points and only 3 goals scored, the club admitted that the step up from local to regional football was a step too far for them, but they were determined to stick together and enjoy their first season at this level since 1971. It felt like 4 games into my spell in their country, I was seeing real Swedes watching real Swedish football.
It seemed that the entire village caught the mood too, as they turned up in droves. All ages and genders, and supported THEIR team despite the fact it became quickly clear that the seventh game would go exactly the same way as the previous six. In the first half hour visiting midfielder Eremal Zejnullanhu should have had a hat trick but settled for a shot into the bottom right hand corner from 18 yards that the keeper really should have stopped. The first half saw nothing other than Åkarps pressure but a combination of last ditch defending and incompetance in front of goal kept the score to an unrealistic 1-0.
The second goal on 52 minutes will cause the Furulunds management sleepless nights. A free kick was swung in from the left and there was Pontus Oor to head home unimpeded from all of a yard out. Where was the defence, where was the keeper?
Salvation of sorts for Furulunds came with the introduction of young new signings Robin Sander and Andreas Welander, around the hour mark. They offered more dash and options up front, although Åkarps were still piling on the pressure. Furulunds chances of gaining an unlikely point were aided by the pointless dismissal of Åkarps defender Markus Folkesson for two stupid fouls. FIK attacked and in stoppage time Martin Varga dinked the ball over the Åkarps keeper from a yard out for FIK’s 4th goal of the season.
The ball was quickly retrieved and in the dying seconds Welander saw his shot charged down by the Åkarps keeper, to deny this lovely club a ill-deserved point, in a game I regard as the highlight of this tour.
So folks, if you’re in Southern Sweden, here’s the links you need to pay this little gem of a club a visit.