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Sunday 2nd June 2013 ko 11.00

Division 3 Södra Svealand

ATHLETIC FC 0 Sheaib sent off (dangerous play) 69

TYRESÖ 4 (Sevgili 12 38 Ashtari 52 Lithen 90) Nicho sent off (2nd booking) 60

at Plan A, Skytteholms, Solna

Att 67

Entry & Pennant, Included in hop

The Northern Stockholm suburb of Solna and I go back some way, in fact 7 years to be exact. The very first Swedish hop took in Råsunda IS playing at Skytteholms, or to translate, The Shooting Grounds, and the result was a highly entertaining 2-2 draw versus Gamla Uppsala, curiously where we’d travelled from on a warm Sunday morning.

Times change, and soon enough Skytteholms’ more famous neighbour the Råsunda stadium will be no more. The site of the 1958 World Cup final, and AIK’s home since 1937 is being demolished from the north to the south. Peter Miles and I took a few minutes to walk around the perimeter of the grand old lady of Stockholm, and we both felt sick to the stomach at what we saw. The new Friends Arena, is both necessary and a fine stadium, have a look here, http://wp.me/p1PehW-1hC but it felt like the cost was too high. The flats and offices to be built here will help pay for the new national stadium, but it’s a real shame some way couldn’t be found for the Råsunda to be retained, the 36,608 capacity was perfect for AIK.

Since the hop’s visit in 2007, Skytteholms has seen a few changes. These were mainly due to anchor tenant Vasalunds IF being promoted for their one season stint, 2009, in the second tier Superettan. Its now no longer possible to enter the ground from the other 3 pitches, the stand now sports seats bolted on to the former benches, and there’s a café area replacing the little hot dog booth in the side of the stand. The capacity remains at 3,000.

The ground was the first in Sweden to sport a 3G pitch, and with undersoil heating too! That’s now 4G, and looked to be a superb surface to pass on. Athletic turned out to be an interesting bunch. Formed as a Turkish immigrant side in 2007 they’ve risen through the leagues rapidly and have replaced Råsunda IS as secondary tenant of the ground. Råsunda more-or-less folded two years ago, but the name was bought for their league position. The new Råsunda IS finished rock bottom of Division 3 last season, without a single point, and are now bottom of Division 4 Mellersta (Mid) Stockholm with 3 points. Another chunk of sadness for a Sunday morning.

It was a pleasure on a sweltering morning to shelter at the back of the stand and watch, and remember multiple visits in the past. Life has changed a lot since 2007!

Tyresö were no less interesting than the surroundings. We’d visited them on the 2010 hop and were surprised on arrival at Tyresövallen to be part of 50 or so arriving when 1,500 were leaving. Tyresö are far more famous for their top flight ladies team than their male equivalent, the only similar set-up I can think of in England is Bristol Academy. On this occasion the only thing that they’ll be remembered for is the brilliance of their forward Roy. Or as he was recorded on the teamsheet, “Roy Person uppgifter Skyddade.”

I’m sure many of us recorded “Skyddade” when he danced through the home defence to notch his first, then were gently informed by Kim Hedwall that personuppgifter skyddade actually means Personal Data Protected; he was playing as a triallist! Clearly his identity isn’t that much of a secret, the Tyresö website has his name as Roy Sevgili, but his two goals put the game quickly beyond Athletic.

There was a dismissal on both sides, one deserved, Athletic’s Ali Sheaib was guilty of a dreadful challenge, but Tyresö’s Nicho looked to be the victim of mistaken identity for his second booking. It didn’t seem to make much difference, Tyresö were 3 up and scored again in stoppage time, just as our party were gradually heading to the exit in the corner. The great thing about a hop is there’s always another game around the corner!