Saturday 14th June 2014 ko 13.00
Division 3 Sydvästra Götaland
VÄSTRA FRÖLUNDA 2 (De Sousa 8 Hermansson 72)
LAHOLMS FK 2 (Sulejmani 83 Morad 85)
Entry, & Teamsheet 60sek
NB On the Swedish hop, the £270 cost covered entry to all games, programmes, coach travel and two nights Bed and Breakfast.
The morning saw the hop party continue to turn heads in the IFK Gothenburg team coach as we went on a sightseeing guide of Gothenburg. Its times like these having a local driver, Ebbe, was invaluable as he negotiated the traffic restrictions and tram lines to the Masthuggskyrkan, or High Hill Church for a truly spectacular view of the city and Göta älv, or Göta river, with the huge container and cruise ships setting sail for distant locations.
From there, we headed into the centre and enjoyed a coffee and cake at Eva’s Paley, a famous Swedish cake shop started by Hungarian émigrés in 1945 and it was the perfect place to watch the Gothenburg tradition of running heritage trams on a Saturday.
Västra Frölunda have suffered poor fortunes over the last few years. From their high point, playing 10 seasons in the top-flight Allsvenskan, with the tiny 3,900 capacity Ruddalens IP rammed to the rafters for the visits of the Gothenburg giants GAIS and IFK Gothenburg, their rapid drop to the 5th tier, Division 3 Sydvästra Götaland must have been painful to take.
No doubt watching fellow tenants Utsiktens BK coached by former Sweden, and Liverpool midfielder Glenn Hysén, leap-frog them to gain Division One Södra status, a level Västra Frölunda would no doubt see as their natural level, has heaped further indignity on the club, exacerbated on this sunny Saturday by the fact that Västra Frölunda were very much the warm-up act for the Utsiktens BK game soon afterwards. Handy for us to get to Qviding but the early kick-off didn’t even get the club an improved attendance, less than 100 spectators is a poor return for a club with such a rich history.
Still the club made their party welcome. We were presented with a pin-badge each and were presented to the rest of the crowd on the pitch at half-time, and we were treated to a fine spectacle of a game with the hosts looking like they’d done enough to win the game only to run out of steam late on and watch horrified as the visitors stole a point with 2 late goals.
Sad to say it felt like Västra Frölunda’s existence in a nutshell, and I felt genuine regret as I clambered back aboard a coach marked with colours of a club my hosts would love to be playing again. However the club is paying a high price for its sojourn in the Allsvenskan. Hopefully they won’t have to fall any further before the good times return.