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Sunday 15th June 2014 ko 17.00

Division One Södra

FC TROLLHÄTTAN 4 (Gustafsson 16 Mollapolci 53 83 Bennhage 83)

KRISTIANSTADS 1 (Ekelund 75)

Att 434

Entry & Programme 100 SEK

Badge 40 SEK

Burger & Drink 60 SEK

NB On the Swedish hop, the £270 cost covered entry to all games, programmes, coach travel and two nights Bed and Breakfast.

So journey’s end, and what a journey it had been, from the natural beauty of Tjörn, through the genteel urban feel of Gothenburg, to the smiles and laughter of travelling around on the IFK Gothenburg team coach. We had a good final stop to make, the Edsborgs IP home of FC Trollhättan producing a grin on faces of each of the coach party as we spied that stand! Did I even spot a hint of a smile on the normally taciturn features of Ebbe, our driver?

It had only been a 6 km drive from Trollhättan BoIS but the scene had changed completely from peaceful suburbia to a busy city centre. It was clear why Trollhättan is nicknamed Trollywood, as it’s the centre of the Swedish film industry- the Film i Väst company is based here. Films such as Dancer In The Dark, and Dogville were shot here, and there’s even a Trollhättan Hollywood-style walk of fame, complete with stars!

For the final time the coach turned heads as we by-passed the turnstiles and drive straight into the ground itself. It was a temporary by-pass as we then doubled back to show our tickets to get the programme! Meanwhile, I spotted Ebbe comparing his coach to the visitors’ one parked next door to his. Once again, his hint-of-a-smile spoke volumes!

I’m some will take one look at the ground, and retort, “Ugh, a running track,” and whilst it does make viewing from behind the goals difficult, the view from the stand was perfect, to the extent that I do wonder what it is with British architects, as the sightlines never seem to be as good as over here! I had my usual explore, using the time that every other club had used to take us to one side and tell us about themselves, and enjoyed the barbecue behind the near goal. That’s a good tip for watching a game in Sweden, every so often you’ll see a barbecue, and they tend to offer a burger with salad and a can of drink. They are always excellent, and FC Trollhättan’s was no different.

The club was founded in 2001, a merger between Trollhättans FK and Trollhättans IF. They started life in then 3rd tier (now 4th)  Division 2 Västra Götaland, being promoted 4 seasons later. In 2008 they won the Division 1 Södra championship, but they found the Superettan too tough, surviving a relegation play-off in their first season, but being relegated in their second. Since then they’ve always finished in the top 9 of the division, and coincidentally were 9th going into this fixture.

It looked a good fixture on paper with Kristianstad 2 places above them, but once Gustafsson’s fine strike had given Trollhättan the lead, midfielder Victor Mollapolci took the game by the scruff of the neck. He scored two second-half goals, and set up David Bennhage for another. It turned things so far in Trollhättan’s favour I was genuinely surprised when Kristiansand got their consolation through Christoffer Ekelund. In fact the reaction of his teammates suggested they thought along the same lines.

But all too soon it was all over. There was enough time to for a quick media call before two airport drop-offs and a final visit to Gothenburg Bus Station, was really only 2 days ago that we all met up here?

As ever the planning for next year starts now. The format is pretty much set now. Kim and I will look out for those little gems of Swedish football that the foreign visitor doesn’t know about. As such don’t expect to see us feature any Allsvenskan or Superettan clubs. We tried those 3 times, at Hammarby, Norrkoping and Degerfors, and whilst we enjoyed the experience, with the exception of Hammarby we failed to extract any “added-value” from those visits. We like the talks about the club, or the chance to meet a fans’ representative, and after all, if you want to visit the bigger clubs it’s not difficult to book flights or obtain tickets. If you have any difficulties, contact me via this site.

I loved this year’s hop, and this time the weather was kind to us too! I’ve no doubt the move west was a success, although next year I’d like to see a few more joining us. At the bar the talk was heading to Norrland, and above the Arctic Circle, but the extra flight to do this I feel, would be prohibitively expensive. At the moment the idea is to base ourselves in Jönköping and explore Småland. Given that Jönköping lies at the southernmost point of Sweden’s second-largest mass of water Lake Vättern, expect the view to be spectacular!

We’ll put the 2015 hop together around March next year, and if you’d like to be on our mailing list just email organiser Kim Hedwall on joachim.hedwall@srf.se or follow my twitter feed @Laurencereade . See you all there!