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Wednesday 3rd June 2015 ko 19.30

Division 2 Södra Svealand

EKERÖ I.F. 2 (Ahlund 21 48p)

KONYASPOR K.I.F. 1 (Stojanovic 87)

Att 45

Entry & Programme 40sek (c£3.13)

For the independent traveller landing at Stockholm Arlanda airport the route is straightforward. Aim to the Pressbyrån in the SkyCity part of the complex and buy a SL access card for 20 sek then load up multiple days of credit for use on the capital’s trains, buses, trams, and metro. 24 hours for 115sek is a real bargain, but I do wonder whether it gets used to its full potential.

Ekerö or “Oak Island”  is both an island, a town, and a municipality to the west of Stockholm, and is easily found by bus from Brommaplan metro station. It is within the Stockholm municipality so almost unbelievably, that blue SL card is valid all the way out here. The area has two UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Drottningholm Palace, and the Viking settlement of Birka. The bus passes Drottningholm on the way out to this most affluent part of the countryside. Other than the King of Sweden, Agnetha Fältskog of Abba fame also lives here in quiet seclusion.

Not that Träkvistavallen is quiet or secluded. It sits on the main road through town, and many ways is a typical Swedish idrottsplats, an all-sports facilty with its running track, bleachers and wooden clubhouse. But this is one of those places where you should look a little closer… Look out for the water tower, the groups of houses beyond the far side, and that gate deserves the visitor to stop and admire it.

The club are playing at the highest level of regional football in Sweden (Divisions One Norra and Södra are deemed national) and at the highest level in their history. It’s proving to be struggle for them, this game was second-from-bottom versus bottom. But with their elevation what hasn’t been lost is the club’s welcoming nature.

Spotting a group of 3 English and one Swede, the chairman asked us why we were  there. She seemed rather nonplussed with the answer with the answer, “Because we like Swedish Non-League” and returned to her duties with the PA system. A few minutes later her curiosity got the better of her, so over she came again but this time asked the Swede, and in Swedish! When she got the same response she walked away laughing repeating the phrase, “You have to be kidding….!” We left the ground wearing EIK hats and smiles.

Smiles too for EIK, and for once I didn’t jinx them! They had to fight for it, but the win lifts the club, temporarily at least, into mid-table and a little breathing space. As for the English visitors, the bus ride home gave us the chance to reflect that sometimes its far more fun to head somewhere that isn’t obvious.