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Saturday 4th June 2016 ko 15.00

Division 4 Norra Stockholm

FC DJURSHOLM 4 (Tollis 55 Linner 83 Croon 84 87) Ibraham sent off 19 (2nd booking)

IFK ÖSTERÅKER 6 (Sindemark 27 35 Tuhcic 40 Sjöstrand 53 Musa 62 65)

Att 112

If we’d thought Danderyd was well-to-do, it was immediately trumped by Djursholm! The small town has the most expensive house prices in Sweden and ABBA’s Björn Ulvaeus has a house here. Incidentally his ex-wife and fellow ABBA member Agnetha Fältskog lives in a small town with a football team too- Ekerö, but that’s south of Stockholm.

In Djursholm, to the north-east of Stockholm the watertower is a listed building, and the local castle, in baroque style, peeps over the treeline over towards the town’s idrottsplats.  The Roslagsbanan railway trundles on narrow-gauge from what was its original terminus towards Tåby and eventually to Stockholm Östra station. It’s an understated railway for an understated dignified town.

Now given the wealthy area, you’d expect the football club to be struggling, and you certainly wouldn’t expect to see a thriving youth section. But that is exactly what is happening here, the idea is for the club to grow via “Moderklub” payments, where as a player is transferred a small fee is paid by the new club back to the player’s original, or “Mother club.” In Swedish terms the blueprint is very much that of the world’s biggest club- Brommapojkarna.

The surprise was that the game wasn’t played on the club’s 3G pitch, the vast majority of the excellent facilities here are around that pitch, we even held a penalty shootout on another artificial training pitch nearby. The impression was that the Swedes think the British don’t like artificial pitches, possibly due to the fact that no English professional club plays on one.

It mattered not, the grass pitch was in perfect condition, and there was little doubt that whatever the surface the result would have been similar. It was a game with plenty of potential with Djursholm third but Österåker defending an 8-game 100% record. Speaking to the Österåker match delegate the visitors didn’t seem massively confident.

Sadly we didn’t get to find out whether the Alan Hansen, “You can’t win anything with kids” quote is also incorrect in Sweden. The early dismissal of Salif Ibrahim saw to that, not that there was anything controversial about either booking.  And from that moment Österåker took full control rattling 4 goals before Djursholm could reply through Alexander Tollis. In fact the Djursholm renaissance only started when Österåker’s captain and midfield dynamo Armend Makoli was withdrawn. Djursholm promptly scored 3 times in 4 minutes, Makoli was reintroduced, and Österåker managed to survive the last few minutes without further worry.

It was by any standard a wonderful game to watch, and thanks to Kim Hedwall for spotting the fixture and putting it on the hop. But as we dashed back to the coach, bound for Uppsala I wondered what would have happened without the sending off.