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Saturday 3rd June ko 14.00

Division 7 Sydöstra Skåne

GYLLE A.I.F. 4 (Mekic 60 79 Sinteus 69 84)

BASKERMÖLLA I.F. 1 (Korac 53)

Entry 30 SEK

Programme FREE

You have to be careful with the language in Skåne, as in southern Sweden the dialect owes much to Danish, even Stockholm resident hop organiser Kim Hedwall discovered understanding the locals’ dialect wasn’t necessarily a given. He speaks standard Swedish, the kind you’d hear on TV, but this isn’t the Swedish you’d necessarily hear down here. On one hand you could see it as like a Londoner having a conversation with a Glaswegian, but there are other differences too. And the name of the 3rd club on this year’s Swedish hop demonstrated the point rather well….

In Swedish “Gylle” means golden, in Danish it means slurry! Now I’m taking the view that no village would choose choose to name themselves after animal effluent, and golden seemed rather appropriate given the bucolic setting we found ourselves.

This was Kim’s replacement club for the cancelled game at Trelleborg’s Vångavallen and at while it was in no way comparable to the main stadium in the big city, all 12 of us could see immediately why Kim and the Trelleborg tourist office had picked here. Since we were back in Trelleborg Kommun we were joined by Torbjörn the mayor and once again he proved to be a most convivial host. He was joined by a journalist and photographer from the local paper, like many other news gatherers over the years there to find out what on earth makes a group of English people so interested in Swedish village football.

The rather optimistically named Gylle stadion is the quintessential rural football ground. By any standards its beautiful, set in a backdrop of arable fields and red-washed barns. (Hmm was I wrong about the translation??) We were shepherded into the clubhouse and given a talk by the chairman about his club, while we admired the cartoons painted on the wall to commemorate their 50 year anniversary.

I got the impression they felt slightly embarrassed as being a 7th division club when, as they saw it, they had important visitors. They were relegated last season and have committed to new management to try and win their way back up. Interestingly they were given the option to either play in an eastern or western division 7. They opted for the east as they play more village sides on grass pitches rather than the suburban sides on 3G idrottsplats in the city, even though it would involve more travelling.

The hosting was first class, and I don’t just mean the crate of beer that was left in the clubhouse for us! This is a more subtle form of football ground appreciation than the brutalist idrottsplats, you learn to to appreciate that when the beer was finished the club quietly found someone to drive to the Systembolaget to get further supplies. The fact that those who wanted more offered to pay for it gives me a quiet sense of pride. I strolled round enjoying the little quirks, such as the decorated gate and the absolutely top notch barbecue. Gylle may have an odd name and have had a poor few seasons but there was much to enjoy here over and above the game itself.

As for the game, that took time to spark. Maybe I was fretting that we needed a good game after Kim’s pre-hop problems but this game needed the goal that eventually gave the game life just after half time. It didn’t do the visitors much good though as a clearly shocked Gylle team glided through the gears in the second half to win easily.

The last of the burgers were eaten and the final cans found their way into the recycling boxes. After a brief thankyou to our friendly hosts it was time to held towards a village  that only Christian and Ditte from the tourist office seemed to be able to pronounce. That on it’s own was enough reason to be intrigued.