Tuesday 5th June 2018 ko 19.00
Division 6F Stockholm
NACKDALA A.I.S. 5 (Karlsson 20 Löwenhamn 28 72 Cansu 35 Lehtinen 44)
PAPPAS POJKAR 4 (Rasoli 18 88 Eriksson 70 Bui 90)
Based as we were in the Stockholm suburb of Årstadal the Pendeltåg, or commuter train was handy for us. Two stops north saw us in the centre of Stockholm but with our SL Access cards allowing access south-west to Södertälje and beyond we opted to make for a town I barely associated with Sweden’s capital, but Tumba still managed to shock me.
We visited IFK Tumba on the very first Swedish Groundhop in 2007 and we were able to understand why a poll of Swedish non-league fans rated Rödstu Hage IP (the Red Garden) above all other grounds save for the Stockholm Olympic Stadium. I knew we weren’t heading there but over 11 years the pretty ground in the clearing had rather framed my thoughts about Tumba in general.
I was shocked to find out that IFK had moved from the ground little more than 2 years after our visit. The issues were severalfold, with drainage problems and the local authority’s unwillingness to improve the facility at the centre of things. It’s lain derelict ever since but finally there seems to be moves afoot to improve the place, a mere 9 years late. I was pleased thereford we didn’t end up visiting Rödstu Hage. Seeing something so beautiful boarded up and uncared for would have been upsetting and I’ll remember the place as it was, and hope for better things.
Tumba station sits right next door to a local shopping centre, and we soon found a sports bar for a meal. It was an unusual place, we watched a man put salt in his beer (why??) and two of the menu items were “Mystery meal- Fish” and “Mystery meal- Meat!” Between us we covered all those options and our meals, which were basically mixed grills were pretty good! From there it was a short bus ride, and a 10 minute walk, to behind the local school to Broängsplan.
The tree-lined idrottsplats evokes the abandoned Rödstu Hage even if it’s facilities and sightlines are nowhere near as good. But to be as good as that it would have to have been spectacular, and this was a perfectly acceptable place to relax and watch a game.
Nackdala A.I.S. have been around since 1971 and seem to be one of those delightful little clubs set up for the enjoyment of sport and in more general terms youth development. This was in so many ways what lower-level Swedish football does well, two local sides trying to play good, passing football but remaining competitive. Neither side seemed able or willing to defend in any great depth so the goals flowed and we were treated to a spectacular game.
Afterwards we managed to make our connections as quickly as you only can when it doesn’t matter. Soon enough we were sat in a little tavern, “Marta’s” back in Årstadal which we’d rather adopted during our stay. The 4 of us were the only ones in there, but the landlord seemed happy to serve us while we kept drinking. It really wasn’t a bad compromise was it?