Thursday 7th June 2018 ko 19.00
Division 5 Sydöstra Skåne
ÖJA FF 3 (Alfred Andersson 7 Axel Andersson 8 Sebastian Andersson 24)
BLENTARPS BK 1 (Malmborg 61)
With the four of us opting to split our time in Sweden between Stockholm and the annual Swedish hop, once again based in Trelleborg, the vexed question was how we were going to travel the 650km between the two cities? I rather fancied taking the train from Stockholms Södra to Lund, then changing for Trelleborg Centrum. I suspect the journey isn’t in any Bradshaw’s Guide, but it looked fun and Trelleborg station is only around 200 metres from the hop’s current base at the Best Western Hotel Magazinet on Trelleborg’s waterfront. As ever the solution came from Swedish Hop organiser Kim Kedwall.
He always drives to the hop base wherever it is, as its not feasible to take the merchandise and goody bags for the hop party by public transport together with his own luggage. That is by the way, the man who travels as light as anyone I’ve ever met. I remember him trying to travel back to Stockholm a few days after Heathrow Terminal 5 opened in 2008. There were terrible problems with checked-in baggage and Kim was told he could only travel with either his clothes in his suitcase or his souvenirs in his hand luggage. Suffice it to say his programme collection is complete!
He offered to hire a minibus so the 5 of us travelled from Årstaberg to Trelleborg, a journey that took roughly 6 hours. There were on course stops and being Sweden, they tended to be rather spectacular! The service station near Gränna on the E4 has the ruins of Brahehus Slott (castle) in the foreground and Lake Vattern in the background. There aren’t many more spectacular places to grab a motorway coffee, and yes I have been to Tebay Services!
We arrived in Trelleborg with plenty of time to check-in, unpack, and relax for an hour before a tired Kim drove us east for a hour. We took the coastal road, which became a running theme over the weekend, with spectacular views of the southernmost tip of Sweden. We skirted round Ystad, and briefly headed north and soon found the tiny village of Öja.
Now I’m sure Öja ( the name mean Eyes by the way) has much to recommend it, but I can’t really give you an opinion but I can tell you that Öja FF were formed in 1935 and that their home since 1948 has been the beautiful Björkvallen. The ground is leased from the local church with the proviso that games cannot take place when there’s a church service! It rather reminded me of another beautiful rural ground with a religious restriction – Dewi Stars.
For many groundhoppers I suspect if you asked them to design their perfect lower level ground I reckon many would sketch something like Björkvallen. Just look at that stand… and the covered area by the cafe… and if I hadn’t have spent the time at the hotel having a massive asthma attack I’d have been in groundhopping heaven. I managed an iced lolly and eventually plonked myself down in a bench in the shade by the dugouts.
The game saw relegation-threatened Öja take on near demotion-certs Blentarps and for once in such games we saw the match go precisely the way of the form-book with all the goals coming from an Andersson, namely Alfred, Axel and Sebastian. We made our way back to Trelleborg, and I collapsed back at our room. That was no bad thing, the Swedish hop was next day and I wanted to be in some sort of condition to do it justice.