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Sunday 10th June 2018 ko 11.00

Division 6A Sydvästra Skåne

BUNKEFLO F.F. 3 (Sörensson 50 K Olsson 61 Magnusson 79)

FC BELLEVUE 0

Att 65

Entry & Programme 30 sek

The Swedish Hop’s £230 cost included two nights bed and breakfast in Trelleborg, coach travel including to and from Kastrup Airport, tolls on the Øresund Bridge, and all entry fees and programmes for the games.

After 9 days in Sweden it felt like Robyn and I were packing a small part of our lives away as we bundled our clothes into our suitcases on Sunday morning. The sadness was obvious and after a week and a day of being engaged it was high time for us both to see our families and for me to organise an engagement ring for Robyn! I lugged the suitcases down to the lobby and for the last time attacked the crispy bacon and meatballs.

Even if the third and final day of the Swedish Hop started and ended in Trelleborg, the flavour of the day was certainly that of Malmö. It was a chance for coach driver Jörgen to give us a tour of his home town, even if he did remark that perhaps doing so using a coach with the name of Trelleborgs FF,  Malmö FF’s bitter rivals emblazoned on the side was perhaps an idea that had the potential for a few snide words.

Skåne’s largest city is very much the gateway to Denmark, even more so with the opening of the Øresund Bridge in 2000. It’s had to reinvent itself for a post-industrial age and much of the new architecture reflects this. The Turning Torso Tower is well worth a visit whether or not you’re fan of modern architecture.

The tour finished with a short trip to the three Malmö stadiums. The old and new Malmö stadiums sit side by side, the old looking like a smaller version of the Nya Ullevi in Gothenburg. From there we passed by Malmö IP, Malmö FF’s original home, now used by FC Rosengård formerly Malmö’s women’s team. It felt like a window shopping exercise for future hops, and its fair to say that Malmö IP in particular is a real priority for us.

From there we more or less aimed for the Swedish end of the Øresund Bridge. Seeing Denmark in the distance brought up talk of whether we could take in a Danish game? I’d thought I’d to be careful how I broached this with organiser Kim Hedwall. He’s a proud Swede with much in his country to be proud of, and since this is a way to show off his country, why would he want to involve another country?

The answer is that above all else, Kim is a pragmatist. He’s happy enough to feature a Danish game if that’s what people want. The big issue is the bridge, it costs roughly £200 in tolls to take the coach over there, so we’d need to have a game either first or last on the hop, tying with either the pick-up or collection at Kastrup airport. It could well happen, but as ever we’ll be dictated too by those who support the event year after year.

Bunkeflostand, or Bunkeflo Beach lies south of Malmö and a few hundred metres south of the bridge. It’s quiet suburban place,  and we didn’t spot the ground until we were virtually on top of the place! Perhaps we should have realised Brovallen is close to the bridge, Bro is Swedish for bridge after all!

We were given a guided tour of the facility which is a little unusual. There’s a caged 3G pitch in front of the clubhouse which seemed to be the scene of most activity with a multiplicity of age-based training sessions in progress. It’s beyond this pitch when you can just about see the Øresund Bridge, but the first XI pitch is a right-angles to the 3G one, and there’s absolutely no view of the bridge!

The tradition of the Swedish Hop penalty shoot-out was observed, except with no local goalkeeper available, I filled and I mean filled-  in as best I could. It was a swelteringly hot day, and the club had already apologised for the state of the pitch, the local council had forbade them from watering it. It was a case of find a little shade and hide from the worst of the heat, and I can confirm the Brovallen cafe sold large amounts of ice creams and cold drinks!

The game took time to get going, and I’m sure the heat had a lot to do with it. In the end player numbers decided it, Malmö-based Bellevue fielded just the bare 11 players and as they slowly withered in the sunshine, the hosts profited and in the end 3-0 was fair based on the passage of play.

It was a hugely satisfactory visit to an area the hop hasn’t visit before. I suspect though that the friendly little club near the bridge will stand for a lot more in the future. Bunkeflo will be the place that opened up the whole Malmö area up for us, and potentially even the Copenhagen area too.

But this year’s Swedish Hop had one last gift to give, and Kim Hedwall being the man he is, it proved to be a humdinger!