Sunday 10th June 2018 ko 16.00
Dam Division 2 Södra Götaland
TRELLEBORGS F.F. ( Salmi 6 Nilsson 16 Williamsdottir 45 81 Le Grand 53 Svensson 67)
JAMSTORPS A.I.F. 0
Att 60 at Vångavallen
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.
In some ways this felt like the logical conclusion of so many factors. We asked people want they wanted, and some asked for a big ground so Trelleborg’s biggest ground was the obvious place to head. I wasn’t necessarily convinced, we’d included Allsvenskan and Superettan games before to little effect on numbers attending but plenty on the cost of the hop itself. But there was plenty of reasons to attend a game here, but the one that eventually drove us here was simple, organiser Kim Hedwall really really wanted to go!!
Vångavallen is owned by the Trelleborg Municipality and two clubs play there, Trelleborgs FF and IFK Trelleborg. On last year’s hop we’d intended to include a trip to see IFK but a month or so before the event their opponents folded, we ended up at Gylle and after it was all over I heard comments from some who weren’t there that all we’d visited were “Fields.” We did try I promise!
It’s fair to say that Kim became something of a bear with a sore head over it. In the end, he was rewarded when Trelleborgs FF organised an open day and put their women’s game on the main pitch as the centrepiece. Kim sent me an email wondering what the reaction of the hoppers would be to the hop taking in a women’s game? I took the view that it was about time we featured a women’s game on an organised hop.
In Sweden the women’s game is still more high-profile than the case here in the UK, although the gap is certainly narrowing. I remember the Swedish hop visiting Tyresö in 2010 and arriving for our men’s game as 1000-plus were leaving Tyresö’s women’s Allsvenskan game. I sat in a crowd of around 120 realising effectively we were watching the wrong game.
Think about that for a second. Mike Amos organised the first Northern League Hop in 1993 and 25 years later there still hadn’t been a single women’s game featured on any event; it was time to put that right. Yes I know some hoppers don’t watch women’s football, usually citing low standards, then go and watch a men’s game of dubious quality. It was time to break the mould.
There were a couple of unintended benefits of doing so. For one, Trelleborgs FF were able to meet us in a hospitality box at half-time and tell us about their club, that would have been impossible at an Allsvenskan game, and with our game being lower key were able to explore the stadium in a way that would have been impossible for a pro game.
It proved to be a ground well worth taking the time to explore too. The problem that Trelleborgs FF have is that as successful as the team is, and however lovely their home is the two things are close to mutually exclusive. The sad truth is that despite the two huge temporary terraces behind the goals, the ground isn’t good enough for Allsvenskan football. The club have a year’s dispensation to play at Vångavallen for this season as newly promoted club, while such issues as the changing rooms are addressed.
Sadly I’ve seen the plans for the “Nya Vångavallen” , a complete redevelopment of the site, which would mean the loss of that wonderful stand. After the welcome we got I can’t wish relegation on the club, but they are rock bottom of the table and a return to the Superettan might just stave off redevelopment for a little longer.
If anyone there has wondered what the standard would be like, then I’m certain their fears would have been assuaged. In fact the only issue was, to butcher a cliche, it was a case of women against girls as Trelleborg completely crushed Jamstorp. 6-0 was a completely realistic result based on the passage of play.
And that was the end of another Swedish Hop, as Kim said goodbye to another party of happy football tourists bound for the Øresund Bridge and flights home from Kastrup Airport on the Danish side. Our thanks go to Jörgen our driver, Ditte, Christian and all at the Trelleborg Tourist Office and every single Swedish person we met, you all were a fantastic advert for you beautiful country
Its now 12 times I’ve been involved the Swedish Hop, and this year saw Kim and I become the only 2 ever-presents left. But how could I not be involved? We were the first non-UK hop, we the first to include non-football elements and now the first women’s game. Expect us to continue to break new ground in years to come.