, , , , , , , , , , ,

Sunday 9th June 2019 ko 12.00

Division 6 Sydvästra Skåne

LILLA BEDDINGE 4 (Olsson 4 Klinterberg-Nickmål 46 Bassini 54 Vinqvist 85)

KORPEN MALMÖ 1 (Szeregnyi 52)

Att 69

The Swedish Hop’s cost of £285 included all entry fees, programmes, coach travel, 2 bridge tolls on the Øresund Bridge and 2 nights’ bed and breakfast at the Clarion Magasinet Hotel in Trelleborg.

Sunday morning dawned, with the weather perfect and the meatballs for breakfast seemed especially good. Even the slight hangovers evident in several of the party didn’t seem in proportion with the amount of beer we’d consumed in the Tre Lyktor the night before. And for all of that I found my sense of melancholy difficult to shift.

I knew why, I love visiting Sweden, and in particular Trelleborg and Stockholm have signposted some significant points in my life. Add to that the change of mayor in Trelleborg had made organiser Kim Hedwall and I assume this was to be our final Swedish Hop based in Trelleborg. We’d been both pleasantly surprised when Mayor Mikael Rubin had decided to join us for a meal the previous evening, so would we all be invited back next year after all? I packed for the flight home, hoped we would be, but planned for Kim and I plotting flights in and out of Oslo, and an attempt to finally get the hop to Nordmarks IF . We’ve only been trying for 7 years!

But in the here and now this was a morning to be in my happy place, in beautiful Skåne in beautiful Sweden with a wonderful group of people, and the hop’s friends Christian and Ditte from the tourist board. We headed east to another of ground we’d spotted on a previous hop and put it on our “Must visit” list.

You can see Thurevallen from the road through Lilla Beddinge, and the wonderful arch entrance is the kind of place that begs to be photographed. A Swedish Hop tradition was observed the hoppers’ penalty shoot-out, but with my damaged toe not even good enough to go in goal, I stood behind the goal, camera in hand frustrated at my inactivity. Simeon won it, and was presented with his prize, a hip flask, by another friend we’d made on these Southern Swedish hops, goalkeeping legend Ronnie Hellström.

Ronnie lives in Lilla Beddinge, handy for his work as goalkeeping coach at Malmo. Kim very quietly made sure he got his autobiography signed, and the reaction of the match officials to him after the game was testament to his standing within the game.

It was the kind of game I love to take in but find difficult to sell back home. On one hand the ground is achingly beautiful with the Helgo Zettervall designed Lilla Beddinge church in the backdrop, and the sense of community is there for all to see down even to the home-made cakes for sale at half time. On the other some will look at the photos and see no stand, and at that point they’ll mentally switch off. Perhaps I need to accept that we’ll never get any more than the 20-or-so visitors or so and as such we’ll be that quiet little coda to the season for just those of us who’ve fallen in love with it.

Another Swedish Hop is the annual “Guess the scores” competition that I normally manage to finish last in. Here just one person predicted Lilla Beddinge would win and that was Robyn. It set the competition up nicely for the final game, but as we said farewell to another club we’d now count as friends it was time to head to our final game. But  soon as the coach left Thurevallen my sense of melancholy returned. Once again though I made the decision to make the most of our time left in Skåne.