The Swedish Scene

@DandalBs brings us all the news from the Swedish women’s football scene over the past week, starting with the incredible goings on at reigning Damallsvenskan champions Kopparbergs/Göteborg.

Above: It has been a dramatic week for Kopparbergs/Göteborg – shown here celebrating their Damallsvenskan triumph at the end of the 2020 season. Photo: @goteborgsfc

The big news in Sweden over the past week has been the shocking goings on in Göteborg where, at the start of last week, reigning Damallsvenskan champions Kopparbergs/Göteborg were closed down with immediate effect – only for the decision to be reversed two days later after news came in of potential new investment under a new banner.

The original decision to close the club down appears to have been taken by the board after their defeat by Manchester City in the last thirty-two of the UEFA Women’s Champions League on 17th December with the players and coaching staff not informed until 29th December.

Kopparbergs/Göteborg chairman Peter Bronsman believed that without more money it is unrealistic for Swedish club sides to compete in Europe again.

Since the club were first formed in 2003, the large men’s teams in the city of Göteborg – IFK Göteborg, GAIS and BK Häcken have all formed women’s sides and there are pointers that the people behind Kopparbergs/Göteborg believe that BK Häcken could take up the baton seriously within the city now. Bronsman told Sport Bladet “You need to give women the same facilities and staff as the men. It cannot be done in a women’s (only) club. We’re moving out of the way for the women’s teams that are developing in the big Göteborg men’s clubs.”

Major club sponsor Prioritet Finans’s CEO Nils Wiberg who had put almost 4,000,000 kroner into the club announced his real “shock” at the original news. “I have no idea what was behind the decision,” he told Fotboll Skanalen, “I am as choked and surprised as everyone else. We really needed this team. This (news) is just embarrassing”.

Above: Kopparbergs/Göteborg hope to have more to celebrate in 2021 now – although the name of the club may potentially change. Photo: @goteborgsfc

The players were told to find new clubs. Elin Rubensson a Kopparbergs/Göteborg star who has sixty-nine caps for Sweden showed her shock at the news by telling Göteborgs-Posten: “Right now, we’re just choked and sad. I hope someone can step in to save the club.” In the meantime though, Göteborg coaches, Jörgen Ericson and Mats Gren have pledged to keep going with training sessions throughout January.

Carl Fhager, the lawyer with the job to liquidate Kopparbergs/Göteborg’s senior team, sees two ways to go about that job; find new clubs for the players or find someone who is willing to take over the team.

It appears that a potential link up with BK Häcken may behind news on New Year’s Eve that the club’s senior team is set to be saved and take their place in the Damsallsvenskan in 2021 after all.

The Expressen first broke the news by suggesting that coach Mats Gren had contacted players to tell them “it will be alright”.

Then came the club’s announcement that they “did not expect the big, overwhelming and positive interest from individuals, businesses and football clubs.” Additionally, Göteborgs-Posten reported on New Year’s Eve that the club “will stay in Damallsvenskan in close co-operation with an established club” – and that established club is hotly rumoured to be BK Häcken.

Whatever banner the senior team plays under if 2021, at the present time, it appears that the Kopparbergs/Goteborg name will stay in existence via its U17 and U19 teams in existence.

IN OTHER NEWS…

Örebro have signed experienced 27 year-old defender Sanna Kullberg from relegated Umeå on a one year deal. Sanna’s elder sister Emma played for Örebro 2019, before she moved to Göteborg. Also at Örebro, the club have handed 16 year-old Emilia Pelgander a two year contract with the first team.

Above: Shannon Woeller, newly signed by Växjö. Photo: svensklag.se

Växjö have signed Canadian international defender Shannon Woeller. She most recently played for Valencia in the Spanish league. Woeller has previously played Damallsvenskan football for Eskilstuna in 2018-19. The 30 year-old has signed a one year contract with an option for a second. The club have also given a new two year contract to goalkeeper Katie Fraine, one of the keys to their successful 2020 season.

It has been a case of one in and one out at Umeå. First, Fanny Hjelm Rönnlund, a key player in the last few seasons has left for Hammarby where the 29 year-old midfielder has signed a two year contract. Coming into the club in her place is Piteå’s teenage talent Vilma Koivisto The midfielder had 18 appearances 2020, but mostly as a substitute, and wants more playing time.

Vittsjö‘s midfield talent Michelle De Jongh has moved to Fleury, a midtable French team, on a five month loan. De Jongh has extensive experience from Sweden youth teams but remains to be capped for the full national team. Coming into the club is 18 year-old talent Moa Karlsson from Halmstad BK, a D3 team. The promising midfielder has played five matches for Sweden’s U17 side.

Above: Michelle De Jongh leaving Vittsjö for Fleury in D1 Arkema. Photo: Stefan Sandström/Norra Skåne.

Djurgården have announced the departure of two players depart in the past week. First, Icelandic international goalkeeper Gudbjörg Gunnarsdottir announced on New Year’s Eve that she is looking for a new club after nine seasons. Also leaving the club is 24 year-old Frida Boriero who has signed for Brommapojkarna, an Elitettan (D2) side.

NEWS IN BRIEF…

Sveindís Jane Jónsdóttir has joined Kristianstad on a one year loan from VfL Wolfsburg.

Promising 18 year-old midfielder Felicia Saving leaves Hammarby for Eskilstuna United. Saving has been capped for Sweden at youth level.

Above: New Eskilstuna United signing Felicia Saving. Photo: @EskilstunUnited

Zecira Musovic, who has moved to Chelsea has been replaced at Rosengard by Canadian goalkeeper Stephanie Labbé who comes in from North Carolina Courage in the NWSL but has also played in the Damallsvenskan previously.

Former Piteå defender Sejde Abrahamsson has signed with the Spanish premier side Seville, where Piteå teammate Julia Karlernäs joined a couple of weeks ago.

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