Ben Gilby spoke to FC Rosengård Sporting Director Therese Sjögran, who is Sweden’s most capped international footballer about the club’s Champions League campaign and aims for the 2021 Damallsvenskan campaign.
FC Rosengård have a long and distinguished history as Therese explains.
“The club were formed in 1970 as Malmö FF Dam and remained under that name until 2007 when they became LdB FC Malmö. A final change came in 2013 when we became FC Rosengård. In the 50 or so years we have been playing, we have spent 35 in the top division. In that time we have won the top tier 11 times and finished as runners-up on a further 13 occasions.”
“Other than Covid, where it’s been tough as it has been for clubs all over the world, I think we have had a couple of good years. 2019 we won the league and 2020/2021 we played in the Champions League again, which is very important for the club.”
I asked Therese how particularly Covid had hit FC Rosengård. “We have lost a lot of money due to no people being allowed at our games. Additionally, sponsors have withdrawn their support. We really hope 2021 will be better and I think it will be when everyone gets the vaccine.”
On the positive side of the ledger in recent weeks, the club reached the Quarter-Finals of the Champions League, going down to Bayern Munich. I wondered how Therese reviewed their European experience this season.
“We are always disappointed when we lose, but we lost to a very good Bayern Munich. I think they haven’t lost in 25 games, so they played with a lot of self-confidence. But I’m proud of the team, we fought well and now we also know what we have to work on to be the best in Sweden and continue our progress.”
Whilst Sweden is not able to match the financial efforts of leagues such as England, Therese is still positive about how the Damallsvenskan clubs that do qualify for Europe can continue to compete towards the final stages of the competition.
“We still have a great culture in football in Sweden. Even though we can’t pay the highest salaries, we still have the environment to produce great players. We need to invest in our youth and I’m sure that we can compete at European level.
Looking to the new season, Therese outlined their recruitment plans for 2021 and specifically what made them so determined to bring in Charli Grant from Adelaide United.
“We lost a lot of players for this season but I think we brought in more quality. Our latest signing, Charlotte Grant, is very interesting. A young player with great physique who is very loyal to the game plan, so I think we have a better team this year.”
The standard of the team that FC Rosengård have put together is reflected in their aims for the new campaign. “We want to win everything we compete in,” explained Therese, “so being the number one club in Sweden is our goal. It won’t be easy though, the quality of the Damallsvenskan this season is better. There are more teams that have proven themselves to be able to beat the top teams. There is no easy game anymore, so if we want to win, we need to perform every game.”