Wednesday, October 31, 2012

But Malmo FF was not capable of a double – they did not reach even the Cup final. It could be that Swedish football had weak year, judging by combined information: easy, too easy, victory of Malmo FF; the whole lot of better known clubs slipping down the table, presenting no challenge whatsoever; lean best goalscorers, with only 15 goals each, and not exactly great players – Reine Almqvist (IFK Goteborg) and Mats Aronsson (Landskrona BoiS). Since the predicament of Swedish football was to be measured by international success, the top scorers were actually sign of decline – they did not wet foreign appetites. Aronsson never played for a foreign club and Almqvist only 'kind of' - he joined NASL in her decline: in 1980-81 he played 5 regular matches for Seattle Sounders, adding 17 more in indoor soccer. And, finally, the Swedish Cup final opposed more or less unlikely clubs – Hammarby IF and Osters IF.

Standing, from left: Mats Werner, Börje Forsberg, Jan Sjöström, Jan Svensson, Michael Andersson.

Crouching: Kenneth Ohlsson, Billy Ohlsson, Gunnar Wilhelmsson, Johan Hult, Bo Mattsson, Thom Åhlund.

Hardly a strong squad, but more importantly Hammarby IF had so-so season, finishing 7th in the League. Their best years seemed hopelessly in the past. Naturally, reaching the Cup final was great for them, but it was also the end of their hopes, for they lost 0-1.

The winners were excited:

Osters IF knew success in the past, wining the championship, but never the Cup. They had even weaker league season than Hammarby IF , finishing 9th. Their history was poorer than Hammarby's and the present time – may be bleaker, for they had, theoretically, fewer resources than the clubs from Stockholm, Goteborg, and Malmo. Vaxjo, their hometown, is hardly even known outside Sweden – a typical small provincial town and the fate of clubs from such towns is painfully familiar... May be just reaching the final was to be considered success, but the boys did not think so and they won the Cup. The first and... last Cup won by Osters IF. A rare victory, never to be repeated? Apparently, back in Vaxjo they did not think that either, but the future should stay unknown. And speaking of the future, Osters IF may win a second Cup one day...