Thursday, 22 July 2010

IF Sylvia (Sweden)

Idrottsföreningen Sylvia are a Swedish third tier side based in the city of Norrköping (pronounced Norr-sher-peeeng for any non-Swedophiles reading this). Formed in 1922, they've been a consistantly OK kind of team, without ever really pressing on for further honours. The nearest they've ever got to top flight football was part of a two-year golden period in the late 1990s when they finished third in the second division on two occasions. Those near missed took their toll on morale, and these days they ply their trade back in the regionalised Division 1 Norra since their relegation back in 2007.

Their ground may only be tiddly, but their best ever gate was against their more illustrious city rivals IFK Norrköping in the year of their last relegation when they switched their home game to their opponent's Idrottsparken ground, and had 11,114 pass through the turnstyles to give them a much-needed bumper payday. This was especially welcome as their own Bollspelaren ground can only hold 2000 at a push.

But despite this they have a refreshing attitude to their lot. They like to describe the club as 'The Little Fellows of Swedish elite football', and openly claim that they want to evolve slowly with whatever small resources that they have. They are also committed to serving the community, have a great youth policy and build their squad mainly out of players found in the immediate Norrköping area, aware of the importance of camararderieand team spirit, and give their players of any level what they describe as a 'joy-filled time' playing for Sylvia. What a lovely bunch!

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