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Guernsey is a small island in the English Channel. With around 60 000 inhabitants. Each year five schools on the island assemble their biggest talents. Who then goes on tour in the UK, plays their neighbouring island Jersey who’s their biggest rival, and finally goes here. To Gothia Cup.
On Thursday the Gothia Special Olympics Trophy finals were played. All the six classes had their own final, and one game even had to be settled on penalties.
With five clean sheets and a lot of goals scored IF Brommapojkarna 1 in the Boys 13 class have their minds set on another final. The team won Gothia Cup two years ago and are determined to repeat the task.
“I hope we can win this year again”, says Jonathan Wikström.
After a tough defeat in last year’s final against Hammarby IF FF on penalties, Lerums IS Girls 16 are back in the playoffs, with the aim to once again be able to play for the trophy on Saturday. “We want to make up for last year’s final. We are going for gold” says, Hanna, captain of the team.
The teams in Gothia Special Olympics Trophy spent their last evening in Gothenburg together. They met in Prioritet Serneke Arena for some beach volleyball and company.
SC Nagaland scored the equalizer in the last second of the game against Åhus and could celebrate their first point in the tournament. But for the girls in the team from India, which all come from poor and tough conditions, the trip to Gothenburg itself feels like a victory.
”This is a life time experience and I’m very happy to be here”, says Meren who scored the goal that meant 2-2.
During Gothia Cup a lot of enthusiasts are doing a fantastic job in the background. Two of those are Sukanya and Manida, Thai expats living in Sweden who support the team Thai Spirit FC in any way they can. “The support we get from the people here are fantastic”, says Guy, one of the players in Thai Spirit FC.
The group stage is almost over and in some classes the playoffs already have started. A lot is at stake, both for the teams trying to reach a top position in their group and for the teams that now begin their playoff games.
With 32 Swedish teams with boys born in 2004, the SEF Trophy is a tournament to develop young talent into future professional players. A way forward for Swedish elite football.
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