Åre SLK travels 850 kilometers one-way within the country to play in the Gothia Cup
Åre SLK is one of the clubs from northern Sweden that is fielding a team in the Gothia Cup 2023.
Åre is best known for skiing in a sporting context. But in this summer's Gothia Cup, the village is also represented.
– Above all, it will be fun to meet other teams, especially non-Nordic ones and maybe get to meet future world stars, says Jeanette Richter, leader of Åre SLK's P15 team.
Åre SLK stands for Åre Slalomklubb and is a club with sections in alpine skiing, sailing, basketball and football, where football – despite the club – has the largest number of active players, with children born in 2017 up to the senior team.
– The outdoor season here is short but intense, the pitch is usually launched at the end of April and the season then lasts during the period May-October and we try to continue playing outside until the autumn holidays. Then we continue indoors. We have an artificial grass pitch that the entire football section shares. Several of the boys have played together in the team since they were five years old and the squad today consists of 24 players, says the leader Jeanette Richter.
In their team, they make sure that everyone who participates in training also gets playing time in the matches.
– That is probably the main reason for the large squad, and as recently as last year, four new players were added to the team. We play attacking football and like to score goals. Last season was the best we have had in terms of results, both in series and cups, she says.
They are very positive about the Gothia Cup.
– The Gothia Cup is the world's biggest youth tournament. It's clear that you want to be there if you like football and the opportunity is given. We're also looking forward to the opening ceremony, which creates a special atmosphere and contributes to a good opening of the cup week, says Jeanette Richter.
They will participate with one team in the Gothia Cup this summer.
– Every year it's the 15-year-old age group in our club that gets the opportunity to be part of the Gothia Cup, and therefore it's our P08 team's turn in 2023. It will be the team's premiere and we're excited. G06/07 were very happy with their participation in 2022 and have spread positive vibes.
There are many things that Åre SLK longs for.
– The Gothia Cup will be a fantastic adventure for our team and we're really looking forward to it. Above all, it should be fun to meet other teams, especially non-Nordic teams and maybe get to meet future world stars. But also participating in the opening ceremony, visiting Liseberg and hanging out with other like-minded people at the school facilities should be fun, says the leader.
Jeanette believes that meeting teams from other countries is very inspiring.
– It will be exciting to meet other nationalities and measure ourselves against them. We also look forward to taking part in the teams differences in preparation and set-up. Sports usually bring people together in a natural way that also bridges language barriers.
The journey between Åre and Gothenburg is approximately 850 kilometers long.
– The players in the team will probably travel to Gothenburg with different modes of travel. There will be no joint departure to Gothenburg as several of the players in the team are scattered in other parts of Sweden during the summer. Most of us have moved in and are visiting family and friends, so we get to connect from different directions. However, we plan for a meeting a few days before the start of the cup to sync the team. We're looking for teams in Gothenburg and the surrounding area to play training matches against before the start of the cup, says Jeanette Richter.