The president of Södermalm AFC from Sweden Lars Hagberg told us the clubs story on how the Blues found a permanent home and how the Goal Post Grant helped them.
‘For a long time the SAFF have been looking for a larger field with permanent goal posts to be used as our home ground. So far we have been limited to playing 9 a-side on rugby fields or setting up temporary posts on open access fields of low quality. In 2011 Daniel “Jordo” Jordan (Club stalwart and all round nice guy) was appointed development officer of the SAFF. Initially he was working on another field at Stockholm University (which is actually owned by the Swedish king). After we got a hold of around 100 truckloads of dirt for free, the owners leveled the field and planted new grass.
Although we have rights to use the field and put up permanent goal posts the problem is that we don’t have access to changing rooms so this field has been put on hold for now. In parallel Jordo was speaking to the people at the Stockholm Council that are responsible for the sporting facilities at Skarpnäck (a suburb close to Stockholm) and managed to get approval for us to develop our own field there as well. Apart from soccer this area is home to other smaller sports like grid iron, frisbee and baseball and they were happy to take on another ‘odd’ sport. They even mark out all the lines for us so now we’re playing with a boundary, center, goal squares and a 50m arc.
Jordo made the design of where to set up the field and how to put up the goal posts. The field runs across two soccer fields with the goal posts placed just outside the side boundary lines. In addition to the goal posts we also had to put up a protective net behind one of the goals so that the balls won’t damage an allotment next to the field. All in all according to Jordo’s design we had to acquire 10 posts and a big net. Well, Jordo managed to find 10 second hand flag poles, the only problem was that the flag poles had to be transported 200 km to Stockholm.
Luckily one of our sponsors is a big chain selling construction material so Jordo got them to transport the flag poles to us for free. The net is a bird protection net purchased online. The caretaker of the field made measurements to align the posts properly and in the beginning of the 2012 season the club organized a couple working bees to dig the holes, concrete the foundations for the flag poles and then to erect the posts and put up the net. We can use the lines for the flag poles to take up and down the net.
The first game was played there on the 10th of August 2012, Södermalm Blues vs. Norrtälje Dockers, umpired by Jordo. After all of his hard work the oval will be called: The JCG (Jordo Cricket Ground).
Needless to say Jordo’s work contacts in the building industry and access to building equipment have been invaluable.
The bulk of the money so far has been supplied by Södermalm AFC. In addition, sponsorship by the company Jordo started (Buyfooty), Södermalms Trä and of course AFL Europe for the Goal Post Padding.
With the goal post pads the field has been finalized and at the moment we are working on building a club house next to the field where we also can store equipment and have BBQs. Hopefully this will be done before the end of the season’.
Look out for next years Goal Post Grant and tell us your story!
If you want to join Södermalm AFC, visit their web-page for further information http://www.sodermalmafc.se/about/