Updated: Dec 6, 2018
Stockholm - 26th Saturday -2nd October:
The day started off with 4am alarm call and a drive to Edinburgh airport. Due to how relatively short notice the trip was booked, it involved catching a plane from Edinburgh to Stansted, followed by a three hour wait there. The novelty of a last minute break soon wore off sitting in Stansted airport bored out ones head and counting down the minutes till I got 'On my way'..😂
A few hours later, I had arrived in the small Swedish airport and town of Vastaeras. Which lies to the north east of Stockholm, just inside the commuter zone.
After arriving at 3pm, I was picked up by a friend and taken to my hostel. Then following a brief check in and dumping of the bags it was off to the pub, for a quick beer and then to the ground (The slight space ship in appearance Tele2 arena, or more often called 'Nya Soderstadion' home to both Hammarby and another club, who shall not be named).
It would be fair to say there was an element of weariness that had set in entering the stadium and amongst the support. For so long this season, Hammarby have overachieved. Traditionally the last few years following promotion it's been a stable and all most standard 9th place finish. Where as this season, it was beginning to look like winning the league was a distinct possibility. Needless to say, a few bad derby results and dropping stupid points has seen the season not basically end but an acceptance that there's now only an European spot to play for.
For both games, I was standing behind the goals in the upper tier. A move that several ultra groups have done in order to spread the noise more and too involve the rest of the support.
The start of the game was sparked with flares and the traditional club anthem being belted out, 'just idag är jag stark'.
Hammarby pilled forward but unfortunately, as we are used to this season, it was boring side to side football. The atmosphere in itself began slightly flat following a derby defeat 3 days previously. Which seem to all but kill all potential momentum that was there going for the league title.
So after the initial 10-15 minutes, the game livened up slightly. And on 30minutes, Elfsborg scored. Sending their small support that had traveled from Boras into raptures. Nerves again came into the support, despite numerous increasingly and incredibly loud chat of 'Grön Vita Hammarby'. Which involved all three hammarby ends.
As the second half started hammarby conspired to miss three absolute sitters. Despite the best efforts of the support, the game ended in a 0-1 defeat and it seemed as if the season was coming to an end before everyone eyes.
IFK Goteborg - 2nd October
The day started off with several rumours on how many Goteborg would travel up. Yet after initial expectations that they would bring a good support, it never lived up to it.
In the ground, there was a renewed expectations that a positive result would kick start the end of the season and it the very least Europe was possible. As the teams came out, a small pyro show was done by fans on the Longside, followed by streamers. For most of the active support being behind the goal, it was slightly impressive.
The support was unreal at times. Again, the active support involving the whole stadium. The football was much better too, compared to the previous game against Elfsborg. With goteborg contributing little to the actual game and getting caught out at the back time and time again. With Hammarby comfortably winning 2-0 at 73 minutes.
Then came King Kennedy!
The icon of the support for more than decade. One of the clubs best ever players, who will retire at the end of the season. Came on as a substitute and proceed to score one of the best free kicks ever seen😂. However the most iconic thing however was not customary free kick that he became famous for over the years but the celebration. As Kennedy ran down the pitch celebrating, a beer was thrown from the crowd. Kennedy then caught it before drinking it, as if it had all be rehearsed weeks and months prior.
The undoubtedly one of the highlights of the season so far, let alone the two games.