Åtvidabergs FF

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Åtvidaberg
AtvidabergsFFOfficialLogo2945.png
Full name Åtvidabergs Fotbollförening
Founded 1 July 1907; 108 years ago (1907-07-01) as Åtvidabergs IF
Ground Kopparvallen, Åtvidaberg
Ground Capacity 8,100
Chairman Anette Hörström Johansson
Head coach Roar Hansen
League Allsvenskan
2014 Allsvenskan, 8th
Website Club home page
Current season

Åtvidabergs Fotbollförening, also known simply as Åtvidabergs FF, Åtvidaberg, Åtvid or (especially locally) ÅFF, is a Swedish professional football club based in Åtvidaberg. The club is affiliated with Östergötlands Fotbollförbund and plays their home games at Kopparvallen.[1] The club colours, reflected in their crest and kit, are blue and white. Formed on 1 July 1907 as Åtvidabergs IF, the club was most successful during the 1970s when they won two national championship titles and two national cup titles.[2] With a population of around 7000, Åtvidaberg is the smallest town ever to bring home a Swedish league title. They currently play in Allsvenskan, where the season lasts from April to November.

History[edit]

Initial rise through the divisions[edit]

Elof Ericsson (1887–1961)

During the 1920s, small town club Åtvidabergs IF played in the fifth tier of swedish football. Local businessman Elof Ericsson was however determined to change this. He became chairman of the board and took the initiative of separating the different sections of the multisport club, thus forming a new club, Åtvidabergs FF, out of the football section. Through his company Facit, which employed a large portion of the small Åtvidaberg population, he was also able to increase the funding for the team.

Åtvidaberg became early forerunners with their strategy to scout players nationally instead of just locally. Since all players in Sweden at the time were amateurs, their ability to offer new signings a good job at the Facit factory made them an attractive club to play for. This, together with the hiring of foreign coaches like Kálmán Konrád, helped the club move up through the divisions, establishing them in the second tier and playing one year in Allsvenskan.[3]

The peak of Åtvidaberg's success[edit]

A chart showing the progress of Åtvidabergs FF through the swedish football league system. The different shades of gray represent league divisions.

After his father's death in 1961, Gunnar Ericsson took over responsibility for both Facit and Åtvidabergs FF. In 1966, he managed to get the Brazilian national team to hold their pre-World Cup camp in Åtvidaberg. The years that followed would prove to be Åtvidabergs FF's most successful ever. During this period, they recruited players like Ralf Edström, Roland Sandberg and Conny Torstensson.

In 1967, they were promoted to Allsvenskan and five years later they won the league for the first time ever and repeated the year after in 1973. Ironically this golden age came at exactly the same time as the Facit company, which had enabled the success, struggled greatly and eventually was sold off to Electrolux.[3]

New millennium revival[edit]

Åtvidaberg playing a game against BK Häcken in the 2012 Allsvenskan.

After struggling greatly in the 1990s and falling as low as the fourth tier with attendance numbers in the hundreds,[4] Åtvidaberg had managed to climb back up to the second tier again by the start of the new millennium. In an effort to further strengthen their organization and finances, the club started a cooperation with reigning champions Djurgårdens IF in 2003.[5] The deal also included a loan of several Djurgården players to Åtvidaberg. In 2005, the Djurgården chairman said that the team should move to nearby Linköping which doesn't have a club in the higher divisions. This was met by a negative reaction from the Åtvidaberg supporters. The cooperation finally collapsed in 2006 when Åtvidaberg Municipality refused to cover any potential economic losses for Djurgården.[6]

In the following years, Åtvidaberg finished in the top half of the Superettan table and finally in 2009 they were promoted back to Allsvenskan for the first time since 1982. They were relegated again but bounced back immediately and achieved an eighth-place finish in the 2012 Allsvenskan.

Players[edit]

First-team squad[edit]

As of 15 July 2015[7]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
1 Sweden GK Henrik Gustavsson (vice captain)
2 Brazil DF Álberis da Silva
3 Sweden DF Månz Karlsson
4 Sweden DF Andreas Dahlén
5 Sweden DF Daniel Hallingström (captain)
6 Sweden MF Ammar Ahmed
7 Sweden MF Kristian Bergström
8 Sweden DF Petter Gustafsson
9 Sweden FW Ajsel Kujović
10 Sweden MF Mauricio Albornoz
11 Croatia FW Mario Jelavić
No. Position Player
13 Sweden FW Kenny Hildeby
14 Finland MF Simon Skrabb (on loan from FF Jaro)
15 Sweden MF David Lundgren
16 Sweden DF Pontus Nordenberg
17 Finland DF Hampus Holmgren
18 Norway MF Tor Øyvind Hovda (on loan from Kalmar FF)
19 Nigeria FW John Owoeri
20 Sweden GK Gustav Jansson
28 Sweden DF Sebastian Ramhorn (on loan from Kalmar FF)
32 Denmark MF Martin Christensen
83 Sweden GK Ludwig Bergström

Current youth players with first-team experience[edit]

As of 1 August 2015[A]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
22 Sweden DF Lucas Öhrn
No. Position Player
30 Sweden GK Gustaf Halvardsson

Out on loan[edit]

As of 2 February 2015

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
21 Ghana MF Emmanuel Dogbe (at Oskarshamns AIK until 8 January 2016)
No. Position Player
Sweden FW Joel Rajalakso (at Östers IF until 8 January 2016)

For season transfers, see transfers winter 2014–15.

Achievements[edit]

Kopparvallen before the 2011–2012 stadium rebuild.

League[edit]

  • Allsvenskan:
    • Winners (2): 1972, 1973
    • Runners-up (2): 1970, 1971
  • Superettan:
    • Winners (1): 2011
    • Runners-up (1): 2009

Cups[edit]

  • Svenska Cupen:
    • Winners (2): 1969–1970, 1970–1971
    • Runners-up (4): 1946, 1972–1973, 1978–1979, 2005

Managers[edit]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ Current youth players who at least have sat on the bench in a competitive match.
  2. ^ The title of "Swedish Champions" has been awarded to the winner of four different competitions over the years. Between 1896 and 1925 the title was awarded to the winner of Svenska Mästerskapet, a stand-alone cup tournament. No club were given the title between 1926 and 1930 even though the first-tier league Allsvenskan was played. In 1931 the title was reinstated and awarded to the winner of Allsvenskan. Between 1982 and 1990 a play-off in cup format was held at the end of the league season to decide the champions. After the play-off format in 1991 and 1992 the title was decided by the winner of Mästerskapsserien, an additional league after the end of Allsvenskan. Since the 1993 season the title has once again been awarded to the winner of Allsvenskan.[2]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "Kontaktuppgifter och tävlingar – Östergötlands Fotbollförbund – Svenskfotboll.se". Retrieved 12 January 2011. 
  2. ^ a b "Svenska mästare 1896–1925, 1931–". svenskfotboll.se (in Swedish). Retrieved 25 November 2009. 
  3. ^ a b "Historia / Åtvidabergs FF" (in Swedish). Åtvidabergs FF. Retrieved 23 September 2012. 
  4. ^ "Publikutveckling Genom Åren För Åtvidabergs FF" (PDF) (in Swedish). Åtvidabergs FF. Retrieved 23 September 2012. 
  5. ^ "Djurgården och ÅFF i samarbete" (in Swedish). Folkbladet. Retrieved 23 September 2012. 
  6. ^ "Djurgården bryter samarbetet med Åtvidaberg" (in Swedish). Aftonbladet. Retrieved 23 September 2012. 
  7. ^ "Truppen" (in Swedish). Åtvidabergs FF. Retrieved 6 January 2013. 

External links[edit]