Before delving into the interesting bit, a brief introduction to the league structure might not go a miss. First off, the Danish league consists of eight teams.
he league starts off as your standard league, where everybody plays everybody, but come April, the six best teams go into a playoff round, where the prize is the trophy, whereas the two lowest placed teams enter a relegation playoff, with the four best placed teams from the second highest division.
In the playoff round the teams get their points from the regular playoff halved. In the relegation playoff they all start off with zero points. With that crash course into the structure of the Danish 3f liga, it’s time to look into what turned out to be a thrilling season in Denmark.
A two horse race, but with other contenders being closer than ever.
Danish football has been dominated by Fortuna Hjørring and Brøndby IF for more than a decade, and this season was no different. As expected the two battled it out for the entirety of the season, but OB, KoldingQ and Skovbakken gave the two giants a few tough games.
Skovbakken even managed to draw with the pair. After the initial rounds, Fortuna went into the playoff round with a one point lead over Brøndby. Skovbakken, KoldingQ, OB and Vejle were the four other contestants who joined the two in the playoff round.
The playoff title was as close you could have wanted, and it wasn’t until the very last day that the medals were decided. Fortuna Hjørring started off with two resounding 5-0 victories over KoldingQ and Vejle respectively, while BIF got a 1-0 and 3-0 win over OB and Skovbakken. Fortuna, who entered the playoff with a small lead extended this lead in the third round when they beat OB while Vejle, surprisingly, held BIF to a draw.
The two both won in round 4, and the stage was set for round 5, where the two had to face off against one another. BIF came into the game knowing they needed to win, if they had to hold on to any hope of winning the title, and with a 4-2 victory to BIF, the excitement was intact.
Fortuna got back on winning ways and won all of their remaining games before the last round, while BIF added another draw, this time against Skovbakken, to their season. This meant that in the final game of the season, BIF had to beat Fortuna to win the title. Fortuna could play knowing a draw would be enough to ensure them the title.
One game to decide it all
In the deciding match of the season, Fortuna Hjørring took the first step towards the title when Sarah Dyrehauge got on the scoresheet in the 23rd minute, but BIF was determined to not let the title get away so easy. Three minutes before half time Nanna Christiansen, who has been one of this season's best midfielders, equalised.
However, shortly into the second half, Fortuna Hjørring’s talented winger Frederikke Thøgersen scored, and since no-one else found the net, Fortuna Hjørring were crowned Danish Champions for the 2015/2016 season.
KoldingQ edges out Skovbakken for Bronze
KoldingQ won bronze, just like last year, when they managed to beat Vejle 3-0 on the last day. Sanne Troelsgaard scored two goals, while her twin sister Lotte Troelsgaard scored the third. Skovbakken fell to 3-0 defeat to OB, so there was no question about where the bronze medals were going. Despite finishing in the better half of the table, and 5th in the playoff, this is OBs last season in the best league. Team OdenseQ will take over their place; Vejle finished 6th.
The fight to avoid relegation
ASA and BSF finished the regular season below the relegation line and would have to play a playoff against the four best placed teams from the second best division in Denmark. The four teams were Varde, Næsby, Sundby and Team Viborg. Just like in the fight for the title, this was all decided on the last day.
Three teams - BSF, Næsby and Varde - all had a shot of claiming one of the two places that meant they would qualify for the next season of the 3f liga. Here, Næsby drew the shortest end of the stick, and it was Varde and BSF who took the two top spots.
The eight teams that will be competing in next year's league is: Brøndby IF, BSF, Fortuna Hjørring, KoldingQ, OdenseQ, Skovbakken, Varde and Vejle.
Team of the Year
There was a lot of standout performance. Danish news outlet kvindeliga.dk asked the six coaches with teams in the title playoff to set their best 11, and to pick three substitutes.
Lykke lines up behind Fortuna and BIF dominated defence
Goalkeeper: Stina Lykke, OB. No surprise. Stina Lykke has been Denmark’s starting goalkeeper for some time, and she has showed that this season.
Defence: Nevena Damjanovic, Tamires De Britto (both Fortuna), Simone Boye, Theresa Nielsen (both BIF).
Damjanovic and Tamires were new additions to Fortuna this year, and early on it was visible just how much of a strength these players would be, not just to Fortuna, but to the league in general; deservedly in team of the year. Boye is the anchor for both club and country, and has often been the one to make that last second crunch tackle to deny the opposition a goal. She continues to impress year after year, and it’s a no brainer that she is in defence of the year.
The same goes for Theresa Nielsen, who is one of the most consistently good players in the league, and for the national team, the best right-back in the league.
Troelsgaard, Jensen, Christiansen and Trustrup take up midfield
Sanne Troelsgaard, (KoldingQ), Line S. Jensen (Fortuna Hjørring), Nanna Christiansen, Julie Trustrup (both Brøndby IF).
Sanne Troelsgaard is more of a forward, but in reality you could play her anywhere and she would nail it. A typical forward that scores goals but she also works hard for her team. Line Jensen and Nanna Christiansen were a given.
Trustrup has come in this season and has been one of the revelations. She has been everywhere, and is one of those balance players any team needs and has been rewarded with starts for the national team.
Olar and Hansen lead the attack
Florentina Olar (Fortuna Hjørring), Annika Hansen (OB)
Florentina Olar is the best player in the league, and was probably the first player any of the coaches put on this list. Annika Hansen is perhaps not the player with the biggest name recognition, but she has carried OB’s attack on her shoulders the entire season/
Larsen, Veje and Kildemoes make up the bench
Stine Larsen, Brøndby IF – has proven to be one of the biggest talents, if not the biggest talent, in Danish women’s football right now. Has excelled both as a central defender, and as a central forward.
Katrine Veje, Brøndby IF - Came home after a stint with Seattle Reign, and has, as always, been a source of entertaining and flashing attacking football.
Maja Kildemoes, OB - The young OB player has had a fine season, and has gotten her debut for the Danish national team this season.
As I said there have been many outstanding performances this season, and these players deserve to be in a team of the year, but someone like Nora Heroum (Fortuna) and Louise Kristiansen (Brøndby) could easily have been included too.
The next season starts on the 13th of August.