Newcomers Hammarby IF will be hoping to follow in the footsteps of other Swedish teams.
Hammarby IF finished second in Elitettan, due to their strong defensive record of only allowing 22 goals in 26 games. They were expected to earn promotion, and with a few rounds to go, they did just that when they beat Sundsvall DFF 2-1, while their only competitor for second place, Växjö DFF, lost points to Kungsbacka DFF.
They had trouble scoring, and only scored 53, which was much lower than both LB07 and Växjö. This was further highlighted by the lack of any Hammarby players at the top of the goal scoring charts.
As often with promoted teams, there’s a turnover in personnel as they gear up for a higher level.
Hammarby is no exception, Siri Frimodig, Maja Norrhamn, Hanna Olsson, Anna Lindblom and Lina Ringshamre have all retired, while Moa Nilsson (Tyresö FF), Eleonore Freby, Michaela Larsson (Both Brommapojkarna) Linnéa Eriksson (Uppsala Fotboll) and Moa Hedell (Enskede IK) have all left for other teams.
New season, new names
Elena Sadiku (Eskilstuna United) and Sejde Abrahamsson (KIF Örebro) has been brought in from Damallsvenskan clubs, but he former has been plagued with injuries, while the latter has never started a Damallsvenskan game.
If Sadiku can come back and show the promise she showed before her injuries, she will be a real asset. Goalkeeper Emma Holmgren has been brought in from IK Uppsala Fotboll (previously Sirius), and it would surprise me if she wasn’t the new number one in goal.
She has long been a part of both Sweden U19 and Sweden U20, and was sought after this offseason. A good player to get in for Hammarby. Another Sweden U19 regular, Julia Ekholm, has also been brought in after playing college football in USA for USF Knights. Like Holmgren she was part of the Sweden team who won the U19 European Championship in 2015. Ellen Gibson has also joined after a stint in America where she represented Santa Clara University.
Perhaps as a response to their lack of goals, the team has brought in a number of attacking reinforcements in Kajsa Sund (Rimbo IF) and Alma Nygren (IK P18), while Klara Folkesson (Jitex BL) and Astrid Larsson (Älta IF) has been added to create depth in midfield. Goalkeeper Ida Karlsson has been promoted from the youth ranks.
I did not see much of Hammarby last season, but everything points towards a team with a good defensive unit that lacks the regular goal scoring threat up front. Taking the step up from Elitettan to Damallvenskan is always a challenge, but last season proved that it can be done successfully.
I feel they have added a number of players, especially Holmgren and even Ekholm, who will raise the level of the team, and if Sadiku can remain healthy she will be a huge attacking asset for this team. I don’t know much about the other recruits, but especially Nygren comes with a tremendous goal scoring record, although at a much lower level.
It is probably going to be a tough season for Hammarby, where they will most likely be involved in the relegation fight.
Who to look out for
Anna Oscarsson is an extremely talented player, who captained Sweden U20’s at the U20 World Cup last year. If Hammarby ends up getting another year in Damallsvenskan my prediction is that a lot of it will be down to the performance of Oscarsson, and possibly also Filippa Angeldahl, who has some Damallsvenskan experience from a previous spell with AIK.
Her midfield partner is most likely going to be Madeleine Tegström, who will bring some much needed experience to a very young team. As a promoted team, the defense is going to be key to survival.
Here Alexandra Lindberg will be interesting to follow, and she needs to have an incredible season, and she will be the player to tie the defense together.
Goalkeepers: Emma Holmgren, Patricia Kaldoyo and Ida Karlsson
Defenders: Sejde Abrahamsson, Amanda Johansson, Ellen Gibson, Marie Johansson Helén Eke, Alexandra Lindberg and Julia Ekholm
Midfielders and forwards: Klara Folkesson, Cathrine Dahlström, Kajsa Sund, Frida Sjöberg, Therése Boström, Julia Zigiotti Olme, Astrid Larsson, Anna Oscarsson, Madeleine Tegström, Elena Sadiku, Filippa Angeldahl, Olga Ekblom and Alma Nygren