LB07 comfortably won the Elitettan last season with an 11 point gap down to Hammarby in second place. They had a blistering attack and scored 84 goals in 26 games, which was the best goalscoring record in the league. They let in 31 goals, which was second best in the league. Michaela Johnsson scored 21 goals, but she was not the only goal contributor, with four more players scoring double digit amount of goals. Captain Mia Persson scored 17, sisters Anna Welin and Olivia Welin both scored 12, while Johanna Ejdelind scored 11. They won 21 games last season, and was only on the end of a defeat twice.
Both Sara Andersson and Emma Ekman have left for Borgeby. Sophie Sundqvist has joined the other Damallsvenskan team in Malmø: FC Rosengård. Former french international Sabrina Viguir and Fia Petterson have both decided to retire. Of those Viguier will be the biggest loss. She came with a lot of experience from the highest possible level, having played with teams such as Olympique Lyonnais and Kopparsberg/Göteborg, and in LB07s transition from an Elitettan to Damallsvenskan side, that experience was invaluable.
New season, new names
That defensive experience now has to come from Anna Björk Kristjánsdóttir who has been brought in from KIF Örebro. She played 21 games for KIF in the league last year, and will be the most experienced player in the LB07 backline. Malin Winberg has been brought in from Östersunds DFF and adds another option in defence. Midfield additions has been brought in, in the likes of Julia Welin from Höllviken and Dane Simone Rydahl from Brøndby IF. Attacking wise, Emelie Erlandsson has decided to come out of retirement, while the two Finns Eveliina Parikka, from Finnish Champions PK-35, and Iina Salmi, on loan from FC Rosengård, adds even more depth in attack.
It is always tough to say how a promoted team fares in the Damallsvenskan. LB07 had a great attacking record in Elitettan, but their defence left something to be desired. If they are to stay in the league, their attacking players have to prove they can do it at a higher level, and their defence has to step up. They have brought in reinforcements for both areas, and especially Kristjánsdóttir will be important.
If players like Michaela Johnsson and Anna Welin can carry on their form to the Damallsvenskan, much like Tabitha Chawinga did for Kvarnsveden last year, and someone like Salmi can showcase her potential, I think LB07 might just have enough in them to secure another year in the Damallsvenskan. Of the two promoted teams, I see LB07 as the more likely one to not get directly promoted.
Who to look out for
As for any team who will be part of the relegation fight, the performances of individual players can take a team over the line. We saw that with Chawinga last season, and last season’s topscorer, Michaela Johnsson, could very well be LB07’s Chawinga. The addition of Iina Salmi should help her on her way. Salmi is a technically gifted player, and it will do her a world of good to get some game time, which she lacked with FC Rosengård. She could be one of the positive surprises this season.
Nellie Lilja might not be a given starter, but the Swedish U19 International has a bright future ahead of her, and it will be interesting to follow her at the highest level.