Piteå, Rosengård…. Göteborg?! It’s been a season like no other in Sweden this year with part-time Piteå scooping SM-guld, though the stories haven’t just been contained in Norrbotten. Again rueing that a team of the season has to be 11 players and not 20, we’ve whittled down our shortlist, regrettably having to leave out several deserving players.
Goalkeeper - Katie Fraine
League new-comers this season, Växjö started the season out strongly before dipping in the middle and finishing a respectable seventh. Whilst Anna Anvegård was singing in attack, Fraine was excelling between the sticks, bringing her ample experience back to Damallsvenskan to give Växjö a better chance in the top flight.
Defender - Faith Ikidi
Experienced and composed, Ikidi was an integral part of Piteå’s title success this season, an anchor in the team that built from the back, consistently aiming to keep the opposition out.
Midfielder - Caroline Seger
Far from the youngest player in the league, the move back to Rosengård has seen Seger roll back to the years after looking off of the pace the last few years in France. Consistently reliable for the former champions, Seger has excelled this season, setting the pace in midfield, shielding the defence and helping the team transition into attack.
Attacker - Anna Anvegård
Having already proved herself a serious goal threat for Växjö in the Elitettan, Anvegard took the next step in her development, terrorising defences in the top tier. Scoring for fun at times this season, the young attacker fast caught the attentions of Peter Gerhardsson and looks to be a permanent fixture in the Swedish national team.
Coach - Stellan Carlsson
There is little that can be said about Carlsson that hasn’t already, Piteå’s success architected by their meticulous coach. Without a big budget or big name players to call upon, he has remained what lures players to the frozen north, a superb man-manger and caring boss who finally has his hands on the Damallsvenskan trophy, there could be no other coach of the season.
Additionally, we would like to tip our collective hats towards both Marcus Lantz and Elísabet Gunnarsdóttir who have both excelled in their respective jobs leading Göteborg and Kristianstad this past season and are well worthy of an honourable mention.
Breakthrough player - Julia Karlenäs
The 25-year-old from Torsby is no newcomer to the league, nor is she a new face around the Piteå team having moved up north for the 2017 season. However, Karlenäs has had an exemplary season, smashing her own targets for the year, the rangy midfield a vital piece of the Piteå puzzle this term.
Young Player - Rebecca Blomqvist
In a season that was all about attackers and goals, Blomqvist carved out her own path at Göteborg, building on her form from last season to shoot the team to win after win. In a season when KG could have found themselves blunted in attack with Christen Press’s move a temporary one and Pauline Hammarlund side-lined for the majority of the season, the 21-year-old stepped up filled the void. With a catalogue of goals in her locker, it will be a long time before her contribution against Rosengard on the last day of the season is forgotten, her influence on the Champions League-bound team only topped by Elin Rubensson.
Player of the Year - Elin Rubensson
Attacker, midfielder, defender, Rubensson has spent her time in Sweden being shuffled around on the pitch, her role in the heart of the Göteborg team her most profitable. The definition of great things coming in small packages, the diminutive dynamo is one that continues to divide opinion but for us at VAVEL, there is no question she has had a standout season.
Much like Piteå, Göteborg haven’t been an all-conquering team and have had their stumbles this term but their growth over the winter following the departure of Stefan Rehn has been remarkable. Whilst Blomqvist has been firing the goals in, Rubensson has been orchestrating and driving the team from midfield, scoring a handful of stunning goals too, the Swedish international is the first and last parts of the spine, smoothing over the cracks and oiling the gears.
Team of the season
With the glut of star midfielder this season, our team of the year has been pushed into a 3-5-2 to accommodate the over-performing midfielders forcing us to miss out on the likes of Michelle De Jongh, Sofia Wännerdahl and Ogonna Chukwudi to name but a few.
Katie Fraine (Växjö)
Glódís Viggósdóttir (Rosengård)
In a season that was far from vintage for FCR, Viggósdóttir remained consistent throughout, still growing into the role in the team. Boasting the stingiest defence in the league, Zećira Mušović remained well protected with the 23-year-old Icelandic defender in front of her. Strong in the air, Viggósdóttir showed her prowess in both boxes, bagging four goals this term, memorably scoring the winner against Djurgården.
Sif Atladóttir (Kristianstad)
Much like Ikidi at Piteå, Atladóttir has become part of the furniture at Kristianstad. With the team for the best part of a decade, Atladóttir has been through the ups and downs, this season Kristianstad’s best with the Icelandic defender playing an important role.
Faith Ikidi (Piteå)
Elin Rubensson (Kopparbergs/Göteborg)
Julia Karlenäs (Piteå)
Caroline Seger (Rosengård)
Kosovare Asllani (Linköping)
Last season’s Diamantbollen winner, Asllani has continued her growth on and off the pitch as she’s captained a hit and miss Linköping team and a higher finish for the former champions undoubtedly would have seen her in the frame for the award again. Much more of a rounded player, she’s used her experience to her advantage this year, leading by example on the pitch, a natural captain and dependable midfielder.
Jelena Čanković (Växjö)
As Anvegård has scooped all the plaudits at Växjö this season there is no doubt she has hugely benefited from her partnership with Čanković. Tricky and determined in attack, the young Serb has made herself a nuance for most Damallsvenskan defences, building a strong understanding with Anvegård to make Växjö’s transition into the top flight a smooth one.
Rebecca Blomqvist (Kopparbergs/Göteborg)
Anna Anvegård (Vaxjo)
Stellan Carlsson (Piteå)