VAVEL UK spoke to Filippa Curmark, a midfielder at Göteborgs FC who had a great season in the Damallsvenskan, which led them to their first league title in the club’s history. After finishing second to FC Rosengård the last couple of seasons, they finally made it all the way and are now ready to take on Manchester City in the UEFA Women’s Champions League round of 32.
“Manchester City is an exciting challenge for us after the season we have had in Sweden." Curmark said, "I’m looking forward to playing against them very much. Since the Swedish season ended in the mid-November we have had time to recover and rest so now we are all longing to play games again. We are very focused on this clash with City”
Previous UWCL result
Göteborgs FC were drawn against FC Bayern München in the UWCL last year in the round of 32. The Swedish side won impressively in Munich 1-0 but it wasn’t enough to overcome their 2-1 loss at home in the first leg and they had to see themselves beaten with no further progression in the tournament.
The task doesn’t look easier for this year as the Swedish champions will take on Manchester City, who narrowly lost the FA Women’s Super League title to Chelsea last season, finishing one point behind the London team after the league was decided on points per game. This season, City have started to get their play going again after what looked like a slow start. The English side are currently 4th in the WSL table, five points behind the red side of Manchester who top the table.
“Personally I try to watch as much of the Women’s Super League as possible. The last game I watched was the Manchester derby. We will have to play at our highest level in the defence and take really good care of the opportunities of going forward that we get,” said Curmark.
The Swedish season
The Swedish top-flight is usually played from April to November, but due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it couldn’t start until June. The season ended as usual in November and that is what’s setting the Scandinavian top flights apart from other leagues in Europe. Curmark expresses her thought about that;
“It’s not ideal, and of course we would’ve rather played these games in the middle of the season when we are playing games more regularly. We also would have had more players available. But we come from a good season and our aim is to take that momentum into these games against City,” she says.
“I think we have had stable and consistent performances during the season and the results have been good. We are a team that like to play offensively and we always try to find ways to attack. In the Swedish league that has been effective and we always work hard for each other and as a team to win back the ball high up the field.”
While Manchester City come from a comfortable 3-0 against Everton from the weekend, Göteborg have had a good week of training since the international break. The Swedish champions have lost three key players in their backline since the season ended because of outgoing contracts such as Finland international Natalia Kuikka, US international Emily Sonnett and former Paris St Germain player Emma Berglund. With striker Rebecka Blomqvist also departing Göteborg to join Vfl Wolfsburg, it’s no doubt that Göteborg will have to play at their very best to have a chance to disturb City. Even so, Curmark has faith in her team and seems calm about the upcoming UWCL legs.
“We have tried not to focus too much on individual players at City. We already know that they have world-class players in every position no matter how they decided to form their line up. Our focus is on how we can manage to punish them offensively while we disturb them in their attacks,” Curmark finishes.
Predicted Göteborg line up
Jennifer Falk (GK)
Filippa Curmark, Emma Kullberg, Emma Koivisto, Julia Roddar
Anna Csiki, Vilde Böe Risa, Filippa Angeldahl, Julia Zigiotti Olme
Stina Blackstenius, Pauline Hammarlund