LLaMa Save Suggestions

From clubs in financial trouble to fallen giants, every club has a story to tell and here the Yellow Llama unearths his favourites

Sweden

"LLaMa's don't do challenges, but sometimes they need a push in the right direction"


-Ancient LLaMa proverb

Dearest Llamas,

Today I find myself in Sweden. It's not been the easiest of journeys. I was planning on spending the winter in warmer climes but got into a bit of trouble crossing the Turkish/Bulgarian border. Mainly on account that I am, in fact, a llama.

This means that I am unable to comply fully with EU entry requirements such as communicating with human beings to inform them that yes, of course I am vaccinated against Rabies, etc.

Becoming frustrated that no one could understand my grunts and having failed in an attempt to communicate by passing wind in Morse code, I made a dash for it. I was unsuccessful and to cut a long story short, was sold into servitude across multiple borders.

I ended up in the private zoo of a bald gentleman who nicknamed me "Barbie" and kept asking me to "go party" with him, before bursting into tears and disappearing into the wilderness for days at a time. Eventually, I was able to exterminate him and make my escape.

I did not want to party.


Anyway, there are lots of reasons you should follow the Yellow Llama to Sweden. Just make sure you fly direct.

First of all, there are LOADS of teams to choose from. At the lowest playable tier, there are six regional divisions made up of fourteen teams each - so 84 in total. This means the seasons go by quite quickly too, so you should be able to have a lovely long career even if you have limited time. Most of those clubs are relatively tiny.

Sweden is obviously not one of Europe's strongest leagues, and with a league structure going as deep as the fourth tier, you really can start as small as you like. There are a number of teams with 500 capacity stadiums, for example.

Secondly, it is a summer league, which always feels a little bit different, in my opinion. Differing levels of fitness at key times make European progress a difficult proposition. JourneyLLaMas will no doubt love the ability to start so low down before embarking on a lovely tour of Scandinavia.

At the top end, things have always been quite competitive. Whereas other countries tend to be dominated by one or two teams in recent years, that isn't really the case in Sweden. Although Malmö FF have many more titles than anyone else, there has been six different winners of the top tier in the last decade.

European successes have been massively limited too, with IFK Göteborg's two UEFA cups in the 80's their only successes. With a history of talented players having been exported across Europe over the years, if you ever manage to make it that far then the challenge here is holding onto your best players for long enough that you can make a dent on continental competition.

All in all, Sweden offers the potential for a long term experience due to the depth of it's leagues, it's historic clubs, and the added challenge of being one of the smaller leagues in terms of reputation in Europe. You will face a battle to keep hold of your best players once you eventually make it to the top, and winning a European competition with a Swedish club would take one hell of a LLaMa!

Oh, and if I haven't twisted your arm yet, there is also a place called "Rövhålet", which translates into English as "The Butthole". Haven't been there. Not planning on going. But you can if you want.

Anyway here are some ideas..


Swedish Champions 1973

Young Llama Suggestions:

Club: Åtvidabergs FF

City: Åtvidaberg

Media Prediction: 3rd in Div 2 Sodra Svealand


Why Them?: Because their history is unbelievable. Åtvidaberg's population is about 7,000, yet in 1972 they won the Swedish title. And then in 1973 they did it again. Their success, strangely, was down in the main to a company who made calculators called Facit, who were their main sponsor. When Facit went bust in the late 1970's, Åtvidabergs FF fell back into obscurity & they are now in the fourth tier.

Having been back at the top table as recently as 2015, they are well placed to start climbing the leagues again. Their local rivals, IFK Norrköping FK, have 13 league titles to their name which is a great first target to aim for, but the real achievement would be to go one better than their legendary title winners from half a century ago.

Because not only did Åtvidabergs FF win the league twice, they also got to the quarter finals of the European Cup in 74/75 before eventually being stopped by the mighty Barcelona. The year before they almost snuck past eventual winners Bayern Munich who needed penalties to beat them in the first round. What a story it would be to take them back to the top level and right the wrongs of 50 years ago!

Good luck, Young Llama.

Things to do when you're inevitably sacked

Go and look at the Solkanonen, which in English means "sun gun". It is basically a canon that fires automatically if the sun is out, once a day at midday. For the other 23 hours and 58 minutes of each day, there is little else to do except sob yourself to sleep atop your bed of discarded calculator parts and wish you were better at the job you once had. Loser.


Old Llama Suggestion:

Club: Morön BK

City: Skellefteå

Media Prediction: 13th in Div 2 Norrland


Why Them?: I'll be honest, most of the teams at this level are going to challenge even the most battle hardened of Llamas, but this is the only one that insults you repeatedly by calling you names.

I realise that this might be quite tenuous and that "Moron" might mean something else in Swedish but it's all I've got. I had to pick someone. They have one of the lowest reputations in the division, and are amongst the worst with regards to youth & training facilities.

They have £2k in the bank and their five year plan is to basically not get relegated. But on the bright side you can pretend you are just repeatedly saying the name of the club rather than having a go at your players when they are inevitably bad.

You will start at the maximum of your £252 wage budget and have zero transfer funds. Sounds a right laugh.

Good Luck, Old Llama!

Things to do when you're inevitably sacked: Befriend the miniature humanoid stone models at nearby Lilleputtlandet which is a small theme park based on Lilliput.

Stare in wonder as they regularly display better acceleration and jumping ability than the last bunch of idiots you had at your disposal despite the fact they are completely static, made out of stone and about 12" in height. You Moron.


Random Llama Suggestion which has taken into account lots of specific factors:

Club: Räppe GOIF

City: Växjö

Media Prediction: 2nd in Div 2 Östra Götaland

Why Them?: Having considered a wide variety of teams (that play in yellow) across innumerable (one) factors, I have settled on Räppe GOIF as my random suggestion. Again, there were so many teams that met my well thought out and detailed criteria amongst all those available, but Räppe GOIF pipped everyone else because, erm, it's a random challenge.

They are predicted to do well, and your starting squad is pretty decent. You have an affiliation with Växjö's other club, Östers IF, and a board who will likely back you. Getting a promotion under your belt early on is absolutely doable, but at the same time the club has never finished higher than 4th in the division. An early chance to make history, and they play in yellow. What else do you need?!

Good Luck, Random Llama.

Things to do when you're inevitably sacked: Buy a handbag and bash a neo Nazi with it, just like the lady on the famous photo did in 1985. That photo was taken in Växjö.

Or open a nightclub & call it the Barbarella, like the one that was here in the 1970's. If you want. I mean I don't think there is much to do here if I'm honest.


The Yellow Llama's Legendary Twisted Suggestion


Background: Well it's that time again. All of the 84 clubs at this level are devilish, in their own way. But I'm going to choose one and add a yellow llama twist. Which is not what it sounds like. Honest.

Anyway, my Swedish Legendary Twisted Suggestion - Go one better for the city of Malmö. In the 1979 European Cup final, Malmö FF lost 1-0 to Nottingham Forest. They are widely considered the worst team to ever get to the European Cup final, and have obviously not been back since.

They were probably thrilled just to be there, if we're honest, but how it must have hurt seeing IFK Göteborg lift the UEFA cup a few years later. Now it's time for you, Llama's, to put Swedish football truly on the map. Because you are going to bring the Champions League to the city of Malmö. Don't worry though, you don't have to do this with a team full of Swedes like Malmö FF almost did. Oh no. You can have Turks & Macedonians too. In fact, you have to use ONLY Swedes, Turks or Macedonians. From the start. Sorry.


Club: KSF Prespa Birlik

City: Malmö

Media Prediction: 14th Division 2 Västra Götaland

Why Them?: Prespa were formed by Swedish Turks of Macedonian Turkish descent born in Malmö who had ancestral roots in the Prespa region on the Former Yugoslavia. I am hopeful this is reflected in your youth intake (although I don't know) because that would at least make things a little bit easier.

Of the four Malmö based clubs at this level, Prespa Birlik have the smallest stadium, the worst facilities, and the worst starting media prediction. If I'm honest, doing this with any of the four clubs would be quite impressive. Heck, doing it with Malmö FF would be hard in itself.

Their starting squad is interesting, because there about about 6 good players & the rest are God awful. Only one of the six good players - a Macedonian - qualifies for this suggestion though, I'm afraid. So those Dutch, French & Danish players need selling or otherwise disposing of. Luckily, all of the awful players qualify as they're Swedish. Hurrah!

Look, do you want a challenge or don't you?

Good Luck, Legendary, Twisted Llama!

Things to do when you're inevitably sacked: Get the Hell out of Sweden. Get the train across the Öresund Bridge which takes you directly to Copenhagen. Once there, you might come across that Danish player I made you get rid of earlier.

If you do, take him out for a coffee or a beer. Explain to him why you refused to play him & then released him on a free transfer or otherwise ruined his career despite being one of the best players at your awful little 4th tier club. Tell him about me and how I forced your hand.

I am sure he will understand. He won't think you've lost your mind at all. Not at all. And if he becomes agitated, hit him with your handbag & leg it.


Still fancy Sweden but aren't convinced by any of the above suggestions?

Ask the yellow Llama to pick you a random Swedish side