The day the sausages ran out…

So after nearly 11 months my Danish season draws to a close with an afternoon we all love – a double header.  With so many teams playing in Copenhagen these days there is always a game on somewhere, especially on National Holidays such as today.  The Danes, like their German cousins, celebrate Ascension Day.  The day that Christ, allegedly, got on a special Ryanair plane and flew up into the sky.  And they take a day off for it.  Now considering that the country is one of the least religious I have ever visited I find this quite odd.  However, it did mean only half a days work for me (I keep English hours despite being in Denmark) and then an afternoon of football.

And what more could a man ask for.  BGA and BSF both at home, separated by a few miles of motorway.  What do you mean you have never heard of them?  Legends in these parts, legends.  In a town where their rivals include AB, FB, B93, HIK and B1903 it is hard to remember who is who, but do we really care?  After all it is football.  And Danish football means sausages, beer, err beer and more sausages.  OK, I admit it.  I am addicted to watching football with a pint in one hand, and a sausage in another.

First up was BGA v Greve.  Boldklubberne Glostrup Albertslund were formed out of a merger of Glostrup FK and surprisingly Albertslund IF.  Glostrup FK themselves were formed back in 2003 from a merger between three local teams.  It is all so complicated out here.  I often find watching Eastenders and understanding their “family trees” more relaxing that trying to work out the parentage of Danish football teams.  What do you need to know to start with?  They play in an athletics ground (boo), they wear all red and they sell beer and sausages.  There, simple as that.  They are flirting with the relegation zone back to the Denmark Series, the regional leagues with just three games to go.  The visitors Greve would be relegated if they didn’t win this one, although even three points may not be enough if results elsewhere went in their favour. Continue reading

Musen der brølede (The mouse that roared)

For hundreds of small football clubs across Europe this week sees the start of their cup adventures.  A win at this stage in some of the smaller countries and they may get lucky and draw one of the big boys, whilst in England it will be a few more rounds before the 402 teams who will be playing in the Extra-Preliminary round this week will have the chance to play a once in a lifetime game.

My cup adventures, unsurprisingly were going to start in Copenhagen.  Many of the teams who enter into the Ekstra Bladet cup are no more than Saturday League teams.  Many of the grounds are simply playing fields with a rope around them.  However, the rewards for some of the 88 teams are great.  A win at this stage and they will go onto the draw with 8 of the Superliga teams (those who finished 5th and below), so this season that includes recent champions AaB and 2004 runners up FC Midtyjlland.  Last season regional side Helsingor3000 drew the plum tie when they hosted FC Copenhagen in a game that had to be played during a midweek afternoon as the ground had no floodlights.

Our aim this year was to try and follow the cup in England and Denmark in traditional style.  Pick a team and watch them until they get knocked out, then follow the winners.  We have tried this before, most recently with Grays Athletic but their subsequent draw away to Carlisle United put pay to our ambitions.  Our English starting point is still up for debate in the Fuller household – I want to do Lordswood FC but parental duties may mean I end up at Lincoln Moorlands Railways FC – either way they will have my full support. Continue reading

The magic of the FA Cup – Danish style

With the long winter closing in in Copenhagen, and the unfriendly football association deciding to play all of the league games on weekends (shame on you!), a rare an unexpected treat was served up as the Danish Cup was scheduled to be played in the last week of October. Obviously the cup will be won again by FCK, as it is most years, but this season the fairy tale story was from a tiny team based in the suburbs of Copenhagen called FC Greve.

Now, not being a person to miss such a historic event, I hastily arranged a couple of meetings on Wednesday 31st October on a routine trip to the office in Copenhagen, and planned to take in their historic game against Skive in the last 16 of the cup. The game was due to be played at 2pm as the club’s small stadium did not have any floodlights – in fact it did not have much of anything!

Greve is located a 15 minute train ride out of Copenhagen, in the tidy suburbs and close to the main suburban station of Hundige (a 15 minute train ride from central station on the S-Torg system towards Mitby. The place is tiny – exit the station through a small shopping centre and you are then on the main road out of Copenhagen. Whilst it was a tad chilly, it seemed pointless to wait for a bus so a 5 minute walk found the stadium.

Well, we say stadium but it was actually an athletics track, with a fence around the pitch, and a raise terrace of 3 steps which ran 1/2 way along the side of the stand – officially the stadium has a capacity of 7,000 but it it had more than 200 it would run into problems. But the locals were out in force, and at least one local school had given the kids the afternoon off to cheer on their team – albeit wearing their Chelsea, Liverpool and Bradford City shirts!

The great thing though about the stand was the club house – perched on a raised piece of land in the corner of the pitch, with a BBQ on the go and as much draft Carlsberg as you wanted…….With the football taking place a mile away (or so it seemed with the athletics track) it made a pleasant change to stand and drink. Meanwhile on the pitch there was no sign of a giant killing as 5th division Greve huffed and puffed against a team called Skive who were from 2 divisions above. A goal in each half was enough for the visitors, and another great cup dream fell into tatters.

Certainly one for the serious ground hoppers only!

FC GREVE – Greve Idraets Center – 7,000 Capacity
About Greve Idraets Center Stadium
Located in one of the pleasant suburbs of south west Copenhagen, Greve Idraets Center is a very basic affair. Basically it is an athletics ground with a small terrace that runs down one side of the pitch. The ground does not have any cover, or floodlights so games tend to be played during daylight hours only.

The ground has an excellent bar and terrace in the corner of the track where most of the fans tend to congregate with a beer and a sausage to watch the game from a slightly elevated position. Apart from this, the ground is very basic but in the summer months is a great way to spend an afternoon.

Who plays there?
The small and homely Greve Idraers Center is home to Greve Fodbold club who currently play in the Danish 5th Division. They have never hit the heights of some of the more illustrious neighbours in Copenhagen. They reached this level by winning the Copenhagen regional league in 2006.

How to get there
The stadium is located a 20 minute train ride away from Copenhagen main stadium on S-Tog line E. Trains also run from the Norreport and Oosteport on the line to Koge every 10 minutes. Alight at Greve station where you can either get a local 225 or 600S bus to the stadium or a 10 minute walk. If you chose the latter, watch through the shopping centre and turn right onto the main road. Cross the small roundabout and the ground will be on your left after 7 or 8 minutes.

Getting a ticket
There is no such thing as advanced tickets at Greve. Simply turn up on the day and pay your 600Dkr to enter the ground – you can then either stand on the small terrace or at the outside bar.