Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Frem-HIK (06-05-2007)

Copenhagen is not only home to a legion of Danish designers, it also houses a significant number of Denmark’s professional and semi-professional football clubs. Obviously, the most famous are FC Kopenhagen and Brondby IF (see 08-04-2007), but there are many more. It seems that every area of the city has its own team. Instead of visiting the big game of the SAS Superligaen (Premier League) between FC Kopenhagen and AaB on Saturday evening, which the latter won 1-2 incidentally, M.G. and I decided to visit a game in the 1. Division instead.

So, Sunday at noon we checked out at our design hotel, stored the luggage, and took the A+ metro line to the station Ny Ellebjerg to visit one of the oldest clubs of Denmark, Boldklubben Frem af 1886. The BK Frem has been a mainstay of Danish football until its bankruptcy in 1993, even winning the title six times and the cup twice. Since demotion they have been a solid 1.Division team, getting back into the SAS Superligaen only once (in 2004). They are based in the Valby district of Copenhagen, where they play in the cozy but basic Valby Idrætspark stadium, which holds 12.000 (including 4.400 seats). For some reason, there was an inflatable elephant on the top of the entrance.

We paid 80 DKK (ca. 11 euro) each to get in. As was the case at Brøndby, we didn’t get a ticket (again I had to roam the ground for a thrown away ticket). We had access to the whole stadium, including the one covered stand with seats, but decided to stand on the opposite side, as it was absolutely gorgeous weather (in fact, I got seriously sun burnt during the game). To my great delight, the fan shop was open and I was compelled to buy a shirt. I must admit that I am often (easily) seduced into buying football paraphernalia, but the Frem merchandise was really getting me hooked. Maybe it was the red-blue colors, maybe the fantastic logo, but M. had to hold me back otherwise I would have bought the whole store.

At 13.00 the two teams started their game in the most pleasant conditions: strong sun, a light breeze, leading to some 25 degrees Celsius in the sun. According to the official BK Frem website 1,525 people had found their way to the Valby Idrætspark, as far as I could see none from the opposing team (even though HIK is also from a suburb of Copenhagen). Most people around us were sporting Frem colors and enjoyed the beer and sun at least as much as the game. It was an odd mix of typical football fans and alternative types, with the odd young family with their stroller (mainly to smuggle in beer, it seemed) in between them.

The game was quite entertaining, although I must admit that I was mainly enjoying the sun and fantastically relaxed atmosphere. Around us were groups of people who all seemed to know each other and came to spend a nice sunny Sunday together at their team’s ground. Beer was flowing but people remained pleasant and well-behaved. While the game seemed secondary to most, ooohs and aaahs were expressed whenever a chance for Frem seemed to appear.

The level of the game wasn’t high, but the two teams were relatively equal in quality, which led to a nice game. Both teams had a lot of very young players, particularly the HIK attack, who were fit enough to keep running, despite the un-Danish temperatures. Despite the enthusiasm on the pitch, the half time score was 0-0, but none seemed to really mind.

The second half started much the same, with one difference: Frem scored 1-0 in the 47th minute! This not only led to much happiness around the pitch, as did the still flowing beer, but also to an even more equal game, as Frem fell back a bit and HIK pushed for the equalizer. Not surprisingly, given the relative heat, the level of the game started to deteriorate during the 90 minutes, but it remained entertaining and pleasant to watch. Both goalies made two fantastic saves to keep their team in the lead/game, but in the end it remained 1-0.

All in all, this was a fantastic groundhop experience, which can be best summarized in the words of one of the slogans on a BK Frem t-shirt: Frem er kult (Frem is cult). Groundhoppers, you know where to go next time you are in Copenhagen!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

nice article ;-) sounds like a nice place and a special club.