Swedish Stripes

HOW well can you remember the Bannsiders’ UEFA Cup clash against Swedish club Örgryte IS in 2000?

colerainefc.com’s Johnny McNabb caught up with Örgryte IS fan Jesper Aneröd who has fond memories from the two-legged clash between the sides.

Jesper recently found a Coleraine shirt that was presented to him when the Stripes travelled over for the second leg in August 2000.

The Swedish Cup holders at that time won the first leg 2-1 at The Showgrounds, before triumphing 1-0 in the return fixture in Göteborg – and Jesper shares some stories from the fixture in Sweden.

Q1. What are your memories from the game between Coleraine and Orgryte IS?

There was lots of drinking before and after the game which is pretty much what comes to mind at first. It was played at Ullevi Stadium instead of our regular home ground, which wasn’t approved by UEFA and this made it a pretty boring game experience in itself.

Even though we won 1-0, we do have some fond memories from that oversized stadium but what I remember most is meeting up with some of the travelling supporters after the game and having a real good time out in the town.

The Coleraine manager told me he had talked with a mate of his working at Barnsley – not sure in what position. Barnsley were scouting two of our players at that time.

The information given was that we were supposedly crap, and your manager said he would call his mate when he returned home and give him a piece of his mind.

Q2. How did you receive the Coleraine top, and what was your reaction when you recently found it?

Souvenirs were swapped between supporters from both teams, I got a scarf as well with Ballymena blood on it – or so the story goes.

I was happy when I found it again as it brings me back to times that was a lot of fun with some really great people and I’ve made a promise to not lose it again.

Later that night the manager and a few players, one certain Kevin Keegan who played for Coleraine signed it when we ran into them at an Irish pub in central Göteborg.

Q3. How are things currently going for Orgryte IS?

It has been a very difficult time for the club over the past 13-14 years.

We faced bankruptcy back in 2010 which forced us down to third division where we have spent a total of four seasons since.

Nowadays we’re in the second tier, but the finances and youth academy look bright and we could be in contention for promotion this season. Mind you, the season has only just begun and plenty of football is still to be played.

Q4. Do you ever keep an eye on Coleraine results? We recently played your Scandinavian counterparts FK Haugesund in the Europa League?

I do, on and off by checking things on your Facebook page once in a while.

I’ve found some sort of nostalgic affiliation to the club and some emotional bond, much thanks to hanging out with those lads back in 2000, they were absolute ace and a great laugh.

I remember the kindness and good spirit from some of the players and the manager, but I can’t say that I follow results and league position very closely. Not more so than I want the club to do well.

Oh, and change those stripes back to horizontal as its similar to our not so beloved rivals IFK – and that hurts my eyes and heart.

Q5. If the two sides ever clash again…will Coleraine gain revenge?

At the present time they might, yes.

However, in all honesty, the current coach here has built a pretty solid squad since arriving before last season so it could be a pretty tight game.

We have got some players with top flight experience now, and two of them have returned to the club having played some Champions League games as well.

Q6. So don’t be surprised if you see a Coleraine top in Göteborg?

I moved to a small town 120km north of Göteborg some 10 years ago, but I have worn it here in Lysekil a few times with dignity and pride, of course!

I remember wearing back when I lived in Göteborg and some locals thought it was an IFK-top which was crazy.

It just goes to show what happens when people don’t really know what they’re in for doesn’t it?