The worlds worst loser is responsible for Växjös wining culture
Växjö DFF’s general manager Frida Andersson gaze gleams of excitement towards the premier in the middle of April. After last year’s successful debut season in the top flight of Swedish football, her aim is now at the top of the standings.
– Last year we finished as sixth and our goal is to improve each year. We want to reach the Champions league 2020 and finishing top two in Damallsvenskan this year is doable.
Who are the toughest opponents?
– It’s quite even actually. The national champs Piteå haven’t lost any players, so they’ll have a good squad. Koppabergs/Göteborg, Rosengård, Eskilstuna and Linköping are all hard to assess but nonetheless have good squads. I think Vittsjö may surprise a few people even though they lack depth. Djurgården had a few interesting signings. Also, the newcomers Kungsbacka and Örebro both have interesting teams.
After a period of players leaving and the presentations of several new signings the squad for DFF is practically a lock.
– However, I’m not a fan of those expressions. A squad is never certain, and a lot can happen during a season. Players might suffer an injury and need to be replaced. This year’s season is also a little bit different due to the world cup in France in June and July. There are only seven games prior to the world cup and fifteen later that fall. A lot of teams are currently laying low, hoping to sign players this summer.
Just like in men’s side, players agents are as much a reality for the ladies.
– Every day I get at least three to four agents letting me know about certain players they represent.
How do you view the agent’s role within football?
– There are both positives and negatives. Agents have contributed in increasing the salaries in women’s football, which is good for the players whilst making it more expensive for clubs who get less funding thus struggling with the economy. Although another positive aspect of the agents is that when you’re pressed for time, you’re able to give them a call and get tips on players quickly.
Växjö DFF won’t participate in a bidding war Frida states.
– We aren’t interested in players who are only in it for the money.
Despite the importance of salaries, the club has made a conscious effort to prioritise organisation and facilities.
– We can offer players good training facilities, well-educated coaches and accessibility to highly competent medical staff. Apart from that we also arrange room and board, work and social events in order to create the best possible atmosphere.
Will fulltime compensation for the players be a possibility soon?
– The goal is to be able to offer compensation eventually. If we were to reach the champions league that would be a factor. If not fulltime pay at the very least enough compensation so that we will be able to schedule more morning practices. However, I’m not certain everyone would enjoy dedicating their selves to football entirely. Several players enjoy mixing their part time job with football.
As general manager Frida oversees recruiting, keeping the organisation together as well as preparing for the season together with the training staff. She describes it as a lifestyle where you live and breath football 24/7. It may seem demanding but if you’re a football enthusiast it’s sort of a dream job at the same time.
– Football is essentially a religion for me. I come from a football family and I’ve probably seen thousands of football games throughout the years.
Växjö DFF is a success story however the success on the field hasn’t been echoed in the stands. Last year the average attendance for a game were about four to five hundred people, quite a disappointment according to Frida.
– I think the team is worthy of numbers close to a thousand spectators, and I’m not saying people should feel obligated to show up and support women’s football. Rather that we play an attractive and high-quality brand of football. These are professional athlete’s worth of a bigger crowd. More people should at least show up and form an opinion of their own.
The spectators that do show up are usually able to enjoy DFF’s victories, luckily, since their general manager has deemed herself the world’s worst loser.
– Yes, I’m an incredible sore loser. Especially when it’s something I consider myself to be good at. In high school I forced a friend to play match after match in Ping-Pong until I won. We almost missed lunch that day. To be honest I think she let me win so that we could go to lunch, ha-ha.
How does this trait manifest in your role as general manager?
– sIf we lose a game, I don’t want to see anyone after the final whistle, however, since my job contains certain representative tasks, I must suck it up and thank the opposing team.