On Saturday 25th July we arrived at the hotel in Ostersund and joined up with Hartlepool and Barnsley who were staying in the same hotel. Initially there was some confusion in terms of room allocation. This was soon sorted out and we then went to our allocated rooms.
We then met up for our pre-match meal before heading off to play our first game of the tournament against AIK, one of the Swedish teams. Unfortunately this resulted in a 5-2 defeat against what we considered to be a good Swedish side.
One of the key differences was their technical ability, particularly in retaining possession. We were disappointed to have played on a 3G pitch, due to heavy recent rain. We felt this did not suit our style of play, but no excuses, we were beaten by a better side despite having chances and conceding poor goals. The atmosphere on the coach on the return journey was despondent. We then had our evening food and retired to bed after a long days travel and match action.
Sunday 26th July – woke up feeling stiff after the game the previous night. However, we had to pick ourselves up quickly because we had our second game of the tournament later in the day.
We had breakfast before stretching our legs with a walk round the lake in Ostersund. We returned to the hotel for lunch and watched the video of both our recent games. This highlighted some key areas that Steve would like us to improve on. Once again we had our usual pre-match meal before making the journey to the same arena for game number two against IFK Sundsvall.
This was a game we needed to win by a few clear goals due to other results in the tournament. The team created a host of chances, not taken, but eventually took the lead with a good goal from Oliver Banks. We were unable to improve on the score despite creating further chances. We left gaps at the back and were punished with the opposition scoring 2 goals in the last 15 minutes of the game.
We lost the game 2-1 ending our chances of success in the tournament. Once again it was a very despondent coach journey back to the hotel. This result has made us even more determined to achieve a victory in our next game. Two games in two days had been physically demanding and we turned to our rooms tired and disappointed.