Gothia Cup Diary: Day One
Grab a Swedish dictionary, trawl through to the letter ‘Z ‘and after running your finger down the page, you will find “zlatanera.” The literal definition is “to Zlatan”, named aptly after the Scandinavian country’s poster boy, Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Figuratively it means “to dominate” and having been accepted for entry by the Swedish Language Council six years ago, you’d be forgiven for thinking the PLAYR Academy were well versed in Svenska.
A 14-0 victory against Tunisian team Villa Park not only encapsulates everything ‘zlatanera’ stands for, but it also got the Sean Conlon’s side’s Gothia Cup campaign off to a phenomenal start. Amassing a haul that the Swede himself would be proud of, Luke Plange walked off Ruddalen 1 having found the back of the net seven times, while two goals each from Arkell Jude Boyd and Frankie Church only increased the encounter’s resemblance to a cricket score.
Considering our squad had just six weeks to prepare, Conlon will no doubt be pleased with the PLAYR Academy’s tournament debut. With just over 24 hours between each game, players will be looking to use our technology to efficiently recover and then prepare for a clash against Swedish side Rödeby AIF.
The good news didn’t stop there either as after a 10-hour flight and 4,300 miles, the Kenyan side we’re sponsoring, RYSA Marafiki, recovered from an earlier 5-0 loss at the hands of Phoenix FC to draw 2-2 with Swedish side BK Hacken. A further seven teams trialled our technology on the opening day of the competition, and away from the plethora of pitches in Heden, a number of players, coaches and sides visited our PLAYR stall to see for themselves what PLAYR can do for their game.
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