Gothia Cup Diary: Day Two

For 359 days in the year, Gothenburg is famous for fresh seafood, interior furnishing and being the home of car manufacturer Volvo. However, during just a few days in July, the second-largest city in Sweden plays host to a melting pot of nationalities and age groups in celebration of one thing: football.

If the 20ft inflatable arch of footballs towering over arrival gates at Göteborg Landvetter Airport doesn’t accentuate the importance of this tournament to Gothenburg, nor the array of bunting and advertisement adorning streetlights and public transport, then it’s the acres of grass stretching throughout the central suburb of Heden which truly emphasises what the sport means to the city, and for just six days, to teams from 80 competing nations.

It’s here on Åkeredsvallen 2, a pitch about a 10-minute walk from the tournament’s headquarters, where the PLAYR Academy secured their place in the knockout phases of the competition thanks to a comfortable 2-0 victory against a side who didn’t have too far to travel, Swedish outfit Rödeby AIF. Arkell Jude Boyd gave us the lead with a composed finish on the 26th minute, before Luke Plange registered his eighth goal in just two games prior to the break by beating goalkeeper Alfred Åkesson from the spot. An entertaining second half followed, and despite chances for both teams, manager Sean Conlon was clearly pleased that his side had qualified with a game to spare when the final whistle went.

Often used as a reference point for players to navigate around the plethora of pitches, the looming pole flags representing each country with a team competing at the Gothia Cup is a stone’s throw away from our PLAYR booth. Proving to be a popular attraction with over 50 squads trialling our technology, word soon spread about what a combination of GPS tracking and sports science can do for performance. On hand to deal with a number of questions from players, coaches and teams, later in the evening PLAYR then spoke with international media outlets about all things football.

Much like the previous 24 hours which can be read about here, our second day at the Gothia Cup proved to be full of excitement.

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