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Ground: Palovallen

Visits: 1

Date: 31st July 2021

Match: Parkalompolo - Pålänge  1-3  (Division 5 Norra Norrbotten)

Attendance: 60

In mid-June I looked at options for late July and August. With the uncertainty regarding trips abroad I decided to book a trip to the very north of Sweden. Lombia IP in Kiruna is the northernmost ground in Sweden and on Sunday 1 August Kiruna FF were hosting Norsjö in Division 3 Norra Norrland. To my delight I then noticed I could combine that game with Parkalompolo v Pålänge in Division 5 Norra Norrbotten. Parkalompolo is situated 2 hours east of Kiruna and about 180 km north of the Arctic Circle. Palovallen in Parkalompolo is the northernmost “ground” in Sweden with a grass pitch and in recent years there have been only 2-3 games a year at Palovallen. Two of the biggest trophies in Swedish groundhopping could be captured the same weekend and even though flights were quite expensive I didn´t hesitate in booking this trip.

On Friday morning I went by car to Malmö airport and via Stockholm I arrived in Luleå around 13.40 I was staying for two nights in Tärendö, where my friend Leif nowadays lives. Leif had organized a car bringing players, living in Luleå but playing for Ohtana/Pajala, to pick me up as they were heading to Pajala on Friday afternoon. 16.40 I was inside a car and three hours later I was finally in Tärendö. On the way we stopped at Jockfall, a popular spot for salmon fishing in Kalix älv. From Tärendö it was then another 100 km until we could reach Parkalompolo. Leif was to referee the match at Palovallen meaning I could go with him and the other referees to the game. The referees today are aged 55, 62 and 71 btw. On the way to Parkalompolo we had to stop several times as reindeers were blocking the road. Exotic for me but a daily routine in this part of the world.

Nowadays the population in Parkalompolo is only around 50 but there are plenty of cottages and during weekends and holidays the population is considerably higher. Most of the players in Parkalompolo lives in Kiruna and go by mini bus to home games. The changing rooms at the ground are not in use anymore and players and officials have to change in the clubhouse, situated in the former school around 1 km from Palovallen. A few years ago there was a TV-documentary about Parkalompolo and their 85-year old manager Börje Andersson-Junkka. That resulted in Börje being invited ot Fotbollsgalan (the annual Swedish Football award gala) and he held a speech that never ended. Since that day Börje is quite famous in football circles in Sweden. Palovallen is just north of Parkalompolo and the ground is actually beyond the point where the public road networks ends. I estimated around 60 spectators had turned up at Palovallen this afternoon. To reach Palovallen Pålänge had to travel 250 km and for level 7 that is quite far. Even though Parkalompolo took the lead in the first half Pålänge were by far the better team and deservedly won 3-1. After the match players, officials and visiting groundhoppers were offered sandwiches in the clubhouse. I also purchased a “Starka Parka” shirt from Börje and that is truly a unique football related shirt!


Jockfall (Kalix älv)


Reindeer blocking our way


Welcome to Parkalompolo




Pennants and team photos


The end of public road



Palovallen1.JPG'Palovallen - Sweden´s northernmost grass pitch'


Reindeers on their way to football


Börje with a "Starka Parka" shirt


Home dug-out


The pitch


East side




West side


Börje coaching


North End


East side


East side


East side


View of play


South End


South End




View of play


Sandwiches - on offer after the match