Ground: Heleneholms Idrottsplats
Date: 14th September 2013
Match: Prespa Birlik - Nike 3-1 (Division 2 Södra Götaland)
Prespa Birlik are playing the 2016 season at Malmö Stadion
Three weeks ago I visited Lindsdals IP for the "E22-derby" between Lindsdal and Oskarshamn. That meant I only had one ground left to visit in Division 2 Södra Götaland, the most southern of the six Division 2 leagues in Sweden. Heleneholms IP, the home of Prespa Birlik, is situated quite close (around 1 km) to Malmö Stadion and I knew I would not have any problems finding the way. At first I wanted to visit Heleneholms IP two weeks ago for Prespa Birlik vs Rosengård. For safety reasons that match was moved to Malmö IP though. Prespa Birlik finished second in Division 3 Södra Götaland last year and this is their first ever season in Division 2. They still have an outside chance of getting promotion but need luck with other results. Today´s visitors, Nike, are battling to avoid relegation and for them every point is important. Weather forecasts suggested this Saturday was the last day before autumn arrived in southern Sweden. As I parked my car outside Heleneholms IP it was certainly a warm day for being in mid-September. After taking a few pictures I waited for my old friend Joakim who I hadn´t seen for quite some time. He is not exactly a football fanatic but lives close to the ground and brought his son (with friend) to the match. It was nice to do some catching up!
Prespa Birlik started the match really well and after some good moves they went 1-0 up in the 25th minute. Seven minutes later it was 2-0 to the home team and it looked like they were going to win this match easily. Shortly before half-time Prespa Birlik scored an own-goal though, a comical error meant a clearance from the goal-keeper hit a defender and went into the net. 2-1 at half-time. I hadn´t eaten since breakfast and was very pleased to find out they were serving cevapcici at Helenholms IP. Having been to former Yugoslavia, where cevapcici was a national dish, many times as a child I was no stranger to this food. Served with peperoncini and salad I have to give the food at Heleneholms IP top grades! In the second half Prespa Birlik continued to create chances but it wasn´t until the 73rd minute they scored again. Despite heavy domination by Prespa Birlik there were no more goals at Heleneholms IP and the match finished 3-1 to the home team. As I left Malmö this sunny Saturday I could look back on completing yet another league in Sweden. Next year Division 2 will be expanded from 12 to 14 teams meaning more grounds at this level for me to visit.
Entrance to Heleneholms IP
A closer look at the North Stand
Players and officials getting ready
View of Heleneholms IP
View of play
South Stand with Heleneholmsverket in the background