Hammers Pre-season Tour - About Our Opposition

The Club will play three matches on their pre-season tour to Sweden ­ v Umea FC in Umea on Tuesday 13th July; v GIF Sundsvall in Solleftea on Thursday 15th July and v Friska Viljor on Monday 19th July. All games kick-off at 7.00pm local time. And now you can read some information about the opposition.

Umeå FC

The club was formed in 1987 and only nine years later made their debut in the Premier League. Unfortunately, this level of football though seemed too high for the club. Since then they have been changing division from the First to the Second almost every other season. At this moment they are second in the Second Division and general opinion is that the quality of the squad should win them promotion to the First Division. The team is coached by Anders Svensson and Umeå FC 'legend' Steve Galloway. Look out for strikers Magnus Fagerqvist and Mikael Dahlberg.

GIF Sundsvall

The club was formed in 1903 and  since 1965 have been a part of the Swedish elite playing in the Premier League or the First Division. The team, coached by Rickard Norling and Patrik Walker, is currently in sixth place in the Premier League. The squad is filled with quality players, but keep an eye on goalkeeper Fredrik Sundfors who has been knocking on the door to the national team, defender Fredric Lundquist who has played five games for Sweden, defender Öyvind Svenning striker Andreas Hermansson and midfielder Joel Cedergren. GIF Sundsvall is a hard working team, very difficult to beat especially at there home ground, something they really showed at the last game before the Euro 2004 break when they defeated the League leaders Halmstad BK, with the only goal of the match.

Friska Viljor FC

The club was formed as late as 1994 and are, of course, the youngest in the Swedish First Division. They started life in the Sixth Division but in four years had won promotion to the Second Division and then last year took everybody by surprise by winning the Second Division title and now for the first time are now in the First Division. However, as many experts thought, Friska Viljor have had problems in the first half of the season and they are now struggling at the bottom of the table.
The coach, Jan Westerlund, is  very popular in the hometown of the club, Örnsköldsvik. Players to watch are midfielder Zaman Safari and striker Petter Jacobsson.