Umeå IK won seven Swedish Championship gold medals between 2000 and 2008. But last season, the team went out of the damallsvenskan for the second time in a short time.
"Of course it's really boring to leave the damallsvenskan. That's where you want to play, of course. But at the same time, I feel that we need to build a foundation to be able to stay in the damallsvenskan and make sure that is where we are, says Elvira Fjällström to SVT Sport.
Half the team replaced
She is one of the few who has chosen to stay at the club after relegation. 16 players left and 12 new ones have been added. The new team is young and consists of players who come from Sundsvall in the south to Piteå in the north.
"I've wanted it to be a regional squad as much as possible, starting over with an A-team squad that has a proximity to the area, a proximity to the club," says sporting director Jörgen Crovin.
"It must not happen again"
But the local focus is not only due to the sporting director's desire for a regional squad, but also to an economy that has been out of balance. According to Jörgen Crovin, the economy looks increasingly stable, from a negative figure of two million to a couple of tens of thousands of kronor minus. Now he wants to build a team that lasts, both game-wise and financially.
"Every year, it costs a little more to participate and dance in damallsvenskan. We did our homework last year. It must not happen again.
When do you hope Umeå IK will be back in damallsvenskan?
- When we're ready. We're going to build in a way of playing that's going to last. But we can't imagine going up when we have an economy that backs us.
SEE ALSO: After the turbulent last year – Lena Sandlin takes over as chairman of Umeå IK
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Listen to Umeå IK's new chairman, Lena Sandlin, talk about the tough journey that awaits the former champion club. Photo: SVT