Assyriska in Södertälje, Sweden
Posted: Monday, June 19, 2000 at 12:29 PM CST
The Assyrian Association in Södertälje was founded in 1971. In 1974 the association established a football team, which started its activities by playing in the "inter-company" series. In 1975 the team played in league football for the first time in Division VII.
SSuccessive promotion then took place up through the divisions. From the 1990 season, the team began to notch up a number of successes, as well as starting to support youth activities in earnest. In 1993 the team made history by its promotion to Division 1. It was the first time in the Assyrian people's history and in Sweden that an "immigrant team" had advanced so far up the league system. Assyriska FF from Södertälje had then earned its place in the history books.
There were naturally a number of factors behind Assyriska's great success. Clear goals and the ambition to achieve them, voluntary work, good harmony, and a good atmosphere, with offensive, technical football, have typified Assyriska's approach throughout this period. The massive public support over the years has naturally made a great contribution to this success.
In 1998, Assyriska are again playing in Division 1. This year the Association has an explicit goal, namely to become established at elite level. On the basis of this goal, the association has recruited several established Division 1 players.
Today, the Assyrian Association has an organized and well-functioning youth section, which carries out an extensive programme of football and social activities with integration as their primary purpose. The Association has 211 Assyrian and Swedish children aged between 7 and 17 registered as players. Among the 211 players, there will always be one or two talented players that can raise the association to international level in future. For the first time the history of our people, two of our boys born in 1980 are playing in the Swedish Junior National Team.
Each year the Association also arranges an Indoor Tournament for children and young people aged between 10 and 16. Over 70 teams (around 1200 children) from different associations take part in this 7-day competition. Moreover, the association arranges a football school each year for children from Södertälje.
However, the financial resources of the Association are limited. The Association has an annual turnover of around SEK 4 million.
Since 1990, the Association has actually made an annual loss on its activities. (In 1998 as well the Association has been obliged to budget for a loss of around SEK 500,000, this being due to the acquisition of established players by the Association).
Now that we have reached elite level after 24 years of purposeful work, and have the aim of staying at that level, we can see that we have also succeeded at the international level and represent the Assyrian people as a whole. The Association has the right prerequisites for this. Having succeeded in being promoted to Division 1 for the third time in a row after as many attempts is sufficient proof that the association has the capacity and will to belong to the elite. What is lacking is financial resources. With your support and the right effort, the Association can reach as far as it wishes.
The successes of the Assyrian team are a success for the entire Assyrian People. The team depends on your financial support.
Assyrian Association in Södertälje