The 2022 season of the Swedish Damallsvenskan will be like no other before. For the first time, 14 teams will compete for the title. It is also a premiere that all of their games will be broadcasted by the Scandinavian streaming company Viaplay. In addition, Swedish channel TV6 will televise two games per round.
The groundbreaking broadcasting deal runs until 2026. It aims to promote the women’s top flight far beyond Sweden and attract a larger audience. Here is all you need to know before the 2022 season of the Damallsvenskan kicks off on March 26th.
FC Rosengård: Damallsvenskan title defendersEmbed from Getty Images
The reigning champions of Sweden are certainly a favourite in the fight for the title. The Malmö side scored a total of 54 goals throughout the season of 2021, which was the highest amount of all teams.
During the summer and winter transfer windows, however, Rosengård lost many important players and their former coach Jonas Eidevall. Those who remained with the club stepped up impressively, such as top-goal scorer Olivia Schough. The Swedish international scored 12 goals and provided three assists.
Eidevall’s successor Renee Slegers now relies on a mix of more experienced and young players. One of them is 18-year-old defensive talent Athinna Persson Lundgren. She extended her contract with Rosengård for two more years in the winter.
Another notable signing is German defender Rebecca Knaak — she will bolster the club‘s back-line. Having made 182 appearances in the Frauen-Bundesliga, she brings valuable experience from games against many tough opponents.
The Malmö side had a good start to 2022, winning two of their three pre-season games by 3-1 and 3-0. Rosengård conceded only two goals, of which one sealed their only defeat.
In addition, they reached the final of the Swedish league cup by beating Eskilstuna United 1-0. There, Rosengård will meet their biggest league rival: BK Häcken.
BK Häcken: Damallsvenskan 2021 runners-upEmbed from Getty Images
The team, formerly known as Koppparbergs/Göteborg FC, looks back on the 2021 season as the first one under their new club membership. Another change happened in November when Robert Vilahamn was appointed as the new head coach.
Despite the re-organisation, BK Häcken finished the previous season in second place. However, they will want to recapture the league title.
Stina Blackstenius played a vital part in securing the club a Champions League spot. Her impressive tally of 17 goals also made the Swedish striker the league‘s top scorer in 2021. As Blackstenius signed for Arsenal in January, her impact will be deeply missed at Häcken.
However, the Gothenburg side does not lack offensive powers. Danish summer signings Stine Larsen and Mille Gejl Jensen, as well as Swedish international Johanna Rytting Kaneryd made it to the scoresheet several times before the start of the new season.
Also, Häcken‘s winter transfer window meant business. With Josefine Rybrink, they signed a promising defender. She already made four appearances for the Swedish national team. The arrival of Norwegian Andrine Stolsmo Hegerberg will strengthen the club’s midfield.
Häcken is approaching the 2022 season with great confidence. They won all three of their pre-season games, in which they scored 10 goals, while conceding only three times.
Kristianstads DFF: The Damallsvenksan surprise team?
The race for the third Champions League spot was a particularly close one. At the end of the previous season, Eskilstuna United and Kristianstads DFF both had 35 points. Ultimately, the latter team prevailed with an advantage on goal difference.
The club takes on the challenge in the European competition with a broad squad. Many of the first team players extended their contracts before the start of the 2022 season.
In addition, Kristianstad signed no fewer than two Olympic gold medalists. Canadian internationals Evelyne Viens and Gabby Carle will join the club this year.
While both strengthen the club’s offense and backline, the signing of Sheila van den Bulk is a huge boost for Kristianstads midfield. The Dutch arrives from league rival Djurgården, whom she left after 93 appearances. She brings a lot of domestic and international experience.
With their squad, Kristianstad can certainly pose a threat to the likes of Rosengård and Häcken.
Eskilstuna United: A third place in Damallsvenkan & UWCL spot is the goal
In the middle of the 2021 Damallsvenskan table, several clubs established themselves. Eskilstuna narrowly missed out on a UWCL spot. They will try to reach it this year instead.
Their top goal scorer Felicia Rogic netted ten times in 2021. She will also play an important role in the upcoming season.
To secure more clean sheets in 2022, Kristianstad signed two goalkeepers. It remains to be seen whether Serbian international Milica Kostić or Katlynn Fraine will be the first choice between the posts.
Vittjsö GIK: No more mediocre results
Vittsjö GIK are a promising team with a mix of experienced players and internationals. After several years in the middle of the Damallsvenskan table, they are certainly hungry for better results.
The return of Finnish striker Linda Sällström sparked great euphoria among the club‘s supporters. With offensive talent Jutta Rantala, another Finnish international joins Vittsjö for the 2022 season. The new signings both made it to the scoresheet during pre-season among others, such as Swedish striker Clara Markstedt.
Vittsjös strong offensive will be a challenge for other team‘s defenders, as the club aims to raise from the middle of the table.
To be continued…
These teams are not the only ones to have signed many exciting players. Other squads have the potential to play a role in the title race in 2022. They are introduced in the second part of HerFootballHub’s big Damallsvenskan preview.