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In November, the mood was still very good in Sweden, where goalkeeper Loes Geurts and her team Gothenburg FC became national champion, but this morning, the Dutch national team suddenly got some very bad news: the club is pulling the plug. Next year, Gothenburg will no longer play at the highest level of Swedish women's football.
"I am quite shocked of course", replies Geurts from Sweden. She and her teammates are immediately transfer free and can look for a new club.
"We got it this morning at ten o'clock in a phone meeting. An hour later it was brought out. It's been a hectic morning and I haven't had time to let it sink."
For Geurts the news really came like thunder. "Suddenly you're just out of a club, totally unexpected. We even recruited a new player a few weeks ago. Then it doesn't look like you're going to quit. Apparently the decision was already made on December 17, after our duel in the Champions League. Everyone is very surprised, in shock, angry, sad, you name all the emotions..."
Göteborg FC has been active in the prestigious tournament for the past two years. Two weeks ago the team was eliminated by Manchester City in the first round of the Champions League.
According to the club's president, Gothenburg, which consists only of a women's team and two youth teams, cannot compete with teams associated with professional clubs. As, for example, in the Dutch premier league, this is the case with most clubs and also with the multiple winner of the Champions League, Olympique Lyonnais. Nice examples for Gothenburg, but unfortunately no reality and that is why the chairman now throws in the towel.
"He thinks it's time we were taken over by a men's club, as it is in many places in Europe. I certainly agree with that thought," says Geurts. "It's time for change, especially here in Sweden. Women's football continues to grow, but in Sweden it lags behind a bit."
"But the result now is that we are all on the street, and that there is no solution at all. I am angry about that. It is hoped that we will be picked up, that we will be rescued by a team. But I don't think that's concrete enough to make this decision all of a sudden", says 34-year-old Geurts, who still had a contract for a season with the Swedish club.
Geurts, who has 125 interlands behind her name, was on the side with a concussion for a long time, but the last matches she sat on the bench again. The goalkeeper is fit and has, or had, a lot of appetite for the new season at Gothenburg. The big question now is what that season will look like for her.
"Everything's going through your head. Shall I look for another club? Will other clubs come to me? Or will we be picked up by a club and in a couple of weeks there will be nothing more going on? I have a lot of questions, but for now I'll let it sink in."