TOUR NEWS & FEATURES

06/07/2013 10:46, Report by Mark Froggatt
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Swedish Red relishes game

ManUtd.com recently spoke to Kent Yxell, an official member of the Scandinavian Manchester United Supporters Branch, to gauge his excitement ahead of this summer’s pre-season friendly with AIK Futboll - the final match of Tour 2013 presented by Aon...

What was the reaction among United fans in Sweden when the Stockholm match was announced?
Most are very happy to have the chance to see United in Sweden again. The match also gives us an opportunity to meet up with fellow Reds who we'd normally only see in Manchester. It will also be the first time I'll visit the new national stadium - and it's brilliant that it’s for a United match.

Are you hoping United’s trips to Sweden become an annual event?
Why not? Sweden is great in the summer. Well, if you ignore the price of beer, the travelling Mancunians won't be happy about that. But on the other hand Manchester isn't far away and a competitive match is of course more appealing.

Did you attend the game in Gothenburg last summer?
I was at the match but I hardly saw it. They had put up a temporary stand behind the goal and the construction was terrible, the people in front blocked a decent part of the pitch. Even my friend who is ridiculously tall couldn't see all of the pitch - so that put a dampener on the mood, even after a very good day leading up to the match. But for a pre-season game it was a good one with some nice passing, a high tempo and chances at both ends, not to mention a missed penalty.

Will visiting United fans enjoy Stockholm?
Visiting fans will like Stockholm. There are lots of things to do with many restaurants, pubs and clubs. Stockholm is built on 14 islands and you are never far away from water. And the water is clean. You can even take a swim in the middle of town.

What is your opinion of the Friends Arena?
Up until recently AIK played their home games at the former Swedish national arena Råsunda, a stadium much loved by the supporters. But it was torn down and the team moved to the newly built Friends Arena, which is big and modern and the fans are still struggling to make it feel like home. There have been complaints about the acoustics, but AIK fans have said it is possible to create a great atmosphere and high sound levels inside.

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