Eleven months ago, I introduced a small Swedish club to my fellow readers, as an inspiration for native and national football in Turkey. Their story and development in a short period of time was so fascinating that I argued that Turkish teams should follow the steps of this team, which was founded by Kurdish immigrants in Dalarna.
Now, after almost a year I checked whether I did the right thing or not, and if Dalkurd is still improving. Even though last year they missed being promoted to the first league of Sweden by just one point, they climbed to the second spot of Superettan, the second division, by beating the former second placer, and last year's first division team, Helsingborg. As a result, despite their halt in the second division for another year, they are still doing a great job with their limited budget.
For those who do not know, Dalkurd FF is a football club which was founded in 2004 by Kurdish immigrants in the small Swedish town of Dalarna. Their market value is 3.5 million euros and their annual budget is 300,000 euros, which are laughably low numbers for a team which aims for the top of Swedish and European football. Still, they were able to promote every year in the first six years of the club, and after five years of halt in the third division, last year they played in the second division and missed the Allsvenskan, the top division in Swedish football by just one point. They play their games in the small Domnarsvallen, which has a 6,500-person-capacity.
However, as I noted in my piece 11 months ago, their success comes from the fact that they invested in the youth of Dalarna and worked more or less with the same squad with same principles over the years. Unlike Turkish second division teams, who directly fire all of their organization in the club when they are promoted and try to copycat first division teams, Dalkurd always maintained their character.
As a result, the team I watched this Sunday against Helsingborg was much better than the team I watched 11 months ago. Now, added to their characteristics, Dalkurd also play a high-quality game in which players cooperate with each other with great efficiency. Although they were pressed intensely by their opponent for 20 minutes at the beginning of the game, they maintained their calmness and then delivered the crucial blow by swift counter-attacks.
Of course, despite the high-quality collective action, sometimes the individual deficiencies distort the natural flow of Dalkurd's game. The easy way to solve this is to find new talented playmakers that can help Rawez Lawan, the maestro of the team to organize attacks. Nevertheless, I believe with an even more precise and concrete attacking plan, Dalkurd can cover the individual deficiencies of their forward players, namely Richard Yarsuvat and Heradi Rashidi. If they can manage to solve this problem, regardless of the solution they opt for, I see no problems which can prevent Dalkurd to reach to the first spot and be promoted to Allsvenskan.
Now, Turkish teams should ask themselves what prevents them from writing such a success story of their own. For the meantime, Başakşehirspor, the second-place finisher in the Turkish Super League have a very similar story with Dalkurd. Invest in youth, plan for the long-term and have a decent budget policy, then you are golden for Turkish football.