Eager Swedes line up for American football tryouts

5:13 min

Halfway through the American football league, the NFL, the much less famous Swedish American football league is already preparing for its next season. Last week the team Stockholm Mean Machines arranged open tryouts for curious athletes. 

About 20 guys gathered in a basement meeting room in downtown Stockholm for a brief introduction to American football last Friday. After the introduction they got to try the sport themselves, and see if they had what it takes to join an American football team.

The full-contact sport is still in its infancy in Sweden but has grown since it first came here in the 1970's. The first game was played between two rival high schools in Stockholm, and one of these schools later founded the first official team, the Stockholm Mean Machines. 

Gustaf Taube, president of the Stockholm Mean Machines, says that the sport has seen an increase in both players and attendance figures in recent years.

"A lot of things are happening in Swedish American football these days. A lot of kids have started playing and I think that we will see a boom soon ," Taube says. 

But despite the increased interest it is still difficult to find sponsors to back the game, Taube says. This is something that he hopes will change.

"It's the teams' responsibility to increase the quality of the games, and once we do that sponsoring will hopefuly follow ," he says.