AIK's men's and women's sides started the football season together, training at the Skytteholms IP in front of 2000 passionate supporters.

The Swedish side's fans came out in numbers and put on a display that would normally be befitting of an important rivalry or top of the table clash as flares and fireworks were lit up across the stadium.

The Allsvenskan runs differently to normal European competitions, with 30 games played beginning in April and finishing in November.

AIK are the defending champions, losing only one game last season, with this being the first open-training session the side has held since their championship success.

Coach Rikard Norling told Swedish news site Sport Bladet: "First of all I want to say that this means a lot to us. I felt that when I went here it is like going to a match, you know what is coming and so it is just as you expect it is a tradition we have created together."

This is the second consecutive year that the Swedish champions have held an open training session to begin the footballing year with both men's and women's teams presented to the supporters.

Former Arsenal player Sebastian Larsson experience the atmosphere for the first time since his move from Hull City. 

Larsson, speaking to Sport Bladet said: "I have never experienced anything liked this."

"Getting out here in a cold January night with such a reception with fireworks, fans and singing. It shows the strength of our fans, how much they can give us."

The Allsvenskan does not kick off until April however, AIK begin their pre-season later this month against Swedish third division side Vasalunds IF. 

 

 

 

© FTBL