There will be few surprises in store for Chelsea Ladies duo Ramona Bachmann and Hedvig Lindahl ahead of their return to former club Rosengard in the Women’s Champions League.
The Blues take a 3-0 advantage into the second leg of the last-16 tie, which kicks off at 5.30pm UK time tomorrow (Wednesday) and will be shown live on Chelsea TV and our YouTube channel. Bachmann was among the goalscorers in the opening match at Kingsmeadow and the Swiss international spent eight of her formative years as a footballer in Sweden, four of which were with Rosengard, and it will be a strange experience for her to go back to the club.
‘I look forward to it and it’s going to be emotional, because it feels a bit like going home,’ she said. ‘I had four really, really good years there. I didn’t leave the club because I didn’t like it, it was just to have some new experiences. So I’m really looking forward to going back.’
Even so, winning will be the only thing on her mind when the match kicks off.
‘The first leg was better than I expected; I know they are a good team and it’s not easy to beat them, but our performance was really good and really deserved,’ she declared.
‘It’s really important to keep focusing on getting an away goal, because that will make it very tough for Rosengard. This Chelsea team right now is really, really good. It’s similar to Wolfsburg, I think, and the facilities we have here are better than there. We’ve got everything to succeed here.
‘We have all said we want to go very far in this competition. We are all confident we have the quality to win it and that’s what we’re going for.’
Lindahl’s history with the club isn’t quite as recent as Bachmann’s, with Sweden’s most capped goalkeeper having played for them under the previous guise of Malmo in the early-2000s.
‘I was there for three seasons between 2001 and ’03,’ she recalls. ‘The objective was always to win, but we never managed to do it in those three years. In one season I think we went through the whole season without losing a single game, but still we didn’t win.
‘It was the years when Umea was really strong and possibly Djurgarden/Alvsjo also. We were always near the top and the standard was set very high.’
Her time there proved to be an important part of her development, as she worked with two influential figures in Swedish women’s football.
‘Elisabeth Leidinge was the goalkeeper coach and we had worked together for years in the youth national team,’ said Lindahl. ‘She liked me and said, “I know Malmo is interested if you want to come and visit and see how you feel.”
‘I was able to train with her more and more by going to that club, so I did. I was also able to train with Caroline Jonsson, who was the national team’s goalkeeper at that time and six years older than me, so I could learn from her. It was very interesting.’
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