Palace take on FC Helsingør on Thursday night, but what do you need to know about our first Danish opponent since 1914?
- In 2005, a new club was formed as a “Helsingør United” team - a conglomerate of 11 clubs in Helsingør and six other clubs in northern Zealand (a Danish island) – and was named Elite 3000. In 2008, the club rebranded as FC Helsingør (FCH).
- The coach is Christian Lønstrup who joined the club in 2013, but back in his playing days he was an important part of the FC Copenhagen team who won Superliga title in 2000/01. That side was managed by Roy Hodgson. It was FC Copenhagen’s first title in a decade, ushering in a massively successful following decade for the club. No wonder Roy is revered in Scandinavia.
- Since Lønstrup took charge, FCH has been promoted from the second division to the first, then to the Superliga, and back down to the first division – where it will play this season, which begins on 29 July.
- FCH’s current stadium is one of the oldest in the Danish divisions, and holds 5,500. The quality of the pitch has become renowned, despite the lack of under soil heating, because of the “magic of the sea air” (according to a member of the club ground staff). Despite its limited facilities, it has become a core base for the Danish national team, who trained there before the World Cup.
- But the club is building a new stadium, scheduled for completion in 2019, which will hold 10,000 spectators - 8,000 of which will be standing.
- “Safe standing” is the norm in the Superliga and other Danish divisions for domestic matches.
- FC Helsingør is known as a good club for players to kickstart their careers, either after being cut from youth teams on bigger teams, or after having played in the lower leagues. Credit must go to their scouts, as the side has sold seven players to higher placed clubs in Denmark in the last year and a half.
- Last season in the Superliga, they won eight matches out of 36, but the victories where achieved against seven different teams, one of which were the later Danish champions FC Midtjylland – a side that featured Alexander Sørloth.
- FC Helsingør was the first Superliga team in over a decade to feature players who were part time professionals. One player, goalkeeper Adrian Kappenberger, played as an amateur (he was a student outside of his football).
- Helsingør is on the eastern coast of Denmark about 30 miles from Copenhagen, and just seven miles away from Helsingborg on the west coast of Sweden. The name derives from the word “hals” meaning "narrow strait", referring to the narrowest point of the Øresund which separates the two cities. The city’s population is just over 60,000, and its most notable landmark is the Kronborg Castle which was apparently William Shakespeare’s inspiration for the castle in Macbeth and is now a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Tickets are still available to buy for Thursday evening’s match – click here.
The game is being streamed exclusively live here on eagles.cpfc.co.uk (for desktop users) or on the official Palace app (iOS or Android) from 17:00 BST. Fans are encouraged to sign up for a free Palace account beforehand.