Rich, Keke and Ally reconvened to tie up the 2022 Veikkausliiga season in a bow. Looking at the final games and the play offs, they celebrate the winners, commiserate with the losers and deride Lahti, again.
Next, they turn their attention to the Helmarit squad selection for the upcoming friendly against Wales and give props to retiring Helmari, Tuija Hyyrynen. They discuss VAR sabotaging David Browne’s wonder goal, a highlight of HJK’s European campaign even though it was disallowed, and finish with a look at Finns in action overseas.
Rich & Keke (enhanced by Producer Mark in post-production) discuss the upcoming Veikkausliiga play offs, as 5 teams enter an 8-match bun fight for the final Europa Conference place. They look again at the restructuring of the Finnish league in 2024, as a few more details are released and make everything clearer (erm!)
The chaps also pay a tribute to Essi Sainio, who retires from football with over 50 Helmarit caps to her name. They look at a favourable Euro 2024 qualifying draw for the Huuhkajat and start booking their flights to the qualifiers all across Europe, before finishing up with a look at recent events for Finnish players overseas.
Finland’s sixth and final Nations League game was quite something. Two days of heavy rain, topped-off by a continuing deluge during the game, was not enough to calm Montenegro’s passion. This resulted in an early-red card, several first-half substitutions and, ultimately, a two-goal victory for Finland and a nearly heroic performance from Antman (Oliver Antman, no relation!)
On Friday night, Finland were held to a frustrting 1-1 draw by Romania, in an open game in which both teams created good chances to score but, ultimately, could not score that elusive winning goal. The result leaves both teams with everything to play for in the final group games on Monday 26th October, with Finland needing to get a better result against Montenegro, than Romania achieve against Bosnia-Herzegovina. Continue reading Match Report: Finland 1-1 Romania
They say size doesn’t matter, but 1 hour 18 minutes of FFS action may just change your mind!
Mark W, Rich, Keke & Ally get together to preview the autumn 2023 Nations League games for Finland against Romania and Montenegro. They also look at teh situation in the Veikkausliiga, now it has split into the Mestaruussarja and the Haastajasarja for the final five rounds of matches.
Ally then talks through the Suomen Cup final (KuPS 1-0 Inter) and HJK Helsinki’s first two Europa League performances against Real Betis and Roma. Finally, Rich looks forward to KuPS Women who have two games against St Pölten of Austria, in order to qualify for the Champions leagus group stage.
Mark W, Keke and Rich bring you a selection of recent news from the world of Finnish football including a proposed restructuring of the Finnish league in 2024, the Womens World Cup qualifying campaign and the Suomen Cup semi-finals played this week.
We also talk in more detail about the current state of play in the Veikkausliiga, with 20 games played and ‘the split’ (into the Champions Series and the Challenger Series) about to take place. We look back at the Europa Conference campaigns of SJK, Inter and KuPS, as well as HJK’s progression (Backward progressions? Downwards qualification?) from Champions League qualifiers into the Europa League group stage.
Rich, Keke & Ally talk through some of the latest news in Finnish football, including transfers involving Finnish players, how Finnish teams are getting on in European club competition (includes a Zoom-bombing from Mark W, fresh out of SJK Seinäjoki vs Lillestrøm SK). Finally, they discuss the current situation at HIFK Helsinki, compounded by the departure of fiery goalkeepr, Beto.
Transfers involving Finnish players. Finnish teams in European club competitions. The situation at HIFK Helsinki as Beto departs.
As the Helmarit exit the Euros at the group stage, the FFS team reconvenes to look at the performances in the three group games. Rich, Keke & Ally give their perspectives from the stands at Stadium MK, where Finland lost to Spain (1-4), Denmark (0-1) and Germany (0-3), but provided hope for the future – possibly a future in which they are led by a new manager 🤔
Keke had the opportunity to attend the Helmarit Media Day during the Women’s Euro 2022. Never one to miss a chance of mingling with his heroes, Keke headed out to deepest Buckinghamshire (not far from Stadium MK where Finland play their 3 games in the Euros).
In this episode, you will hear Keke speaking with three Helmarit, Linda Sällström, Jenny Danielsson and Eveliina Summanen, on the day after Finland were beaten 1-0 by Denmark, ending their chances of qualifying from Group B.
In this special episode ahead of the 2022 Women’s Euros beginning this week in England, Rich spoke with author Johanna Ruohonen about her new book Naisten Laji, the origins of women’s football in Finland and Europe and how things have changed – and where inequality still remains. Finland play their three group games in Milton Keynes, where Rich and Keke will be supporting the Helmarit in the matches against Spain, Denmark and Germany.
Johanna describes how the book came about, speaking with female players past and present, hopes for the future and how the Helmarit and Kansallinen Liiga can provide positive role models for the next generation of women’s footballers and coaches in Finland.