Danish journalist, Michael Christiansen, reached out to the FFS team asking for the Finnish perspective on the incident when Christian Eriksen collapsed during the Denmark-Finland game.
Mark H, Rich, Keke & Mark W take a moment to ask Michael about the previous day’s result; England 2-1 Denmark. They then get down to business and talk about how the incident was reported in Denmark, Finland and the UK. How Finnish fans are viewed in Denmark. How each country’s performance at Euro 2020 has been received. And how does the future look for both the Finnish and Danish national teams.
In this episode, we are joined by a very special guest, Joni Kauko, fresh from Euro 2020. A Veikkausliiga winner who also has Suomen Cup and Liiga Cup winners medals in his collection. A combative attacking midfielder who has been a regular Huuhkajat squad member for the past few years.
Joni tells us about his club career that has taken him from Finland to India, via Germany and Denmark. He talks about his international career that started a decade ago with a pre-Rivelution Markku Kanerva as his manager. He also explains about his fascination with Marvel movies, socks and video game.
Mark H joins Keke for this episode of In Conversation, on this occasion with Brighton & Hove Albion and Helmarit defender, Emma Koivisto. Emma talks them through her career that has seen her play in Finland, the USA, Sweden and now the UK, collecting so many championship winners medals along the way, that she may soon need a bigger trophy cabinet. She also tells Mark & Keke about her progression to being a regular for the Finland international team and her experience qualifying for, and ambitions of competing in, the Euro 2021 Finals.
Mark W joins Keke for this episode of In Conversation, on this occasion with Pink Bari and Helmarit goalkeeper, Paula Myllyoja. This interview ran so long, that we made two episodes. In the first, Paula talks us through her international career to-date and her hopes for Euro 2021. In the second, we talk about her club career and her battle against her biggest “injury” – leukemia and a brain haemorrhage – an incredible story!
Episode 1 – Paula & the Helmarit
Episode 2 – Paula’s Club Career & Return From “Injury”
The Finnish Football’s Show’s intrepid interviewer, Keke, was flying solo again for this interview, with Finland and Chievo Verona defender, Sauli Väisänen. Keke took one of his customary trips with a player through their career, and Sauli was good value, sharing stories about:
His varied youth career around Helsinki.
Moving to the Allsvenskan in Sweden at an early age and ALMOST playing with Eero Markkanen.
His views on Finnish players moving overseas at a young age.
Making a big move to Serie A in Italy and how he kept active under the first, strict lockdown in Italy.
Making his international debut away to Iceland and, later, playing for Finland alongside his brother, Leo.
How he still gets chills when he thinks about THAT NIGHT in Helsinki, when Finland qualified for Euro 2020. And taking inspiration from Greece winning Euro 2004
His appreciation for the support from the Huuhkajat fans over the years, through good times and bad.
Our guest for this episode, inspired the entire FFS team to turn up for a five-way Zoom. Current Bayer Leverkusen and Finland goalkeeper, Lukáš Hrádecký, spoke to us for an hour about, well, his entire career. A career that started at TPS Turku and took him to Denmark and then Germany. Lukáš explains the perils of hearing a room with Teemu Pukki and why he turned down Manchester United.
We learn what situations give him ‘brown underpants’ and his perspective of his 3rd minute red card and following ‘walk of shame’. He also explains the camaraderie among the national team, created by a club-style atmosphere in the dressing room. He also gets his Huuhkaja mask out – no, that’s not a euphemism!
[Show Notes] Keke flies solo on this episode and speaks with Jussi from the Armada Turku ultra group. Jussi tells Keke about the different supporter groups following Inter Turku, the rivalry with ‘the other Turku club’ and dealing with heavy-handed security. He explains how they design and create their eye-catching Tifos and how it helps attract new, younger fans, both to Inter Turku and Finnish football in general. They also discuss following the Finland National team, the Huuhkajat, which is Keke’s ‘club side’ nowadays and those all-important Away Days, travelling to support their teams.
[Show Notes] Keke & Mark W are joined by another legend of Finnish football, former international goalkeeper, Antti Niemi. He explains why he loves both Glenn Kamara and the city of Edinburgh equally. He exposes Sami Hyyppiä as a bad loser and explains his FA Cup final gamble. He also outlines why Markku Kanerva is the new Roy Hodgson. Finally, he discusses his new venture, marketing and selling the ‘Sport Shot 0.03’ made from Finnish beetroot juice.
[Show Notes] Keke & Mark W are joined by a legend of Finnish football, Aki Riihilahti. Aki takes us back down memory lane for a fascinating conversation about his playing career at HJK Helsinki and Crystal Palace, as well as behind-the-scenes in his current role as CEO at HJK.
Learn how Aki once broke Keke’s heart 💔 (and that he’s not sorry about it), how his work with the European Clubs Association gives him so much satisfaction and why he’s added ‘Toilet Paper Delivery Driver’ to his CV.