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.
The summer of Finnish football continues apace, so Mark W, Rich & Keke got together to bring you an update on the Veikkausliiga season, now at the halfway stage. We also previewed the Women’s Euro 2022 competition, as Finland prepares to take on Spain, Denmark and Germany.
The Suomen Cup is now at the quarter final stage, so we look back at the 6th round and preview the quarter finals – the results are in the blog post, so you can see how accurate we were! Finally, we look forward to next week’s UEFA club competitons, which see HJK, KuPS, Inter and SJK in actionnns overseas, many successes and just a few disappointments.
In this episode, Keke, Rich and Mark W are joined by Huuhkajat star, Robert Ivanov. A Finland international player who has recently cemented himself into the Huuhkajat starting 11, was a member of the Euro 2020 squad and who looks certain will be commanding the Finnish defence for years to come.
Roba tells us how it felt to grow up and progress through the Finnish league system, from an 18-year-old ‘bambi’ at PK-35 to FC Myllypuro to FC Vikingit ‘to play with my friends’ and into the Veikkausliiga with FC Honka. He talks about his dream of playing for Arsenal and his move to Warta Poznan, in Poland, and explains that his transfer may not have been quite as expensive as Keke thought!
Finally, Robert talks about his international career, the joy of being selected in the Euro 2020 squad and the ‘changing of teh guard’ in the Finland defence since the Euros.
Nations League. Helsinki, Bucharest, Zenica – 4-14th June 2022
The domestic football season in Finland now pauses for three weeks, as the men’s national team, the Huuhkajat takes centre stage. The third edition of the Nations League is about to start, with a breath-taking schedule of four games in ten days.
The FFS team was at full-strength again for this episode, which is handy as Mark W, Rich, Keke & Mark H had a very full agenda to get through – and that was before Keke invented the new ‘extra time’ segment 🤦🏻♂️
Once again, we have a broad update from across various aspects of football, Finland-style: we start with a Veikkausliiga update and further discussion of SJK Seinäjoki’s woes. We look a few weeks ahead to the four upcoming Nations League games and herald the Finn who’s participating in the Champions League Final.
There’s also a Suomen Cup update, pausing to laugh at Ilves losing to their reserves and to celebrate the smaller sides still in the fifth round. And we finish up by looking at the achievements of the Finns overseas, many successes and just a few disappointments.