The season’s about to start, the FFS team is excited to get back into the stands and cheer our teams on. So what better way to ramp-up the excitement, than by looking at all of the shiny, new players at each Veikkausliiga club? Alas, it’s never as simple as that in the COVID era, as it seems there will be no fans in the ground at least until mid-May, so we’ll have to watch on TV.
We also talk about the recent announcements about Euro 2020. Is travelling allowed? Are any of the FFS team still going? And who else makes the Huuhkajat squad, now that 26 players can be selected for each country.
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.
Rich, Mark H & Keke discuss the recent Huuhkajat friendly game versus Switzerland and then put themselves in the shoes of ‘Rive’ Kanerva as they attempt to choose their final Euro 2020 squad from a list of 36 players!
The British phrase ‘written on the back of a fag packet’ seems appropriate – so get your cigarette packets ready and start choosing your team…
There’s only one place to start this episode, so we look back at the disgraceful racist behaviour towards Glen Kamara last week (let’s not give the offender or his club any more publicity here!) This show was hosted by Keke with Mark H and Rich, who also discuss the Finland National team squad that was just announced and preview the three upcoming games; Bosnia-Herzegovina, Ukraine and Switzerland.
They also talk about the recent result (singular) in the Suomen Cup and consider how the Veikkausliiga season will be affected by an upswing in COVID cases in Finland. They even find time for a quick ‘Ja sillä sipuli..‘ and to throw a little MORE shade at Mark W for moonlighting with other podcasts about Finnish football 😉
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 Suomen Cup has progressed through the groups stages, so we look back at the recent action and forward to the upcoming knockout games. We also discuss the recently released 2021 fixture list for the Finland Mens National Team, the Huuhkajat. We blow a little smoke up Keke’s a** for the interviews he’s arranged recently in our FFS In Conversation… series. And we throw a little shade at Mark W for moonlighting with other podcasts about Finnish football 😱
But there’s only one place we can start and that is by discussing the Finland Womens National Team, the Helmarit, who stormed through their qualification group for Euro 2021 (which will be hosted in the UK in 2022, of course.)
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.
We’re in the middle of the closed-season in Finland, which is why we’ve been quiet lately, but with the Suomen Cup due to restart on 1st February, we look forward to the group stage and explain the structure of the competition. We also discuss the closed-season transfers in the Veikkausliiga and for Finns overseas.
But first, we look at the recent noise created by UEFA and the recent announcements about ticket refunds for EURO 2020…
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!