[Podcast] Finnish Football Show: Veikkausliiga Finale, Helmarit Squad, Tuija Hyyrynen Retires, HJK in Europe, Finns Overseas

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.

Continue reading “[Podcast] Finnish Football Show: Veikkausliiga Finale, Helmarit Squad, Tuija Hyyrynen Retires, HJK in Europe, Finns Overseas”

[Podcast] Finnish Football Show: Veikkausliiga Run-in, Euro 2024 Draw, Essi Sainio Retires from Helmarit, Finns 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.

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Match Report: Montenegro 0-2 Finland

UEFA Nations League B3, Game 6

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!)

Mark W & Rich talk through the action and are joined briefly by Keke with his ringside view of the rain. And some football. Continue reading Match Report: Montenegro 0-2 Finland

Match Report: Finland 1-1 Romania

UEFA Nations League B3, Game 5

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

[Podcast] Finnish Football Show: Nations League Preview, Veikkausliiga, Suomen Cup Final, HJK and KuPS Women in Europe

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.

Continue reading “[Podcast] Finnish Football Show: Nations League Preview, Veikkausliiga, Suomen Cup Final, HJK and KuPS Women in Europe”

[Podcast] In Conversation with… Johanna Ruohonen

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.

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[Podcast] In Conversation with… Robert Ivanov

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.

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[Podcast] In Conversation with… Rasmus Schüller

In this episode, Keke, Mark H and Mark W are joined by another Huuhkajat star, Rasmus Schüller, who has over 50 Finland caps to his name. A serial winner, who has five Veikkausliiga titles, including three League & Cup doubles 🙌🏼 Rasmus is tough tackling, smooth passing, no nonsense, central midfielder currently with Djurgårdens IF in Stockholm.

Rade tells us how it felt to start in the Veikkausliiga, for Honka at the age of 18, the challenge of making the step-up to HJK Helsinki, his MLS adventure in Minnesota. He also shares some VERY interesting insights into the ill-fated Hans Backe era of the Finland national team and why Markku Kanerva has enjoyed such success in the Nations League and Euro 2020.

Continue reading “[Podcast] In Conversation with… Rasmus Schüller”