Another packed show, as Mark W, Keke, Mark H and Rich get together to preview the Finland national team squad that was just announced and preview the three upcoming games against Wales, Kazakhstan and France.
They also look at the Pikkuhuuhkajat (the U-21) squad that was also announced and ponder the quality of the next generation of potential Huuhkajat. Finally, they turn their attention to recent transfers for Finnish players moving overseas and take a quick look at the current Veikkausliiga standings.
In this episode, Keke, Rich and Mark H are joined by another Huuhkajat star, Robert Taylor, who talks them through his career. It’s an inspirational story! Having been told he wasn’t good enough for the Northern Counties league in England, his determination to succeed eventually drove him to score for the Finland national team and travel to Euro 2020.
Robert gives us his perspective on that surreal night at the Parken Stadium in Copenhagen, and reflects on the Chrsitian Eriksen situation, and also gives a little insight into the off-field scandal at SK Brann in August 2021.
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.
And so it ends. With three group games played in 10 days, the Finland team managed a goal, a win and finished third in group B. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough for the Huuhkajat to qualify for the knockout stage, but they did themselves and the while country proud.
Mark H, Mark W, Rich and Keke get together to review the final group game against Belgium and discuss how we felt while waiting for the final group positions to be decided. We also choose our Huuhkajat player of the Euros, before turning our attention to transfer news/speculation and the domestic Veikkausliiga season.
This was a game in which the Huuhkajat were looking to cement a place in the knockout stages, and to show the watching world, that the win against Denmark was not just the result of extenuating circumstances. It didn’t quite go to plan…
Mark H, Rich and Keke review the action as Finland had an early goal disallowed for offside, before eventually going down to a goal from Al Miranchuk just before half-time. They also look at Finland’s potential path through the Euros and talk about the FFS team’s busy schedule of media appearances around the world on the mainstream media.
And by the way, Producer Mark was working, not moonlighting for SJK, working!
In the aftermath of the shocking collapse of Christian Eriksen during the Denmark 0-1 Finland, the FFS team get together to look back at the game.
Firstly, Mark W, Rich and Keke review the sporting action on the field and the mixed emotions felt by Huuhkajat supporters as the team gets its first, goal, points and win, in a major competition finals.
Then, Mark W speaks with Mark H about his trip to Copenhagen and his first-hand eyewitness account of Eriksen’s collapse and on-pitch resuscitation. He talks about the amazing atmosphere between the Danish and Finnish fans, that only got stronger as the drama unfurled.
With Finland qualifying for Euro 2020, there has, naturally, been a surge in interest in our Huuhkajat. The Finnish Football Show team has been invited to speak and write on a variety of outlets, around the world, and this made us think; no one really knows much about Finnish football.
We decided it might be a good idea to go back to basics for this episode, by creating a Finnish football 1.0 crib sheet. One place to get all the useful info as we head into the Euros. We have, after all, been at this for several years now. We know stuff.
In our episodes of 27.5.2021, Mark W and Keke admitted to getting emotional when they first heard the Finland song for Euro 2020. So we invited Niila Arajuuri ‘the man who made Keke cry’ onto the show to explain himself! This was going to be a segment in a future FFS, but we felt it deserved to be a stand-alone episode.
Mark W flew solo on this one and spoke with Niila about his love of football and music and how music one the battle for his affections. He explains how it feels to have an Eagle Owls for a brother and the process of writing an anthem in Finnish rather than English.
The momentum is building, Euro 2020 starts NEXT WEEK, so FFS is back. We look at the Huuhkajat squad for the Euros, announced on Tuesday 1.6.2021 – any surprises?. We look back at the recent friendly match that ended Sweden 2-0 Finland and ask ‘what did we learn?’
We have another guest this week as @footy_nordic joins us to preview Finland’s first game of the Euros vs Denmark, and to look at the prospects of other Nordic teams in the tournament. And Rich wants to share some his favourite Huuhkajat tat, sorry merchandise that he’s spotted recently.