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.
The FFS team was selected from a full squad for this episode as Mark W, Rich, Keke & Mark H reconvene to bring you an update across the world of football in Finland. We start by looking at the current state of play in Veikkausliiga 2022, where all the teams have played four games.
We also discuss Helsinki IFK’s tough start to the season, their new manager (already!) Mixu Paatelainen and the upcoming ‘Stadin Derby’ between HIFK and HJK. We look back at the recent World Cup qualifiers for the women’s national team, the Helmarit, and results & upcoming fixtures in the Suomen Cup.
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.
For our final show of 2021, we decided to broadcast it as a Facebook Live video and publish the results as a series of podcasts over the Christmas holiday. This was recorded on Monday 20.12.2021.
We discussed the news that Tim Sparv has retired, the confirmed Nations League fixtures for the Huuhkajat, considered who should be our ‘Finnish Player of the Year’ and launched our 2022 merchandise range.
We were joined by Boris Wistuba-Marino (Kitman at HJK Helsinki) and by FFS fan Erno who ‘knows Keke really well’ – whatever that means!
The final weekend of the Veikkausliiga 2021 season was full of drama. First played second, as KuPS hosted HJK in a battle for the title. While third played fourth, as Inter hosted SJK in the bronze medal match… and what accommodating hosts they were too! This game also turned into a shoot-out for the top scorer prize, with Benjamin Källman and Ariel ‘Tuco’ Ngueukam going toe-to-toe in this game, and both finishing on 14 goals for the season.
Mark H, Rich, Keke and Mark W get together to review the final weekend’s action and let’s just say, there were mixed emotions for the FFS team! We also look at the action in the Veikkausliiga/Ykkönen play-off between AC Oulu & RoPS.
A busy show of international qualifiers, with both the Huuhkajat and Helmarit competing to qualify for upcoming World Cups. Mark W, Keke, Mark H and Rich look at the recent result for the Finland Women’s team and look forward to imminent games for the Men’s team.
They then turn their attention to the closing stages of the 2021 Veikkausliiga season. The regular season has now finished and the league splits into two final series’. For each club, the FFS team discuss their league position, any recent news or events and their prospects in the final stages.
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.
After the craziness of the Euros – the FFS team was crazy-busy representing Finland across the world’s media – you MAY have noticed!), crazy-tired staying up until 1:00 AM watching too many games of football, and crazy-hot (at least here in Finland) – it’s been nice to calm down and return to normality.
Mark H, Mark W, Rich and Keke get together to look back at the recent European action for HJK Helsinki, KuPS Kuopio, Inter Turku and Honka, and look forward to upcoming ties for HJK and KuPS. We reflect on a comment from Joni Kauko, about transfers to Brexit Britain, which seems to have started having an effect on Finnish players. We also look back at the last month of Veikkausliiga action, which has given us a league table that is tight at both ends. Ooh-er! 😳