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.
A ‘Finnish Football Show Lite‘ episode, as Rich and Keke get together to look back at Keke’s trip to Murcia for the Huuhkajat training camp, which included a seat in the press box for the two practice games against Iceland and Slovakia. They also look forward to the Helmarit World Cup qualifiers, against Slovakia and Georgia.
They wrap up by looking at the first weekend of Veikkausliiga action, which included the first managerial casualty of the season, and venue confusion, as some stadiums are not yet ready to be used – because of the incessant SNOW!! 🤬