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.
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!)
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
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.
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.