Mark W, Rich, Keke and Ally return after a longer-than-expected winter break. And having gorged on too much football the Qatar World Cup – and too much ham & turkey at Christmas – they now turn their attention back to Finnish football in 2023. They look forward to the winter training camp in Potugal, discuss the squad selection and the opponents, Sweden & Estonia.
They also run through the various schedules that affect the Finnish national teams and club sides; Euro 2024 qualifiers, Liiga Cup, Suomen Cup, Veikkausliiga, Champions League and Europa Conference League. Before looking at the early transfer activity invloving Veikkausliiga sides and Finns moving around overseas.
Rich, Keke & Ally talk through some of the latest news in Finnish football, including transfers involving Finnish players, how Finnish teams are getting on in European club competition (includes a Zoom-bombing from Mark W, fresh out of SJK Seinäjoki vs Lillestrøm SK). Finally, they discuss the current situation at HIFK Helsinki, compounded by the departure of fiery goalkeepr, Beto.
Transfers involving Finnish players. Finnish teams in European club competitions. The situation at HIFK Helsinki as Beto departs.
After a dark, very cold winter break, the Finnish football scene burst into life this past week, as we saw competitive action in the Liigacup. Keke, Rich & Mark W get together to discuss this first round of results, as well as the draw for the revamped Suomen Cup and the imminent release of the Veikkausliiga fixtures. We’ll also reflect on closed-season transfers and look back at the Futsal Euros in Amsterdam. That should keep us all busy for a while…
This is the episode that Mark H has been promising/threatening for a couple of weeks. The team discuss the recent spate of sackings, announcements of upcoming resignations (pre-signations?) and rumoured manager transfers for 2022. Attention then turns to SJK Seinäjoki, who are firmly embroiled in this silly-season and whose fans are about to take action and boycott the upcoming game with FC Inter Turku.
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.
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.
The season’s about to start, the FFS team is excited to get back into the stands and cheer our teams on. So what better way to ramp-up the excitement, than by looking at all of the shiny, new players at each Veikkausliiga club? Alas, it’s never as simple as that in the COVID era, as it seems there will be no fans in the ground at least until mid-May, so we’ll have to watch on TV.
We also talk about the recent announcements about Euro 2020. Is travelling allowed? Are any of the FFS team still going? And who else makes the Huuhkajat squad, now that 26 players can be selected for each country.
The Suomen Cup has progressed through the groups stages, so we look back at the recent action and forward to the upcoming knockout games. We also discuss the recently released 2021 fixture list for the Finland Mens National Team, the Huuhkajat. We blow a little smoke up Keke’s a** for the interviews he’s arranged recently in our FFS In Conversation… series. And we throw a little shade at Mark W for moonlighting with other podcasts about Finnish football 😱
But there’s only one place we can start and that is by discussing the Finland Womens National Team, the Helmarit, who stormed through their qualification group for Euro 2021 (which will be hosted in the UK in 2022, of course.)
We’re in the middle of the closed-season in Finland, which is why we’ve been quiet lately, but with the Suomen Cup due to restart on 1st February, we look forward to the group stage and explain the structure of the competition. We also discuss the closed-season transfers in the Veikkausliiga and for Finns overseas.
But first, we look at the recent noise created by UEFA and the recent announcements about ticket refunds for EURO 2020…