The Finnish Football Show
Finnish Football Show In Conversation with… Aki Riihilahti

Finnish Football Show In Conversation with… Aki Riihilahti

July 10, 2020

Keke & Mark W are joined by a legend of Finnish football, Aki Riihilahti.

Aki takes us back down memory lane for a fascinating conversation about his playing career at HJK Helsinki and Crystal Palace, as well as behind-the-scenes in his current role as CEO at HJK.

Learn how Aki once broke Keke's heart 💔 (and that he's not sorry about it), how his work with the European Clubs Association gives him so much satisfaction and why he's added 'Toilet Paper Delivery Driver' to his CV.

Video: Aki starting the move that led to the goal that broke Keke's heart 💔 https://youtu.be/KUHtnO0PVso

Show notes & links: https://finnishfootballshow.com/2020/07/10/in-conversation-aki-riihilahti/

Reminder: FFS Predictions Competition Closes at 23:59 on Tues 30.6

Reminder: FFS Predictions Competition Closes at 23:59 on Tues 30.6

June 29, 2020

Wiltshear here with a quick reminder to submit your entries to our predictions competition. You can do it now by clicking this link: Veikkausliiga 2020 Predictions Competition

We want you to predict the following:

  1. Suomen Cup winners 2020
  2. Veikkausliiga champions 2020
  3. Europa League qualifiers 2020
  4. Relegated 2020 (the bottom team)
  5. What are you most looking forward to in the 2020 season?

Remember, you stand the chance to win NO PRIZES but you might get your name read out on the show.

7.6.20 – Suomen Cup | Closed-Season Transfers | 3rd Kits | Fans In Stadiums

7.6.20 – Suomen Cup | Closed-Season Transfers | 3rd Kits | Fans In Stadiums

June 7, 2020

It's early-June 2020 and there are a couple of key dates coming up in the near future; the Veikkausliiga is due to kick off from the 1st July and the Suomen Cup has matches scheduled from 16th June.

Mark W, Rich, Keke and Mark H, look forward to and then start to prepare for the Veikkausliiga kick off, by looking at the transfers that have taken place during the extended closed season. Other topics of conversation include: Clubs' pre-season preparations, will fans be able to enter the stadiums and sexy 3rd kits. Yes really, 'sexy' 3rd kits.

Show notes & links 

27.5.20 Behind the Quarantine: The Football Agent, Chris Cleaver

27.5.20 Behind the Quarantine: The Football Agent, Chris Cleaver

May 27, 2020

Mark W speaks to Chris Cleaver, the British football agent at Scandinavian FI OÜ Player Agency. Chris is the former captain & first team coach of SJK Seinäjoki in Finland. He talks about his playing career in Finland, bookended with spells in Seinäjoki, before explaining about the transition to becoming an agent and how this has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Show notes & links

17.5.20 - When Podcast Recordings Go Wrong! Behind The Scenes Of Episode 27.

17.5.20 - When Podcast Recordings Go Wrong! Behind The Scenes Of Episode 27.

May 17, 2020

Back in February 2020, the Finnish Football Show team got together online to record FFS27. Mark began that episode with the words "We started recording this show at 21:45 because we've had some technical problems for the last 20 minutes, which were MY fault this time...!"

What you are about to hear is what happened before the show, eventually, went live.

Show notes and links

7.5.20 Mikko Laitinen from Suomen Palloliitto | ‘Season’s Most Important Game’ campaign | Veikkausliiga to start on 1st July?

7.5.20 Mikko Laitinen from Suomen Palloliitto | ‘Season’s Most Important Game’ campaign | Veikkausliiga to start on 1st July?

May 7, 2020

Yes, we know, it’s been ages since the last show, but this time it really ISN’T our fault. There’s been this virus thing, you see. This episode is something a little different. Firtsly, it's only Mark W & Keke, but this time we are joined by a very special guest, Mikko Laitinen, Marketing Manager at Suomen Palloliitto – the Finnish Football Association.

Mikko talks to us about financial challenges within Finnish football and, conversely, the commercial opportunities offered by the impressive performances of the Huuhkajat. Mikko also explained the background to the "Kauden tärkein ottelu" (the Season's Most Important Game) campaign, which enables fans to support Finnish football during this difficult time. Encouragingly, the start of the 2020 Veikkausliiga season was also announced on 6.5.2020, the day of the recording, so of course we talked about that too.

🎟 Buy tickets for the Kauden tärkein ottelu" (the Season's Most Important Game) campaign

📖 Show notes & links

4.5.20 – Behind the Quarantine: The Sporting Director – Jonne Lindblom, KuPS Kuopio

4.5.20 – Behind the Quarantine: The Sporting Director – Jonne Lindblom, KuPS Kuopio

May 3, 2020

Rich speaks to Jonne Lindblom, a former agent and now the Sporting Director of KuPS Kuopio in Finland. Jonne explains how KuPS is helping its players maintain fitness during the COVID-19 pandemic. He looks at the challenge the corona virus poses for new manager, Arne Erlandsen, to communicate his ideas to the team, as they prepare for the defence of the Veikkausliiga title they won in 2019 – whenever that defence might start!

Jonne tells about his role as Sporting Director (handling recruitment, scouting, player contracts and agents). He also gives some insight into his close involvement, as an agent, in the rise of Alfredo Morelos. Then he looks forward to future plans for a new stadium in Kuopio and his determination to develop the KuPS Academy, so it provides more players for the first team squad.

Show notes & links

24.4.20 – Behind the Quarantine: The Finland International Footballer – Markus Halsti, Esbjerg fB

24.4.20 – Behind the Quarantine: The Finland International Footballer – Markus Halsti, Esbjerg fB

April 24, 2020

Keke talks to Finland international player (or Huuhkaja) Markus Halsti, who explains how he, and fellow Finn Joni Kauko, are trying to keep fit for Esbjerg fB in Denmark, and how they could be recalled to action with a days notice, even though the club coaches are currently NOT ALLOWED to train them!

Markus tells about his special connection with HJK Helsinki and FF Malmo and his experiences at D.C. United in Major League Soccer – including how USA fan culture incorporates chainsaws! 😨 Finally Markus shares his disappointment at not swapping shirts with Xabi Alonso and why he couldn't celebrate on the pitch after THAT Liechtenstein game, when Finland qualified for Euro 2020.

Show notes & links

14.4.20 – Behind the Quarantine: The 1st Team Coach – Joaquin Gomez, SJK

14.4.20 – Behind the Quarantine: The 1st Team Coach – Joaquin Gomez, SJK

April 15, 2020

Mark W talks to SJK Seinäjoki's new 1st Team Coach, Joaquin Gomez about his bold move from Spain to the UK and dramatic rise, as a coach and assistant manager, through the Football League (EFL). We talk about how meeting Sami Hyypiä and Antti Niemi, later led to opportunities to become coach for Finland U21s and, latterly, SJK. Finally, he explains how they are keeping the SJK players fit, physically and mentally, during this period of uncertainty.

Show notes & links

2.4.20 – Behind the Quarantine: The Finland Supporters Club – Jussi Hartikainen, SMJK

2.4.20 – Behind the Quarantine: The Finland Supporters Club – Jussi Hartikainen, SMJK

April 2, 2020

Keke speaks to Jussi Hartikainen, the Executive Director of the Finland national team supporters club, Suomen Maajoukkueen Kannattajat ry. Also known as SMJK to its friends.

Jussi explains how the SMJK has handled the postponement of Euro 2020, how he manages relations with the Finnish Football Association, Palloliitto, the prospect of club football restarting anytime soon and the prospects for his club FC Vikingit. Oh, and the new SMJK beer: Pohjoiskaarre Pale Ale.

Show notes & links