Mark H, Keke & Mark W get together for a quick chat to look back at the two recent Nations League games for the Finland National team; a 1-0 defeat at home to Wales, followed by a 1-0 win away to the Republic of Ireland.
The FFS team has a full squad to select from this week, and no difficult selection problems EVERYONE can play. This is a special occasion too, because we promised an episode between the European clubs games and the Nations League and that is EXACTLY what you are going to get. So, for once, I have nothing to apologise for. At least, not at the start – that may have changed by the end of the show!
We will be joined today by a returning special guest. Mikko Laitinen from the Finnish FA (Palloliitto) has come to tell us about the new Finland national team kit that was launched today! We will then look forward to the upcoming Nations League matches for Finland. We will also discuss the recent games in the Champions League and Europa League for Finnish club sides. And we’ll wrap everything up with a brief summary of the position in the Veikkausliiga.
In this episode, the FFS team is missing one or two key players. Not because of injury or poor form, but because of holidays. Mark has a had a challenging summer and is taking a well-earned break. Similarly, Keke seems to have ventured overseas for a family vacation.
But we didn't want to keep you waiting, so this episode is Mark W and Rich, possibly joined by Keke. We will discuss our recent predictions competition (if a survey that collects answers but offers no prize can be called a competition!) We will then look at how the opening 7 rounds of Veikkausliiga action has panned-out. Who is leading the table? Who has already fallen behind? And why does Rich keep trolling me about the form of SJK?
I have to also give a shout out to Kevin Cumming in our Facebook group. He found us recently and has listened to the entire back catalogue. Kevin - THANK YOU! 🙏🏻
You can read Kevin's full review of five-and-a-half shambolic years of FFS: https://www.facebook.com/groups/FinnishFootballShow/permalink/2628245217275512/
(Check the Show Notes for beautiful colour charts & graphs)
Suomen Cup winners 2020
- HJK Helsinki (18 responses) , Inter Turku (5)
Veikkausliiga champions 2020
- HJK Helsinki (23 responses) , Inter Turku (2), HIFK Helsinki (1), Honka (1), Ilves (1), KuPS Kuopio (1), SJK Seinäjoki (1)
Europa League qualifiers 2020
- KuPS (12 responses, 40%), Honka (11, 36.7%), Inter Turku (11, 36.7%), SJK Seinäjoki (7, 23.3%), Ilves (6, 20%), HJK (6, 20%)
- TPS Turku (14 responses), RoPS Rovaniemi (7), IFK Mariehamn (4), HIFK Helsinki (3), Lahti (1), KuPS (1)
What are you most looking forward to in the 2020 season?
- Live Football (5 responses)
- Eero Markkanen 😍 (3)
- Seeing how KuPS perform (3)
- Expecting RoPS to struggle (2)
Veikkausliiga Table (After 7 Games)
Veikkausliiga Top Scorers (After 7 Games)
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/
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:
- Suomen Cup winners 2020
- Veikkausliiga champions 2020
- Europa League qualifiers 2020
- Relegated 2020 (the bottom team)
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
7.5.20 Mikko Laitinen from Suomen Palloliitto | ‘Season’s Most Important Game’ campaign | Veikkausliiga to start on 1st July?
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.
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.