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Finnish football haikus 2013

23. April 2013

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I promised to send a copy of Jalkapallokirja 2013, the Finnish FA’s stats book, to whoever wrote the best football haiku. The entries are all of a high standard, but which is your favourite?Tweet

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TPS and Tahdon 2013: Political football?

14. April 2013

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The old cliché that football and politics should not mix has taken a bit of a beating in the UK this weekend. It’s quite exceptional that a former Prime Minister is granted a ceremonial funeral without a commemoration from football, but no English club has risked inviting derision with a mark of respect for Margaret [...]

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The Miracle of Gijon

7. April 2013

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Finland is waking up after the long, cold and miserable winter, and that means three things: melting snow, lifting winter gloom and the start of the football season. There may be more attention than usual this year thanks to the ‘miracle of Gijon’, in which the national team snatched a 1-1 draw with Spain last [...]

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Honka’s payment problems set poor players free

14. February 2013

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Finnish football players often earn small, irregularly paid salaries. They live in such such poverty that they cannot afford to buy houses, that they need to take second jobs, that they sometimes have to apply to state-run insurance to get their salaries paid. The idea of ‘player power’ and ‘contract rebels’ is a bit of [...]

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Customer service

13. January 2013

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Ask any Finnish football fan how to improve the game here, and the chances are they will at some point mention young players. You may well be told that they need to be given more playing time at earlier ages, to have better and more professional coaches and that they could, if the conditions are [...]

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Cultural differences

5. September 2012

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Finland’s football community is frequently engaged in an agitated discussion about about whether its culture is sufficiently impressive to nurture any kind of football worthy of respect. The presence or absence of something called ‘football culture’ might, to the casual observer, seem like a function of the league system (if there are football matches, bingo!) [...]

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Finnish fixture revamp raises standards, favours HJK

14. August 2012

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The Finnish FA reorganised the league structure last season, taking the opportunity presented by Tampere United and AC Oulu’s licensing difficulties to reduce the top league by two clubs and introduce a 33-game system. Twelve clubs now play each other club three times, squeezing an additional seven games into the short Finnish season.Tweet

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Five Veikkausliiga players to keep an eye on in 2012

20. May 2012

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Nordic Football News names five leading players for the Veikkausliiga 2012 season. The players represent both established names in the Finnish scene as well as talents who should reap their potential this season and go on to even greater things.Tweet

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Veikkausliiga season 2012: HJK will claim title, but a surprise is brewing in the relegation battle

17. May 2012

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Veikkausliiga already kicked off a few weeks ago so this season guide is way overdue. But let’s not allow that insignificant detail put us off since, despite the first rounds offering some surprises, there are still almost 30 matches to be played, which means that the league’s power balance will even itself out in the [...]

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Paatelainen’s Finland revolution – phase one completed, tactical consistency achieved (part 1 of 2)

21. February 2012

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After half a decade spent going through the motions and hoping for a miracle with quick fix coaching appointments, the Finnish Football Association finally took the inevitable leap of faith in 2011 and set forth on a long-term project with the national team. The first step was taken in March with the appointment of Mixu [...]

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HJK in 2011: the double, transfers and near-success in Europe

23. November 2011

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2011 was a season to remember for HJK. Not only did ‘Klubi’ won their third consecutive title and the Finnish Cup (overall their 24th league championship and 11th cup victory), but they did this in a swashbuckling fashion. The Helsinki team finished the season with a 24-point lead to second-place Inter and scored a whopping 86 goals [...]

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How will lively transfer window affect HJK?

15. September 2011

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It has been a highly eventful start to the autumn for HJK. First, maintaining their devastating form in the league, the Helsinki club all but secured the Veikkausliiga title already in August. Then, ‘Klubi’ gave Schalke a proper run for their money in the Europa League play-offs, beating the Germans 2-0 at home until imploding [...]

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HJK-Schalke 2-0: hosts earn hard-fought victory

25. August 2011

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It was a night to remember at the Sonera Stadium last Thursday as HJK recorded a historical victory with a battling performance over the German giants Schalke in the Europa League play-off first leg. Teemu Pukki scored two fantastic goals to cap a magnificent team performance by the home side which put the Finns on [...]

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It’s just like watching bowls

22. August 2011

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It is a tedious cliché that Finnish football is small-time and insignificant, but it is unfortunately also kinda true. Precarious finances and a disinterested public make the professional game here seem lower profile than, say, crown green bowls in the UK, or cricket in the United States.Tweet

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HJK-Schalke 04 pre-view: defensive worries for hosts

17. August 2011

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HJK entertain Schalke tomorrow in the play-off round of the Europa League. Despite the undeniable fact that HJK are marching towards the Veikkausliiga title, the home tie against the German giants is an event that eclipses their whole season (unless they make it into the Europa League group phase of course). The match created a [...]

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HJK-Dinamo 1-2: visitors win match in midfield

3. August 2011

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There was a real sense of expectation in the air at the Sonera Stadium last Wednesday as HJK took on Dinamo Zagreb in the first leg of the Champions League third round. Few HJK fans may have pinned their hopes on actual UCL qualification, but many regarded the home team having at least a solid [...]

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