Djurgårdens IF are on the verge of re-naming the club Djurgårdens SF after signing half the Finnish national team that face South Korea in a week’s time. Kasper Hämäläinen, Joel Perovuo and Joona Toivio teamed up with Jani Lyyski, another fresh signing, and Daniel Sjölund, who is apparently staying at the Stockholm club after all. After escaping disaster by the skin of their teeth last season, DIF are founding their future dominance of Allsvenskan on Finnish talent. The Weekly approves.
After the sale of Hämäläinen, TPS look being seriously in trouble next season. They have not only lost a bunch of their key players (Wayne Brown, Hämäläinen, Jussi Kujala and Mikko Paatelainen) but, to top it off, Pasi Rautiainen also left. No doubt Marko Rajamäki is a decent replacement but Rautiainen was the heart and soul behind last season’s third place. Rautiainen being the third high profile coach leaving the club after a brief spell, things really look sour at TPS. Big name departures and few notable signings = financial trouble. Rautiainen, on the other hand, doesn’t have to sweat. He can kick back next season and take charge of HJK after they have humiliated themselves in Europe and possibly won the title once again.
On a more positive note for TPS, Jani Virtanen has returned to the club from Udinese. People can grumble all they want about Virtanen being another young player who went away at a too young age, only having to return to Veikkausliiga (as if coming back was a sin or something). But the Weekly is sure Virtanen came back a better player. And another thing, how many of us have played at San Siro against AC Milan, if only for a couple of minutes?
Speaking of returnees, Henri Myntti, every inept coach’s favourite tactical solution to the need of finding a desperate goal in the dying minutes of a match, has returned to TamU after an underwhelming stint at Hansa Rostock. The Weekly is confident that the reason why Myntti, 6.4 ft, didn’t play much in Germany was that Rostock were confused which is Myntti’s better position, centre back or centre forward. After all, only seldom do you find a player who is equally…err…adept at playing on the exact opposite positions. Surely the reason for his departure couldn’t have been that they deemed him a bit rubbish, now could it?
Mika Mäkitalo also found life bit a difficult at a new club last season and decided to return to FC Inter which sounds like a smart move for everyone. Mäkitalo isn’t the only player with some kind of a reputation to leave FC Haka. Petri Viljanen returned to his native town of Pori to PoPa. However, for a player who was included in the U21 Euro squad, dropping down a division sounds like an extremely bad move.
Ville Taulo will finally joined the recently established colony of Finns playing in Italy as he sealed a three and a half year deal with Taranto. Transferring to a Serie C club is a bit of an anti-climax though, as the former HJK and FC Lahti man was close to signing for Serie B club Crotone. But then again, not all Finnish players have to go to Allsvenskan or Tippenliga. The former which is exactly where Jens Portin went, signing for Gefle IF.
And a couple of possible Finnish transfers happening in the coming days and weeks: Roni Porokara is close to becoming the second Finn to play in Israel, following the path paved by Jani Viander who lit up the Israeli league a few years back. The 26-year-old is a medical away from signing for Makkabi Haifa. Jussi Kujala is on trial at De Graafschap who are currently topping the table in the Erste Divisie (second highest division in the Netherlands).
From: TPS; To: Djurgårdens IF; 2009: 25/0; Total: 97/9; Position: M; Date of birth: 8/8/86
From: Hansa Rostock; To: TamU; 2009: 0/0; Total: 75/18; Position: D/F; Date of birth: 23/3/82
From: FC Haka; To: FC Inter; 2009: 23/4; Total: 93/8; Position: M; Date of birth: 12/6/85
From: FC Honka; To: Djurgårdens IF; 2009: 25/4; Total: 80/9; Position: M; Date of birth: 11/8/85
From: FF Jaro; To: Gefle IF; 2009: 25/0; Total: 95/1; Position: F; Date of birth: 13/12/84
From: HJK; To: Taranto; 2009: 12/0; Total: 127/10; Position: M; Date of birth: 14/8/85
From: FC Haka; To: PoPa; 2009: 18/0; Total: 70/0; Position: D; Date of birth: 3/2/87
From: Udinese; To: TPS; 2009: 0/0; Total: 15/1; Position: M; Date of birth: 6/5/88