The 2011 Veikkausliiga season kicks-off in two months so let’s not waste any time trying to make up a witty introductions to the ever so fascinating world of Veikkausliiga transfer tittle-tattle and instead, mimicking the transfer market behaviour of most Finnish top tier teams, the Merry-go-round is just going to plunge in among the transfers news and take any piece it can get its hands on.
Let’s begin from Turku and TPS where it starts to look pretty lonely at the attacking third of the pitch. Riku Riski transferred, somewhat surprisingly, to Widzew Lodz in Poland and his little brother, and last season’s biggest sensation, Roope Riski signed for Serie A side Cesena. In related non-Veikkausliiga news, Roope Riski wasn’t the only Finnish wonder kid who found his way to Cesena as Jusu Karvonen (Taranto) also joined the relegation candidates from northern Italy. TPS did, however, sign youngster Petteri Pennanen from FC Twente who should be an interesting prospect in TPS’s youthful midfield. So expect there to be many nimble feet in the centre of the park creating opportunities for a non-existent goalscorer at TPS next season.
Meanwhile on the black and blue side of Turku, Magnus Bahne (Assyriska) has returned from his relatively successful trip in Sweden and will replace Patrick Bantamoi (Telstar, HOL) in goal at Inter. Bahne is joined by Finnish national team…ehm…revelation Kalle Parviainen and Domagoj Abramovic (Thrasyvoulos Fylis, GRE), who seemed a decent enough forward back in 2008 when Inter won the championship.
Another goalkeeper coming home from our western neighbour is Tomi Maanoja (AIK) who signed for Honka where he made his Veikkausliiga debut in 2006. Maanoja went to Sweden with dreams of grandeur but then broke his leg just before the start of his first season there and, during his second, he was made the scapegoat for the failure of a dreadful AIK team. Things can only get better for the talented 24-year-old who only two seasons ago was touted as the next starting goalkeeper for the Finnish national team.
Being short of personnel, IFK Mariehamn figured that they should start buying players by the pound and, therefore, it made a lot of sense to start the spree by signing Toni Lehtinen (Haka) who will greatly increase the pie-rate of MIFK’s slim squad. After making this sizeable capture, Markus Paatelainen (Honka) and an assorted bunch of players from oversees joined the ranks of the islanders: Luca Bellisomo (Vancouver Whitecaps, CAN), Hendrik Helmke (VfL Lübeck, GER) and Fernando de Abreu Ferreira (Olympiakos Nikosia, CYP). The Merry-go-round doesn’t know the pie-rates of these foreign imports, but at least de Abreu Ferreira should be a decent footballer since he has received part of his footballing education at ManU. But then again, so has Jami Puustinen. Not all things Sir Alex Ferguson touches turn golden after all.
After loosing a target man who can run like the wind and score by the bucket-full, but who couldn’t trap a bag of cement if his life was dependent on it in Juho Mäkelä, HJK decided that what they actually need is a target man who can neither run nor score goals, but who has a surprisingly good touch for a big man. And who whould fit the bill better than Berat Sadik. Sadik, formerly of Bielefeld and some Belgian club no one remembers the name of, and who most definitely don’t remember Sadik’s, arrived from HJK’s feeder club FC Lahti. With already having non-scoring forwards Jarno Parikka and Akseli Pelvas on their books, Sadik should feel right at home at the Helsinki club.
And speaking of Helsinki, since HJK still remains the only top division team in the Finnish capital, new MyPa coach Toni Korkeakunnas (who failed to promote Helsinki club FC Viikingit to Veikkausliiga last season) is determined to set up a Helsinki colony at Anjalankoski. Adding to an already extensive list of players from various clubs from Helsinki, Korkeakunnas signed David Ramadingaye and Fidan Seferi from HJK (Klubi 04) and FC Espoo respectively (although the latter is technically from Helsinki’s neighbouring city Espoo). Oh, and MyPa also signed someone called Riley O’Neill (Wilhelmshaven, GER) who, according to Korkeakunnas, “will cause all sorts of problems to the Veikkausliiga defences”. So there you have it.
In Tampere more big name players have left TamU. Tomi Petrescu is having another go at the big time (well, going abroad at least) at Panthrakikos in Greece. And Tuomas Haapala has called time on his career that included stints at Manchester City, Sandefjord (NOR) and HJK.
And finally, FF Jaro have signed Dickson Agyeman from RAEC Mons (BEL) who apparently is quite the player. And VPS continue their transfer policy of signing players that you haven’t heard of by the truckload in the vain hope that even one of them will be able to cut the Veikkausliiga mustard. Usually, of course, they won’t. Well, they did sign Riku Heini from FC Lahti so at least VPS fans can look forward to inconsistent and aimless wing play in Vaasa next season.
That’s all for now.