Teams: Crystal Palace, Sampdoria
From CPFC official site.
New signing Joonas Kolkka today gave his first interview since arriving at Selhurst Park.
The 29-year-old Finnish international Joonas Kolkka joined the Eagles from German side Borussia Monchengladbach for an undisclosed fee earlier today.
Joonas joins fellow Finn Aki Riihilahti in the Eagles squad and the left-sided midfielder told Palace World that his international team mate was a great help to him during his move.
“I know Aki here and he said that there was some interest in me from the club,” said Joonas. “It helps Aki being here because he already knows all the players so it’s very good, it makes things much easier”.
With a career that has seen him play in four different countries and collect 56 international caps Joonas is not short of experience but he is certain that playing in the Premiership will be a fresh challenge.
“It has always been a dream for me to play in the Premier League and when I got the chance to play there I didn’t have to think long about it,” he said. “Last season I played in Germany’s Bundesliga, which is a good league but now I‘m in the Premier league which is one step higher and it’s really nice to see if I can do it.”
On the recent trip to Northern Ireland Joonas joined up with the squad to meet the staff and train with the players.
“I spent three days in Ireland and it was good for me to meet the guys,” said Joonas. “Pre-season is always hard and a lot of training but it is good for me that we are so much together so I can meet everybody”.
The Finnish star is settling into Dowie’s squad very quickly and has taken to the coaching staff’s training methods effortlessly. “Training is hard at every club in every country but we are working very hard here and I like it,” he said. “We need the training because we have to be fitter by next month for the first game of the season but I will still have to learn the plays and how English footballers prepare and I will try to settle into the team as fast as possible and do the best that I can.”
With the Premiership season approaching we are all looking forward to the start of the campaign and the players are no different says Joonas.
“The Premiership is one of the best leagues in the world and everybody wants to play here. You’re playing teams like, Manchester United, Arsenal, Liverpool and Chelsea so it’s a great experience and everybody is waiting for it to get started”.