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Discussion Starter #1
I thought that I'd make a thread for HJK where we can update all kind of news and match reports and stuff about HJK.

Latest news is that Toni Kallio, who is currently training with St. Pauli, signed a three year deal with HJK this week.

The decision whether Jani Viander will continue in Bolton or return to HJK should come soon. I'd like to get him back, but if he continues in Bolton we are probably going to sign ex-Haka keeper Andy Vilnrotter.

Our Manager Keith Armostrong has told that he is probably going to play with 4-3-3 formation. If this is true, I would suggest something like this:

Code:
                   Viander

Turpeinen   Heikkinen   Jensen   Nylund
 
           Ilola           Lehkosuo

                  Jeremenko        

Haarala           ?Kottila?        Kallio
Some pre-season thoughts about our team:

In Ville Wallen and Jani Viander we have two quality keepers. Viander is perhaps better as a stopper and Wallen better when he needs to come out of the goal-line. Last season they both played about half of the games. If Viander leaves, I'm sure that Vilnrotter will be a good choice.

Our defence seems very strong. Markus Heikkinen - Joakim Jensen is the best cental defender duo in Veikkausliiga. The Swede Jensen is solid in the air and very strong in 1on1s whereas Heikkinen is pacey and good on foot. Last season Heikkinen also impressed a couple of times as a defensive midfielder, for example against Parma he played against Nakano and did a great job in watching after him.

Ville Nylund, who can play any place in defence, would be my choice for left defender. He has lots of experience and is good defensively but pretty poor in supporting attacks. Young Ossi Martikainen would be other player for this spot, and I hope that he will also get his share of first team football. He played in Finland's U20 team in Argentina as well as U18 team in European championships in Finland. He is better in attacking than Nylund but needs to improve his defensive play.

We have also two good players to the right side of our defence. Aarno Turpeinen is an experienced right back who can also play as a right midfielder. Although his passing looks sometimes a bit poor he can also support attacks. The other choice for this place would be Antti Heinola. He returned last season to HJK from Queens Park Rangers and I think that I expected a bit more from him last season, but he will definetely be fighting for the place in starting line up next season.

Our central midfield looks very good as well, provided that Jari Ilola and Mika Lehkosuo will stay fit. Ilola is in my opinion the best player in Veikkausliiga. He always fights very hard for his team and he is also skilled. His injury proneness is probably the only reason why he is still playing in Finland. Lehkosuo is one of those few Finns that have played in Serie A. He has lots of experience and he is a real HJK-icon and our captain. However, he has the same problem as Ilola, he is too often injured. If Lehkosuo has experience, so does Aleksei Jeremenko. After every season people doubt that he could still play another season, but he always seems to play just better than during the previous seasons. If he isn't playing, his son Aleksei Jeremenko Jr will probably take his place as an attacking midfielder.

On right wing I would play either Turpeinen or Hannu Haarala. Haarala played also in the Finland NT in Argentina U20 WC. He hasn't made his final breakthrough, but I hope that he will make it this year. Also Hungarian youngster Lazlo Fekete can play this place. On the left side my choice would be Toni Kallio, who is a real utility player. I think he played every other place last season except for goalkeeper. Also Jeremenko Jr. can play as a left winger. Then we have also two talented youngsters, Petri Oravainen and Jussi Peteri, who both played in Finlands squad in the U18 EC. Especially Peteri made a big impression in that tournament, and I hope that they will also get a couple of games under their belt.

The only thing I'm a bit concerned is our attack, we defintely need some new strength there. I would be very happy if Kottila came, but it is still uncertain. If he isn't coming, we only have Fekete and Kallio, and that clearly isn't enough.

I think that our team looks strong and we have a nice mixture of youth and experience, so I think we have great chance of getting the title next season. However also Haka and probably MyPa and Inter are going to be good. I don't think that the ruling champions Tampere United will be able to win this year. They lost their best player Antti Pohja to Hammarby, their key defender Petri Heinänen is at least 6 months out with an injury and Jari Niemi hasn't signed a new contract yet. Last season no one expected anything from them so they will have much tougher season this year.
 

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Great post!! I hope that you will keep updating this thread so that fans of HJK can gather here and discuss the different things that happen to the club, and also so that those of us that doesn't know too much about the club can learn something.

The pre season can be a very exciting time for a club. After many many months, you miss seeing your club in action and just the thought of the training matches makes you warm inside :) Well at least that is how it is for me :D

The biggest transfers for the clubs happen around this time, and also the tension of what the season will bring.

Good luck :)
 

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Yeah, I agree with Orange. Great post :)
Would be wonderful to have some Finnish people around who actually posted a bit, not just read the forum, so I hope you'll stick around.

And seeing Kottila mentioned sure brings up a bunch of memories :D:rolleyes:
 

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Jinxter said:
Would be wonderful to have some Finnish people around who actually posted a bit, not just read the forum, so I hope you'll stick around.
I think a little bit of organizing in the Finnish community might be what is needed. There must be 10 possible Finnish readers, and with Finn and Lionheart there are two that the last couple of weeks have posted nearly every day.

Maybe replying to eachothers threads a bit might do the trick ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Yeah, I will try to update this thread everytime something notable happens, but I hope that other HJK & non-HJK-fans will help in the job. And perhaps I could try to post a bit more to other threads as well. And pre-season definetely is an interesting time with all the speculation and stuff.

Btw, I heard that Mika "the moose" Kottila was once voted as the worst foreign player in the Tippeliga, is this true?
 

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I hope HJK don't sign Kottila, he's a donkey! :)

He's only good when the NT are playing against teams from the Arab world (mid height 160cm!) :D

It will be difficult for HJK to bring in a quality striker, they won't find one in Finland, that's for sure. The only ones I can possibly think they are looking at from the domestic market are Valery Popovich (As HJK's new coach had him at FC Haka - maybe not such a longshot) and Jari Niemi (who isn't really a strker but a class player without contract at Tampere).

Strasbourg's Mixu Paatelainen? :)
Liverpool's Daniel Sjölund on loan?
Some African? (Not Didier-Six!) :dazed:
 

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Finn said:
[BBtw, I heard that Mika "the moose" Kottila was once voted as the worst foreign player in the Tippeliga, is this true? [/B]

Yeah, that's true. He was awful. Him and Gunnlaugson are the two worst buys Brann ever did. I'd rate Gunnlaugson as worse than Kottila, but not everyone agrees.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I think that Brann payed quite a lot for him, at least on Finnish standards. I really thought that he could be much better for you after those good performances in CL. However I would like to see him back in HJK, I'm sure that he would still be good player in Veikkausliiga.

And Jonatan, don't forget that Kottila did all of his goals in Bahrain with foot :) I agree that there really aren't too many options for us. I don't think that Popovitsh or Niemi would come, but Paatelainen or Sjölund would both be very interesting names. Sjölund has been injured quite a long and when he has been fit he has only played for the reserves, so he could use some match experience which he could get in HJK. Paatelainen would also be great signing, I think that he hasn't been playing that much in Strasbourg so perhaps it would be time for him to return to Finland. However I don't believe that we will be able to get neither Mixu or Daja, so our new striker will probably be Kottila or some unknown foreign player.
 

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I seem to remember Brann paying 5 mill NOK for both Kottila and Yhlonen. Yhlonen stayed out his contract, while we gave away Kottila for free.
 

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hmm I agree with you Finn that HJK should perhaps buy an African player. They should buy a good player though and not "bad" players like FC Jokerit bought last season. However, Azubike Oliseh was a great player. He scored the best goal in the VeikkausLiiga last season. I think he has a better shot than his brother, Sunday. Bright wasn't that bad either and he will apparently remain at FC Jokerit. Both played for Nigeria in the Olympics. Mika Kottila may be a good signing but if I'd have to choose between Kottila and Jari Niemi I'd choose Niemi any day. I hope HJK signs another top striker to replace Paulus Roiha who moved to FC Utrecht in Holland.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Jari Niemi signed a new 2-year contract with TamU so he's not an option. And I think he is more a winger than a striker and i think we have enough wingers already. And yeah, that Oliseh was very good for Jokerit. If someone is interested to see the goal Lionheart mentioned, you can find it from www.suomifutis.net . However you have to register there and it's all in Finnish, but I can give you some instructions if you want.

Paulus Roiha played 28 mins for Utrecht in a friendly against Bröndby and was apparently pretty good. He didn't manage to score but he hit the post once.

HJK will play their first friendly match against Jokerit on thursday.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
HJK started their season today with a friendly match against Jokerit and won the game 1-0. Toni Kallio scored the only goal. The game wasn't spectacular, but HJK were clearly the better side.

It looks even more likely that Kottila will play for us next season. HJK and Trelleborg still have some details to agree about the transfer, but Kottila has already agreed to play for us next season.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Yeah, the score isn't good, but let's remember that this was our first match this season and the team has been training together only for something like two weeks. We also have a new manager so it will probably take some time before the players adapt to his systems.
 

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I'm afraid that Haarala isn't ready for a starting place...but still our biggest weakness is on the left wing, as Nylund is totally unable to attack. Kallio isn't really a winger...we definitely need someone to replace Kopteff.

Also the striker situation is worrying...a foreign player seems like the only valid option now.

I just hope that Armstrong won't turn last year's exciting Klubi into the boring defensive teams he had in Haka...
 

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Now it's official that Kottila will play in HJK next season. This according to Trelleborgs official site.

I noticed that Obiora Ancihe played for HJK against Jokerit. Is a contract written or is he just on trial?
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
I'm also a bit concerned on what kind of effect Armstrong will have on our team. Now when Kottila is also playing for us, I really don't hope that we will just concentrate on defending and playing long balls toward his head. We really have a midfield that is cabable of passing the ball and playing some impressive football. Also the European competitions under Armstrong's management worry me a bit. Haka always underperformed there quite badly whereas HJK have a tradition of playing well in Europe. Let's hope that Armstrong won't destroy this tradition.


I noticed that Obiora Ancihe played for HJK against Jokerit. Is a contract written or is he just on trial?
I noticed the same thing, I really hope he hasn't signed a contract. Our attack doesn't look too good, but it shouldn't be that bad that Aniche would get a contract ;).
 

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Finn said:
Now when Kottila is also playing for us, I really don't hope that we will just concentrate on defending and playing long balls toward his head.
If we do that...we are just like norwegians whom played long ball for Tore Andre Flo´s head ...hope we (read Armstrong) dont play that kind of boring football.:hopefull:

Forza HJK!!!
 

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No, I hope Obiora Aniche will not play for HJK as I don't think he will bring anything to the team. He isn't such a good player and we don't want to buy expensive semi-good foreigners when we can give playing time to our talented youngsters. It's great to hear that Kottila signed for HJK. Hopefully they can buy one more striker to back him up. I hope K. Armstrong doesn't waste his money on a goalkeeper and instead use the rest of his money to buy another quality striker to play alongside Kottila.
 
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