Showing posts with label Atletico Malmi. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Atletico Malmi. Show all posts

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Atletico Malmi ready for Kolmonen 2015

For those of you who have been following ETS over the winter months, you'll have read about our partnership with Helsinki-based club Atletico Malmi. Atletico begin their league season this weekend in the Kolmonen/2 division, the fourth tier of football in Finland (the league structure becomes area and region-based underneath the top two leagues). Their first match is on Saturday April 25th against HIFK/2, the second team of the capital's new club in Veikkausliiga.

It's been a momentous pre-season for my new friends, reaching the fifth round of the Suomen Cup for the first time ever, while preparing for another season in a new division, hosting and winning a friendly tournament in the Mosa Cup and competing in the Regions Cup, a cup competition for lower division clubs (a sort of FA Vase).

The 2015 Mosa Cup champions!

The Ketonen brothers Jesse and Jonne have been the big scorers up front, with nine and eight goals respectively, but there's a big squad of players who have all been contributing goals and assists. It's the teamwork that led the side to the last 32 of the Finnish Cup, where they met Veikkausliiga club FC Lahti, who came third in the top division last season and will compete in this year's Europa League. Unfortunately the match ended 2-0 to Lahti, but Malmi made a big impact on a national level, including someone landing on this site searching "Who are Atletico Malmi?" - hope it helped!

The boys training hard - a Finnish 'rondo' - rondi?

Malmi general manager Janne Vottonen told me how vital it is that the club rely on sponsorships and working with local organisations - 100 Euros pays for three training sessions on artificial pitches, while website and jersey sponsorships are also available if you're that way inclined. Any interest is greatly appreciated, feel free to contact me if you want me to get that ball rolling. It's a lot more rewarding to help a team improve and grow, rather than being just another customer at some clubs.

Janne said this week that while there are no official targets for the club this season, but conceded that "the top three would be realistic for this team". With the ground covered already this year, the trajectory will surely continue upwards. ETS will be bringing regular updates on the season, but you can follow Atletico Malmi on Facebook and Twitter.

Tico Tico!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Atletico Malmi update

For those of your who've been paying attention, this season I've decided to join forces with a lower division club to raise their profile, to find out a little bit more about football in the capital and also to share some knowledge (I work for an English non-league club).

You're welcome!

So it was Atletico Malmi of the Helsinki Kolmonen/2 division (fourth tier) who got in touch. Since January, the club have progressed through to the fourth round of the Suomen Cup for the first time in their history, where they'll play JanPa on Sunday March 22nd in Janakkala.

If you're planning on visiting the Helsinki area this summer, you could do a lot worse than visit a Malmi league game, where you're guaranteed a warm welcome. Their division fixtures are on this link, get yourself along to a game or two.

With the current exchange rate being very favourable for those who shop in pounds, you're also welcome to sponsor the club. There is a link (in Finnish) to more information, but they're welcoming of any creative input which would help. I paid 100 Euros for a spot on the website, which paid for three training sessions for the team. Even a shirt sponsorship would be available, albeit for a fair bit more than what I paid...

I've had a couple of enquiries about replica jerseys, I've been told they're just awaiting a few more details.

Other shirt sizes should be available...

Keep following the club on Twitter and Facebook for more info. Tico tico!

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Tulos: Cup draws, interviews and Japan

Been a fairly slow few weeks in the Finnish football world since the last update. Part of the joy of a summer league perhaps... Anyway, here is a little recap.

Sexypöxyt celebrate their 30th anniversary this year

The Suomen Cup fourth round draw took place on Monday, pitching some potentially very interesting ties. TamU-K will host IFK Mariehamn, PEPO play KuPS and Sexypöxyt will play Gnistan. Meanwhile, our partner club Atletico Malmi defeated NuPS to reach the fourth round for the first time, they will play the winner of JanPa and Jomela IK. I'm still waiting to hear on the availability of Malmi replica jerseys.

I've spoken to Dani Hatakka of KuPS and Richie Dorman of SJK, who were both very interesting and pretty open about life in Veikkausliiga. Dani spoke about his scoring prowess for the Finland U21 side, while Richie was grateful to Finnish football for the chance to become a professional, having spent time at Blackburn as a youngster. Sent a few emails for further interviews, hopefully will have some more soon.

HJK's attempts at world domination continue with rapid speed - they announced the signings of Japanese international forward Mike Havanaar and Swedish goalkeeper Daniel Örlund, who join fellow Japanese Atom Tanaka and former Nottingham Forest midfielder Guy Moussi. HJK CEO Aki Riihilahti spoke to MTV3 about the club's ambitions - while admitting that they had sold more Atom shirts in a week than any other player sold in the whole of 2014, while over forty thousand people watched highlights of the win over RoPS, while the usual figure is in the hundreds.
Jari Litmanen's 44th birthday passed by on February 20th with the usual fanfare and ticker tape. He keeps his usual low profile, making personal appearances in pubs etc.

MYPA appear to have folded in their present form, the club administrators have applied for bankruptcy. While it's likely that the various junior clubs will continue in some form, it's a shame that over-spending and poor financial management have enabled to club to wither. Watch this space for future news.

The latest Eremenko talent, sixteen-year-old Sergei, scored twice for Jaro in their Liigacup defeat to SJK. He has already spent time training with Internazionale's youth set-up, while those ITK lot reckon he could potentially be as good as brothers Roman and Alexei.

Anyway that's it for now - I'm trying to push the ETS Facebook page a bit more these days, so make sure you like that for some more slow-time updates. Twitter is so flimsy and instant...

Friday, January 16, 2015

Introducing Atletico Malmi

In December, I was looking at ways to do things slightly differently - there is a lot more to Finnish football than the national team and Veikkausliiga. Like in England, a lot of the clubs lower down the ladder run on small amounts of money, contributed by locals and operated by fans, volunteers and ambitious coaches. I decided to focus some of the attention onto a couple of teams, one from the Helsinki area and another from my wife's home region of Savo. I've made approaches and the clubs are willing - hopefully we'll give some extra support to these sides, get a few more people through the doors and following on social media.

So I'd like to introduce the first partner club for 2015, Atletico Malmi based in North-Eastern Helsinki. Their team manager Janne Vottonen has sent through some details of the club.

We started from the Seventh division back 2002 and were actually the worst team of whole Finland that year. Now our first team is playing already in 3rd Division/Kolmonen (the fourth tier) and is one of the favourites to get a promotion as far as you ask me. So there's been happening quite a lot during these 13 years and even before that when MPS/Atletico was founded in 1993 as a junior team for boys born in 1986. Lot's of good stories and nice-to-know-facts about the team and what we think about football. I myself started as Atletico-player in 1998 and became a "general manager" in 2006 with my colleague V-P Liimatainen. We are still running both teams and we play mainly in our second team, Atletico Akatemia (5th division/Vitonen). All of the players in both of the teams are about the same age as we are, mainly 24-28 years old and some of those have a background in other higher level teams but the spirit and the athmosphere we have is tempting for many of those who decide they're not good enough to make money by playing.

So that's an introduction to Atletico. I'll be visiting them in June 2015, hopefully the fixtures will be confirmed soon. In the meantime, we would all really appreciate if you could pop along over the course of the year if you're in the area. The club have Facebook and Twitter pages to follow, while there will be regular updates on ETS.

Janne has told me that the club will be looking to produce some merchandise at some point in the Spring - wouldn't your five-a-side teammates be curious to know who this exotic team is that you're supporting? Or your company could invest in shirt sponsorship - we all know a Finnish football jersey doesn't look right without at least ten different logos...

Atletico's first big game of the year will take place on Sunday 15th February at 1830 local time in the second round of the Suomen Cup against the winner of HIFK/3 and HIFK/4...