Showing posts with label Wales. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Wales. Show all posts

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Interview with SJK defender Richie Dorman

The latest in my series of interviews continues with SJK's Welsh defender Richie Dorman.

With Chris Cleaver, Wayne Brown and yourself at the club, have you introduced many British traditions with the rest of the SJK family?
When I arrived at SJK in 2012, I was pretty shy and overwhelmed by moving into this small, very Finnish city. Chris was a massive character in the dressing room and really helped me fit into the team. By that point he had introduced a few traditions already with the fine system and the initiations for new signings. We added some more difficult tasks after I had done mine!! I think also the jokes and making fun of each other is mostly a British idea. Once the Finnish players learned it was all friendly and fun, they joined in too. Chris and I were fairly easy targets with my big ears and his big nose! Wayne is a bit sneaky and I always seem to get blamed for his mischievous behaviour. We had a home-made full English breakfast a few weeks back.

What do you miss most about Wales?
The family. I get home once per year over the Christmas break and it is always hard saying goodbye and leaving again in January. 

A young Richie during his Airbus UK days

You were on the books of Blackburn Rovers as a youngster, was there anyone you saw who stood out?
I signed when I was 11 and in that team there was Joe Garner and Frank Fielding who both played from that age up to the reserves. Garner now plays with Preston in League 1 and he always had such a desire to win, even when we played together. Frank is now with Bristol City, also in League 1, a top goalkeeper. Anthony Pilkington came in during my time although he didn’t stay as long as the others. He played with Norwich in the Premier League and is now with Cardiff.

SJK surprised everyone in 2014 by finishing second and qualifying for Europe – do you think you can be a serious contender for the Veikkausliiga next season?
Of course HJK have a great squad with some very talented players and coming off the Europa League group stage they will be playing even better this season. We will keep working hard everyday, doing the small things and help build this club in the direction the owners and fans want. Lets see at the end of the season and hopefully we can surprise a few more people.

Photograph via SJK's Facebook page

How did playing in the US college system help prepare you for a career back in Europe? What did you study while you were there?
My degree is in Business Administration with a concentration in accounting. The football side was really professional, we trained every morning and then went to the classes in the afternoon. The facilities we had were amazing and the best I have had at a training ground. It was very different than playing at home or out here in Finland, but playing there gave me the desire to come back home to keep playing and also the belief that I was good enough to do it.

What is your favourite Finnish phrase?
‘No niin.’ Translates to something similar to ‘next,’ ‘lets go’ or ‘moving on.’ It’s quite funny to use it after people say something stupid in a slightly sarcastic way. But I’m not sure that is the correct use!

Richie and teammates enjoy Finnish life in 2013

One of the criticisms aimed at young British players is that they are less likely to move abroad – would you recommend making the move?
I probably would not be playing professionally had I not left Wales. Moving to Finland really helped my career so if any young British player had the chance to go and play abroad, I would highly recommend it. At least view the option with an open mind. The culture of other countries might be different but football is always football.

Which player(s) do you watch closest to try and improve?
Growing up it was always Steven Gerrard. Now that I’m playing full back I watch Azpilicueta of Chelsea a lot. He is arguably the best 1v1 defender in the Premier League and in possession keeps it simple. 

Do you wear shorts in the sauna?

Do you have any plans to play in other countries?
I love playing in Finland with SJK, we have a good group of lads and coaching staff so at the moment I have no plans on leaving Finland. Eventually at some point it would be great to play closer to my family so they could get to see me play more often. 


Many thanks to Richie for his candid answers. If you want to buy an SJK jersey with Dorman on the back, you can get one here.

I'm looking to continue the series with other players and personalities - if you have any suggestions, drop me a line!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Wales v Finland - Saturday November 16th

The final senior international of 2013 is upon us, and the squads are in. The teams will do battle this weekend at the Cardiff City Stadium, kicking off at 6pm GMT. The game will be shown live in the UK on Sky Sports 2.

Gareth Bale challenges Roni Porokara in 2009

Finland squad

Lukas Hradecky (Brøndby)
Niki Mäenpää (VVV Venlo)
Jesse Joronen (Fulham)

Jarkko Hurme (TPS)
Joona Toivio (Molde)
Veli Lampi (Arsenal)
Niklas Moisander (Ajax)
Petri Pasanen (Århus)
Jukka Raitala (Heerenveen)
Juhani Ojala (Terek Grozny)
Jere Uronen (Helsingborgs)
Kari Arkivuo (Häcken)

Tim Sparv (Greuther Fürth)
Roman Eremenko (Rubin Kazan)
Sakari Mattila (HJK)
Alexander Ring (Kaiserslautern)
Kasper Hämäläinen (Lech Poznan)
Rasmus Schüller (HJK)
Perparim Hetemaj (Chievo)

Teemu Pukki (Celtic)
Riku Riski (Hønefoss)
Joel Pohjanpalo (Aalen)
Tim Väyrynen (Honka)

The Finland starting XI is:

Arkivuo - Ojala - Moisander - Uronen
Ring - Sparv - Schüller
Riski - Eremenko

Sparv v Ramsey - the rematch

Wales squad

Wayne Hennessey (Wolverhampton Wanderers)
Danny Ward (Liverpool)
Owain Fon Williams (Tranmere Rovers)

James Collins (West Ham United)
Ben Davies (Swansea City)
Chris Gunter (Reading)
Ashley Richards (Swansea City)
Samuel Ricketts (Wolverhampton Wanderers)
Neil Taylor (Swansea City)
Rhoys Wiggins (Charlton Athletic)
Ashley Williams (Swansea City)

Joe Allen (Liverpool)
Owain Tudur Jones (Hibernian)
Emyr Huws (Manchester City)
David Cotterill (Doncaster Rovers)
Jack Collison (West Ham United)
Andy King (Leicester City)
Joe Ledley (Celtic)
Aaron Ramsey (Arsenal)
Gareth Bale (Real Madrid)

Simon Church (Charlton Athletic)
Jermaine Easter (Millwall)
Hal Robson-Kanu (Reading)
Sam Vokes (Burnley)

In the Finland squad, Tim Väyrynen wins a first senior call-up after finishing the domestic season as top scorer - he's also in the U21 squad to face England on Thursday evening.

In eleven previous meetings between the sides, with both sides having four wins, with three draws. The last meeting ended 2-1 to Finland in Helsinki, Porokara and Moisander for Finland, Craig Bellamy for Wales.

Highlights of Finland 2-1 Wales (2010 World Cup qualifier)

Hopefully the travelling Finns will have something to cheer. Unfortunately I won't be at the game due to pre-booked commitments... Oi Suomi On!

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Finland U21s discover the road to the Czech Republic

After all the chat, explanations and stilted humour of a morning in Nyon, Finland finally learned who they will have to face in order to get to the Euro 2015 tournament in the Czech Republic.

Finland U21s, picture from Suomen Palloliitto

Let's have a quick look at who they'll have to face, if they want a summer holiday in a couple of years...


Finland played Stuart Pearce's England U21 in the opening game of the 2009 finals in Sweden. Lee Cattermole gave England an early lead, before Tim Sparv scored a penalty. A second half goal from Manchester City's Micah Richards gave England the win. England went on to the final, where they lost 4-0 to Germany. Finland lost all three matches in the group stage. The two teams also played in qualification for Euro 2002, the first match was 2-2 in Finland, England won the return 4-0.

Kasper Hämäläinen vs England in 2009


Wales were the opponents in qualification for Euro 2004 (group 9), and Finland opened with a 2-1 win - goals from Pekka Lagerblom and a late winner by (then Liverpool forward) Daniel Sjölund ensured three points, despite an equaliser by Adam Burchill. The return tie in Merthyr Tydfil saw a goalless draw. Italy won the group, Finland third and Wales fourth.

Mathias Lindström gets stuck in

The teams faced off in qualification for Euro 2013, and saw away wins in both ties, starting with a shock in Turku - Finland were 3-1 up at half-time, only for the visitors to score twice, then a last minute winner. They met again four weeks later, and while Lithuania went ahead early, three second half goals won it for the Finns. Finland ended the group fourth, Lithuania fifth.

Finland trudge off after losing at home to Lithuania

Moldova and San Marino

Finland have never faced either team in UEFA u21 competition.

Depending on fixtures (yet to be announced), and locations, ETS will be hoping to attend the matches in England and Wales. Watch this space!