Northern football stars and Koovee-GrIFK

Iltalehti has been running a vote [now working] on the Veikkausliiga All Star team, that is to play Iltalehti Three Lions team (chosen by the men and women of Iltalehti) on the 18th of August, and now it’s time to pick the first striker. I voted for Rafael.

These are the nine who are in already:

Mikko Kavén, TamU

Mika Nurmela, HJK
Janne Hietanen, AC Oulu
Jussi Nuorela, TPS
Iiro Aalto, HJK

Mikko Manninen, Haka
Jarkko Wiss, TamU
Valeri Popovitsh, Haka
Janne Saarinen, Honka

Also, the Iltalehti’s expert jury has listed the best players of the league:

1) Mika Nurmela, HJK
2) Mika Ääritalo, TPS
3) Roni Porokara, Honka
Rafael, FC Lahti
Mikko Kavén, TamU
Jarkko Wiss, TamU
7) Hannu Patronen, Honka
8) Juska Savolainen, TamU
9) Jos Hooiveld, Inter Turku
10) Armand One, TPS

Today’s paper version ought to reveal all fifteen Veikkausliiga stars, and I can barely resist the temptation of finding out who the remaining five are.

There was a good match of Kakkonen in Tammela on Saturday, by the way. Koovee played Grankulla IFK and the weather was wonderful – and particularly wonderful if compared to the last Koovee game (a tight promotion clash against Musan Salama) your Football in Finland task force saw last autumn, when they were still in Kolmonen and when it was raining cats, dogs and old Hervanta women.

I don’t know the score but at some point it was one-one.

Update: and ta-daa, the other footballers to qualify for the Iltalehti jury’s list are…

11) Antti Pohja, TamU
12) Jonas Emet, FF Jaro
13) Janne Hietanen, AC Oulu
14) Toni Lehtinen, Haka
15) Jukka Lehtovaara, TPS
Jarno Heinikangas, TPS
Dominic Chatto, Inter Turku

The eight wise men, who were asked to write down their own top ten, seem to have been Marco Casagrande, Harri Kampman, Michael Käld, Ari Tiittanen, Jan Walden, Antti Muurinen, Tommi Koivistoinen and Ari Hjelm. No player appeared in all of the lists (Nurmela, One, Hooiveld and Rafael being the ones with most nominations, i.e. five) and of the clubs only IFK Mariehamn and Viikingit were left with no star players at all – which tells of a much greater balance than in last year’s Veikkausliiga. Mika Nurmela won with the average of 4.5 points, whereas a year ago Hermanni Vuorinen dominated the same poll with his 8.6.

Koovee-GrIFK 2-1.

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