I like KooVee. Of all the Tampere clubs they have by far the best kit, of which I can’t find any pictures right now. It’s a deep red, with a gold/yellow shoulder patch, black shorts and black socks. It’s better than it sounds, especially to afficionados of the red/yellow combo. KooVee’s kit reminds me of one of the best football shirts in my collection:

Today’s game against VG 62 (who sound like a new and interesting STD, but are in actual fact Inter Turku’s farm club) was pretty well attended, I’d guesstimate the figure at around 200. Compared to my first KooVee game that’s a lot.

Last October me, Jussi and Aapo went to see the Kolmonen playoff in Hervanta, between KooVee and Musan Salama. In driving rain Musa got promotion, and their fans probably outnumbered KooVee. Musa’s support was certainly louder, including as it did us three, a French flag and a bottle of Jaloviina. It seems that Finnish football crowds are fairly inflexible – they depend on the level of football not the club or the fanbase.

Tonight there were a lot of old fellas, a fair few kids and some curious passers-by. The excellent coffee and chocolate cake got me ready for the game, even though I’d arrived a little bit late and had failed to get a programme, so was floundering as to who exactly the players were. I recognised Tuomas Niskanen, who had terrorised Musa last year, who ‘won’t be a coach after football’ and whose motto is that ‘in a poor bag it’s best to have food’. I think the meaning of that is that it’s easiest to be satisfied when you have nothing, but Finnish is a bit tough to decipher sometimes.

Niskanen was having a tough time of it, though, and was in the pocket of the VG defence for most of the game until their captain was sent off for saying something rude. It must have been bad, because he kept shouting ‘VITTU!’ afterwards, and there was nearly a fight with Matti Jokinen (motto: ALL IN!) as he left the pitch.

Some pithy comments to the effect that he was a ‘great captain’ ensued, and VG duly collapsed and lost 2-0. Or at least, it was 2-0 when I left. I’ve taken to leaving games at Tammela early, as that’s what glamorous football people do, to avoid the streams of plebian cars slowing down their plush motors. I feel a strong affinity with the likes of Sir Alex Ferguson as I wait for the 20:25 number 13 bus, a service that I’d miss if I stayed till the end of the match.

VG looked to be what PP-70 might aspire to. They seemed to be very young, very energetic and seemed to play without fear. I can see where Inter get their decent youngsters from now, if this is where they learn their trade. Their style of play is attacking and skillful, with the emphasis on wingers and no long balls. It’s good stuff, but they lacked a bit of penetration today.

In veikkausliiga haka went to the top of the table with a 3-0 win away at MyPa. I’m just wondering if they’ve hit form at the right time, with TamU distracted and having a load of games postponed today. The games in hand will be played later in the season, when TamU could well have a lot of European games, dodgy weather and clubs fighting for their lives and/or gunning for the top dogs. Haka’s squad is young and has some belief, and when they’re on song they play wonderful football. The key is Popovitch, and as Rhyl found out it’s not always enough to kick him early on.

Here’s the table:

FC Haka 15 30
TamU 14 30
TPS 15 26
HJK 16 22
FC Honka 15 22
MyPa 16 22
FC Lahti 15 21
FC KooTeePee 16 20
FC Inter 16 19
FF Jaro 16 19
VPS 16 19
FC Viikingit 15 14
IFK Mariehamn 15 13
AC Oulu 14 11


MyPa FC Haka 0 – 3
FF Jaro HJK 0 – 0
FC Honka FC Viikingit 1 – 1
FC KooTeePee FC Inter 0 – 2

And highlights


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