Transfer news

Roni Porokara has signed a three year contract with Sixten Boström’s Örebro, leaving Honka with a ‘very good deal’ according to their manager. He will take his place in Allsvenskan a year late, for my money, but he has pace and skill and certainly has the ability to succeed on a bigger stage.

Boström, incidentally, was in Finland this week for other reasons to which I should probably dedicate a full post sometime in the near future.

Chris James has signed for TamU, giving new options in midfield that are sorely needed on the evidence of the MyPa game last Friday. He’s 20 years old, from New Zealand and is listed in wikipedia as an ‘attacking midfielder’. He played the last 25 minutes of TamU’s 2-1 defeat in Turku yesterday, coming on for Henri Scheweleff. I was unconvinced by Sheweleff against MyPa, he looks more like a traditional winger than a TamU player who can move the ball on quickly. It will be very interesting to see how Hjelm manages this transition with the players he has brought in.

The other New Zealander in Finland at the moment is Adrian Webster. He is indeed a feisty character, and this was in evidence at Pirkahalli as he niggled the TamU midfielders, at one point yelling ‘fucking hit him!’ as his team mate went into a challenge. I like players like that, but he’s going to get some stick from Finnish referees. If Adrian (or Chris) stumbles across this blog, I can only pass on Keith Armstrong’s words of wisdom. The erstwhile Haka and HJK coach learnt Finnish after noticing that referees booked him if he swore in English, but not if he said something similar in Finnish. Adrian and Chris: it’s worth learning a little bit so that you can integrate quickly.

‘Jumalautta!’ is probably the worst Finnish swear word. It literally means ‘God help me’, but it sounds great when you express exasperation. In our own ‘fuck’-centric swearing universe, it would lack any impact, but it is pleasingly emphatic. use when a pass goes astray or you want to express disapproval at a referee’s decision.

‘Vittu’ is the Finnish equivalent of ‘cunt’, but cannot be used in the same way. You can’t call someone ‘a right vittu’, but you can tell them to fuck off in two ways. ‘Haista vittu’ literally means ‘smell the cunt’ and to my mind carries slightly dodgy misogynistic and adolescent overtones, whereas ‘painu vittu pois!’ is more of a ‘get the fuck out of here’ type thing.

‘Rauha!’ translates as ‘time!’ in English footballspeak, although literally it means ‘peace’. No swearing there, but if you shout it a lot you’ll fit right in. This is the key, to ensure that you don’t stick out and that you make an effort to insult people in their own language. You will fail, pronounce things wrongly, and they will patronisingly pat you on the head, but then they might look more favourably on your next two footed lunge if you haven’t been chuntering away in English all game.

I am a poor Finnish teacher, but I’m sure your team mates and our readers will be able to add more words and phrases.

One last bit of transfer news. Tero Mäntylä, a 16 year old midfielder from Seinäjoki, has signed for Portsmouth. I’d never heard of him either. he’s played over thirty games for Finland’s youth sides, and will join Dalla Valle and Pukki in Finland’s foreign legion. Of the three, Pukki is far and away the best player, having led his side in Veikkausliiga for pretty much a whole season. Dalla Valle was only training with Jippo’s senior squad, not participating much in games, and Mäntylä….. well, I know nothing about him and he could very easily be a great player. Impossible to say at this stage though, which is why it’s ridiculous for Portsmouth to be paying all this money for him.

The word is that Simon Skrabb is the next Finnish talent on the way to England, and he’s only 14. He plays for Jaro and is apparently heading to Liverpool, having been there a couple of times already. Liverpool seem to be showing a lot of interest in Finnish talent, and their academy coach Steve Hollis is working pretty hard to pronounce everything properly on his trip to Joensuu just now.


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