Toni Lehtinen signs for Levadiakos

Former FC Haka striker Toni Lehtinen has signed for Levadiakos, according to the Greek daily Sportday. His contract will run until the end of the 2009-2010 season, with an option for a further year, and he will earn around €80,000 a year.

Lehtinen has been at Haka since 2003, and has played 104 league games, scoring 39 goals. He has been on trial at VFL Bochum and Eintracht Braunschweig in recent years. He has been on the fringes of the national squad, but needs a good season if he is to have any hope of forcing his way into the reckoning, especially after Niklas Tarvajärvi’s solid performance against Switzerland last night.

Levadiokos are a lower ranking Greek club who usually have a relegation battle of some kind or another. They represent the small town of Levedeia in the Greek Super League, and their budget is pretty meagre, so Lehtinen’s wages represent ‘respectable money’, according to FIF’s friends in Greece. lehtinen has experience of playing abroad before, but having visited both Greece and Lehtinen’s previous location – Peterborough – I can safely say they don’t have much in common.

Levadiokos’s strikers include the veteran Albanian Alban Bushi, 32 year old Eduardo Bustos Montoya, Patrick Dimbala from DR Congo and Greek youngster Stelios Vasiliou. None of them have made it out of single figures in the Greek league before, and it might be difficult to do so at a smaller club, in a new league. In any event, Lehtinen will have to knuckle down and show his worth to more senior players, after being the number one striker at Haka for so long. His pace might be an asset the club will look to utilise.

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13 Responses

  1. Hello, just a small query.

    Last Wednesday (19th November) Wales Under 23s lost 1-0 to Finland under 23s in a tournament.

    The Welsh team were made from semi-professional players, at which level do the Finnish team’s players play at?

  2. They’re all full-time, and some of them even play abroad:

    Anssi Jaakkola, AC Siena
    Jukka Raitala, HJK > 46’ Petri Viljanen, FC Haka
    Ari Nyman, FC Thun
    Jonas Portin, FF Jaro
    Ville Jalasto, FC Honka
    Juha Hakola, FC Flora > 57’ Erfan Zeneli, HJK
    Tim Sparv, Halmstads BK (k)
    Mehmet Hetemaj, Panionios NFC > 57’ Ilari Äijälä, MyPa
    Tomi Petrescu, Tampere United > 46’ Jussi Vasara, FC Honka
    Perparim Hetemaj, AEK Ateena > 68’ Jarno Parikka, HJK
    Timo Furuholm, FC Inter

  3. Thanks, no wonder they won!!

  4. This competition confuses the hell out of me, given the disparity in selection criteria. Do you know what kind of team Italy put out? Maybe Finland are playing their Under 21s against semi-pros to toughen them up a bit?

  5. The Italian players play in Lega Pro Seconda Divisione (used to be Serie C2) I think. After speaking to the Bangor players involved it was obvious to them that the Italians were very good.

  6. any possibility update on the transfers so far in vliiga ?

  7. I’ll do something in the next week, finnbrit, there’s a lot to cover.

  8. I am a Greek from Levadia.I hope Toni Lehtinen is good because we really need a good striker right now…

  9. Finnbrit, there’s a transfer page here:

    http://finnishfootball.wordpress.com/transfers/

    I notice that a lot of teams are primarily signing Finnish players. Is that normal at this stage. Also I am slightly confused – I am English/Finnish mongrel and typically none of my Finnish relatives have any interest in football – so none of them can ever answer my queries about Finnish football. Why are clubs signing players at this point? What are the players going to do between now and next season?

  10. Well, the season is finished and players are on holiday. Most of them had contracts that ran out at the end of October, and even though they can’t actually play for a new club until January, it’s as well to get fixed up asap.

    Nikos: He’s quick, skillful and confident. Sometimes over-confident. If he works hard he could become a good player. Good luck to Levadiakos, maybe you’ll get some Finnish tourists down there to see him play? Finnish winter is dark and wet, so a trip to somewhere warmer in the darker months is always a good idea.

  11. Egan: I saw your response today .I suppose you know Toni Lehtinen as a player
    better than I do.Well ,I hope he helps us .Our winter is sunny here so we can’t really understand what Finnish winter is like…So I guess we may have some visitors in town now…!

  12. I forgot : I ‘d like to send my wishes for merry christmas and a happy new year too.

  13. It has gotten cold this week Nikos, which is lovely compared to the dark and wet November and December we had here. I reiterate my desire to winter in Greece though, and return your best wishes for the New Year and (Orthodox) Christmas!

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