I know you guys don't really care all too much about the small details of each signing and outgoing, considering how remote this league is, so I will keep it short and to the point. You can find screenshots of all signings in the spoilers below.
In terms of outgoings, we had six players leave the club following the expiration of their contracts and one join another club in a free transfer. Some of them were talented players but had toxic attitudes, which did not go down well with me. I found myself constantly fining these players for not turning up to training or for other misconducts. Some of them had a good attitude, but were not going to get a game at Ykkönen level.
Now, new signings. Johan Lund, Jonne Ailio, Niko Lehtinen, Matias Paavola, Emil Karlsson, Janne Nutikka, Jarno Seppälä and Santtu Johansson
were all signed for our youth team. Having scouted these youngsters extensively, I felt it worth the low risk of signing them on for free and hopefully developing them into future internationals for the country, either at youth level or senior level. They all had a lot of promise and were all likely to become Veikkausliiga stars in the future.
was our first major senior signing. He was a versatile defensive player who came in to provide competition for the full back positions, while also providing cover for other areas should he be required. He was a well-rounded defender with plenty of pace to his game, an invaluable asset in modern day football, and at twenty-five years old, was not yet near his peak years. Originally of Colombian background, his family moved to Finland when he was a kid and Aspegren graduated from the HJK academy. Following spells at FC Inter Turku, TPS, SJK and KTP, Aspegren made his move to FC Ilves of Tampere where he made 79 Veikkausliiga appearances. Following Ilves' relegation last season, Aspegren decided to leave the club, despite manager Sami Hyypiä best efforts to keep the in-demand defender.
became Peimari's second signing of the summer. Kauppinen was brought in to provide competition to Kevin Larsson as a right-sided Inside Forward, but was also capable of playing on the left. Kauppinen was renowned for his speed and his flair-dribbling skills, and just came off the back of an impressive season with JäPS where he scored seven Kakkonen goals. With the quality already in Peimari's attack, Kauppinen will be unlikely to start but presents an incredible backup option. He would have become a key player for most Ykkönen sides.
was one of Peimari's most exciting signings. Having been capped at U19s level for Finland, Ollila left capital giants HJK in search of regular first team football. At the young age of nineteen, Ollila had already racked up 61 league appearances in Ykkönen and Kakkonen, for HJK's second team Klubi-04 and with Ekenäs Taamisaari on a two-year loan. Ollila was brought in to provide direct competition to Riku Sjöroos for Peimari's left-sided Inside Forward position, but was also capable of playing as a striker. Ollila was known as an extremely explosive player and was considered to be one of Finland's top young talents.
Next up was defender Arttu Eerola
. He commanded a fee of €110 in compensation to KäPa Helsinki. Eerola was brought in to provide backup to Bruno Rodrigues at right back. At nineteen years of age, Eerola was considered to be a future Veikkausliiga-standard defender. He was quick and defensive-minded, but was also very competent with the ball at his feet. Eerola had already made 62 Kakkonen appearances for KäPa, despite his tender age, and was considered to be their prized asset.
was another massive signing for Peimari United. The seventeen year old left back broke through from PKKU's academy last season to make eight Kakkonen appearances, and earning himself his Finland U19s debut in the process. Despite his relative inexperience, Virtanen was brought in to start at left back for Peimari and was expected to become a senior international in the future. He was quick, fit and a hard worker. He was an excellent tackler too, and a fantastic addition to the team.
was brought in as cover for central defence. The twenty-seven year old was part of IFK Mariehamn's second team FC Åland, and made 43 league appearances for the club. Despite his lack of pace, he was strong, good in the air and an excellent tackler. He was also an excellent leader, having captained his former club on many occasions. He was a good player to have in the dressing room, and was installed to be our fourth-choice central defender.
Next up was striker Antti Pokela
. The twenty-two year old striker was a signing that the fans were delighted with. Pokela joined from FC Espoo, where he scored 39 goals in 99 league appearances. He was quick, a great runner off-the-ball and very very good on the ball. He was brought in to be one of the players challenging for a starting spot up front, following our lack of goals from strikers last season. At his age, he was only expected to get better.
came in to reinforce our defence. The twenty-six year old was an FC Haka graduate and had made 130 league appearances in total prior to signing for us. He last played for PS-44 in Nelonen (Finland's fifth division). He was quite athletic, a good leader and a good defender. He was a solid signing.
Now, for our most exciting signing. Jesper Santanen
was, somehow, snatched up on a free transfer from SalPa Salo. The sixteen year old broke through from their academy last season and scored five goals, assisting twice, in six Kakkonen games. He was quick, fit, a clinical shooter and a great set-piece taker. He was one of Finland's top prospects, with many clubs in for his signature. I have no idea how we signed him. He was set for big things. Very big things.
Our last senior signing was Sami Suikki.
At seventeen years of age, he was brought in to move between the senior team and our U20s. He made his senior debut for ÅIFK last season and was expected to become a future senior international. The midfielder was very intelligent and a superb passer. With a bit of work on the training ground, and plenty in the gym, he had the potential to become a future star for us.
January brought with it Suomen Cup qualifying fixtures. We had a tough group for the qualifiers, with Gnistan Helsinki, Kemi Kings, KTP and FC Ilves as opposition. We were to play each team once, with the top two teams earning qualification to the knockout rounds. Our aim was to reach the knockout rounds, no matter the cost. An excellent challenge for our new young stars.