Congratulations! You’re reading the first Ultraboyz-fanzine of 2013. We aim to publish more of these during 2013 when we get enough ideas for stories to report.
Ultraboyz-fanzine 1/2013 Editor Ultraboyz/Jarmo Photos Ultraboyz/Rise, Iippa Graphics& layout Ultraboyz/Iippa, www.kristiinaerkko.fi
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? z y o b a r t l U s i t a h W Kuva: Tero Wester
Ultraboyz supporter’s club was founded in 1999 to gather all supporters of FC Inter together under the same flag. We work towards enhancing the support base of a topflight football club in Turku and strive for making FC Inter more recognizable in Finland as well as gather people who are passionate about football and FC Inter together to support our club home and away in Finland and abroad. Ultraboyz keeps in touch with the Finnish FA and other top flight football clubs in Finland and their supporter’s clubs. Ultraboyz acts as a host for supporters who travel here to support their club in international cup matches. Ultraboyz has about 30 members at the end of 2012. We gather for other cultural happenings outside playing season several times per year in Turku and the surrounding area. All right, enough stiff upper lip already. Let’s relax a bit and put this in a much simpler way: Ultraboyz is a group of people who share love and passion for football and especially for FC Inter. We have people from all walks of life end everyone is welcome regardless of age, gender, marital status, religion, nationality, skin colour, profession, looks and body shape. All that matters is a black and blue heart, that´s all you’ll ever need.
Info about membership fee, how much and why? Every member pays a membership fee at the beginning of each calendar year. The fee is 20 € for people who are 15 years old or older and 5 € for people who are younger than 15 years old at the beginning of the calendar year. You get to travel cheaper to away games than those people who are not members. The logic behind a membership fee is that we put together a small buffer fund,
which we use to cover for the rental fee of a bus for travelling to away games. Sometimes the busfare we collect for people travelling to an away game doesn’t add up enough to cover the rental fee of the bus we use and then that buffer fund of ours comes into play. A member of Ultraboyz gets access to our webforum´s Members Only-section, where the best and most tantalizing stories and rumours are.
Info about travelling to away games, how do I get on the bus? We inform well in advance the price of a next away game in our webforum and once the price is put out in the open it doesn’t change so you’ll know exactly how much you have to pay for the bus fare and the game ticket. It’s one price for the bus fare and the game ticket, there’s no additional cost. Ultraboyz members get their away game package typically 5€ cheaper than non-members. To recap, everybody gets to travel to an away game with us regardless of Ultraboyz membership. All you have to do is to dig a little deeper into your pocket than us, that’s all. The most convenient way to sign up for an away game is through our webforum’s Vieraspelimatkat-section or by dropping a message to email@example.com. The starting point for away games is from the parking lot right next to our home stadion in Kupittaa and this is the place we return as well. We pick up people from along the way as well if needed and if your pick-up point happens to coincide with our natural route from Turku to our destination. Consuming of your own getting in the proper supporting mood beverages is allowed. Just make sure that you master the fine art of balancing your input with your output. 3
n o s a e s f o y r a m Sum 2012 away games ts bly could last season. The dimwiessi po we me ga ay aw ery ev to ate ev We travelled with the dates of fixtures to frustr job p cra e tru a did ga slii au era ikk of Ve us as well by placing sev l away d an d lan Fin t ou gh ou thr b clu s ry supporter’ st efforts to travel to away be r ou y ntl cie effi d kle tac is Th igames in mid-week. ny thanks to the people respons ma ain ag ce on – b clu r ou ort pp games to su ble for the fixture dates.
Regardless of Veikkausliiga’s best efforts to hinder us from supporting our club we did travel to away games as usual from February through October starting from a training match in Sweden against Syrianska and ending with the final game of the season in Espoo against Honka. The absolute high point of away games in every season is visiting the islanders in Mariehamn. All right, all right; nothing beats derbys against the crap stripes but away games played at the Veritas stadion aren’t really proper away games since they are played at our own stadion. Enough said and back to Mariehamn. These excursions have always been nice and relaxed leisure in good company and the past season didn’t make an exception to the rule. Kile scored his first ever goal in the league in Lahti at the absolute most horrible concrete colossus ski stadion in Finland. Congratulations!
Travelling to away games begins always with nice and trusting anticipation and as the distance to the destination decreases and the kickoff time draws ever closer the jitters get stronger and stronger until they are next to unbearable. We have unwavering faith in our club always and we trust that our everlasting support is rewarded by our club with a glorious victory. After a victorious away game our journey back home is filled with almost euphoric bliss and you can witness a true and genuine happiness and gratitude towards our club in everyone’s face and this brings unparalled joy to a black and blue heart.
Sadly, life isn’t always sunshine and a bed of roses but sometimes you get a cold shower right onto the face and we had our fair share of this as well last season. On the other hand, there’s always sunshine after the rain and the sun feels so much better on these occasions. We experienced joyful journeys back home in Veikkausliiga 6 times, somewhat disappointing journeys after a draw 3 times and numbing disappointment filled our hearts on our way home 7 times. We encountered many memorable moments on our away travels and there were some special moments in the games as well.
Extra time was played on the plastic knee-broker in Helsinki in May until citystadiclub scored a winning goal. Right after that was a good moment to end the game according to the referee, at least. Thanks a lot for nothing! We scored an equalizing goal when we played in the smaal but big Espoo in June but it was ruled out as an offside, which nobody but the assisting referee saw. There were 22 players on the pitch who were all equally astounded by the raised flag. Well done, assisting referee.
Pim scored his first ever goa l in the league in the midst of tomato farms in Pietarsaari in the beginning of May. Congratulations!
Joni created a lot of pressure to citystadiclub’s Juho Mäkelä in a big scramble right in front of citystadiclub’s goal at that plastic knee-broker in that eastern village called Helsinki in September. That wannabe top goal scorer found no other way out than to punt the ball in shear panic right into his own goal. That was all right with us. Nothing is more sincere than glee. All right Joni!
Ville scored finally his first ever league goal in Lahti in the beginning of July on that absolute most horrible concrete colossus ski stadion in Finland. Congratulations!
We had a tight game at Tehtaan kenttä in Valkeakoski in October. We won the game with a winning goal on extra time. That 1 - 2 away win was the sweetest one at least by my account. Our goals were both scored by Mika. The latter, winning goal exploded our section in the stands with tremendous joy. Mankku kicked an especially excellent long ball behind the defensive line of Haka. Mika took the ball and shot it straight into the bottom corner. Mika gave us all a very fine memory, which warms my heart even now in the midst of winter at the writing of this account.
l at Vänäri in Kuopio on July. Congrat
Maxi scored his first ever league goa
Summary of other competitions on season 2012 Our quest for the League Cup came to an end on penalties to citystadiclub at the quarterfinals played at Urheilupuisto’s upper pitch late last March. We cleared the group stage with flying colours but it just wasn’t enough this time. Suomen Cup ended for Inter almost before it really begun. Inter entered the Cup in the 7th round as top flight clubs do according to the rule book and played away against a second division KTP.
Much to our disbelief the lower ranked club fought like men possessed right from the getgo until the final whistle but that’s cuptie for you. When Inter wasn’t able to play nowhere near to our normal standard we lost 2 – 1 after extra time. KTP scored their goals from penalties and our only goal was scored by Mika. Sigh! The absolute cherry on the cake of the season was UEFA Europa League’s second quali-
17 years old Matias Louanto and 16 years old Toni Viljanen played their debut game in the final game of the season in Espoo stadion’s frosty pitch. Congratulations to both young guns!
That marked the end of league season 2012 and the almost endless waiting for league season 2013 started.
Solmu scored his fir st ever league goal at Tehtaan kenttä Congratulations! in Valke
akoski in August.
fy round’s games against FC Twente from Holland. The first game was an away game in Enschede and we won a glorious draw 1 – 1. Twente was on the driver’s seat as you might expect but the half time result was Twente 0 - Inter 1. Forza Inter! Our goal scorer was Pim who got the ball on Twente’s half and shot a real screamer into the top right-hand corner from a good 25 meters out and
completely silenced home supporters. Superb! Twente pressed hard on the second half and was able to score an equalizer in the end. Crap! Our home game was not as good as the away game and Twente managed a clear win over us and went on as a clear winner. That’s the long and short of it.
Job Dragtsma 16.1.2013
Ultraboyz: When your signed with Inter I remember hearing that you had a player background before you started coaching – would you please tell us a little about that? Job Dragtsma: It started the same way as for most players in Holland; my father took me to the club where he was playing when I was 6 or 7 years old. I got my basic education in football in that club and I stayed there till I was 16 years old. I was selected to play for Ajax for two years. That period of time was quite difficult for me because I was still in school in Alkmaar and I had to go to school in the morning, take a train to Amsterdam in the evening to go training with Ajax, then take a train back home and do the homework for school the next day. Things weren’t the same as they are today; schools and Ajax work together now to enable a player to work on both careers equally well, school and football. UBZ: So the days were quite long for you. JD: Yes, it was a little too much for me, all things considered. Although I was getting some money all the travelling was taking its toll on me. I was quite good at school as well and my father always said that it’s not a problem if you want to be a professional football player but you have to finish your school. I hated that then but now I’m thinking it was a good thing. Not so many players make it as a professional and you can always have an injury that ends your career. After I left Ajax I played futsal for many years and that was a good thing because my earnings made it possible for me to continue my studies. I got to play in many levels, amateur, semi-professional and professional and I didn’t really go back to football any more. It was a very good situation for me. We played on nice tournaments in Italy and elsewhere in Europe. UBZ: I gather life was good back then? Yes, it was and I was able to finish my studies as well. When you reach your thirties, you start to think about the future. I had some friends who had the same idea as me and we started studying coaching together. I ended my playing career a bit early, I was 33 then and I probably could have continued playing for a few years longer but I decided to start coaching. I started coaching in the amateur league for the bigger clubs there and it went so well and I liked it so much that I decided to go on a pro coaching course. After graduating from there I started to work for AZ as the assistant coach of the first team and I was responsible for the youth department, too. I was the technical director as well. I made training programs for the other coaches. I did that for five years and then I went to Volendam as a head coach for one year. Then I went to Fenerbache for two years and then Stefan Håkans came along and here I am now.
UBZ: Your time in Fenerbache must have been interesting because Turkish people are very hot-blooded about football. JD: It was and Istanbul is a most beautiful city to be in, it’s a truly amazing city. I know it very well and I go there every year after season for two weeks, last time we went together with Jami. We spent time with the first team of Fenerbache; I still know a lot of coaches there. It’s an amazingly big club in every possible way. Working there is very difficult because while they say that they are patient what they really want is immediate results and the pressure is unbelievable. There are some 25 newspapers about football in Istanbul and they report anything
and everything you do and you just have to deal with that since you can’t possibly change that. The important thing over there is that you know the things inside the society because Fenerbache is such an enourmous club that it’s a way of life for a big portion of the city. It’s very difficult to structurize things over there and get things done because the Turkish want success now, not tomorrow. The pressure is so tremendous that you don’t really understand it until you experience it first-hand. Yes, you have to be there to fully understand what it feels like. I remember my first Fenerbache – Galatasaray derby. It was truly amazing; it was more a war than a game. There are other derbys elsewhere which are hot; Ajax – Feyenoord, the Old Firm in Glasgow, for instance and others but that was really something else, it was intense. UBZ: You have played and coached for many clubs in your career but do you consider your very first club to be somehow special? JD: Yes, it was the club where I started playing and where my father was playing and where I first started my coaching career. I knew a lot of people there and when they asked me to coach for them I saw that as a possibility for a new career and I took it. You can never forget your first club. I remember the day when I signed my very first contract with them and I still know a lot of people in that club. UBZ: Did you have a certain player you looked up to when you were young? JD: When I was playing for Ajax Johan Neeskens was there, too. I was playing in the youth team when Ajax was the biggest club in Holland and really big on European level as well. They won European Champions Cup for three years in succes-
sion and I was there, too. Johan Cruyff left Ajax after that and went to play for Barcelona. I didn’t miss any first team’s game during those years. That first team was one of the best ever for Ajax. Ruud Krol was there and I took the Pro coaching course the same time as he did. He is a really nice guy.
It’s not easy to get players to come to Finland, money is often the issue so we have to look for younger players or players who I think I can handle while someone else can’t.”
UBZ: They really transfromed the way football was played and that changed the game itself. JD: Yes, their coaching under Rinus Michels was the most professional than anywhere else and that of course was the thing I was focused to because they changed a lot of things from amateur level to professional level about the game and coaching. Everyone has weak points, of course, but to me he is the best coach I have seen. I want to stucturize things, I don’t believe in luck. Luck comes and goes but true success comes only after you do the right things as well as possible. The coaches who influened me the most when I was starting my coaching career were Miklos and Verhaal. Those are the coaches I have linked with, especially Verhaar. I have learned a lot from them. UBZ: Do you have any regrets in your career; do you think that there are certain points in time when you might have chosen differently? JD: Well, if I would go to Fenerbache now and know the things about that club I learned when I was there, I would approach it differently. I know more about the club and about working abroad. You always have to think about the society where you’re going in, whether it’s Finland or Turkey, that doesn’t matter. The society will not adapt to you, you have to adapt to the society and that you have to deal with. When I started to work for Fenerbache I thought that I could change a lot with my knowledge of things to do and while knowledge is very important, don’t ever underestimate the culture in the club because the club will always be bigger than you. I would make some decisions differently than I made when I was there. I did the same thing when I came here, I discussed a lot with Stefan and others about youth department things and I said that I want to help rearrange the youth department. We can’t change things overnight but let’s get some things started in the first year and see after that what steps we can take the following year. The approach in Fenerbache was totally different, we changed things right away and this way you get people against you. I was there with two other Dutch coaches and maybe we should have looked more to people you can use and get behind you and get things done easier. That’s experience you have to accumulate in order to be a coach. The more experiece you have the better coach you will be. Many times you learn from your failures, the mistakes you made. I don’t have any big regrets about last season, maybe I should have made some other decisions but some decisions worked, some didn’t.
UBZ: You just have to think that OK, I made a mistake here, what can I learn from it and go from there. JD: I tried to evaluate a lot what went wrong last season, what was OK and where I failed, where I could do things differently. We talked with the players about it and tried to find out how to avoid making mistakes. There are a lot of things you have to find a balance with in order to find that red line about the things that work and concentrate on those. That’s where experience counts and after ten years of coaching I know what works and what doesn’t so don’t put any emphasis on things that don’t work. When you are a young coach you want to try every idea you know although you don’t know what works and what doesn’t. UBZ: Do you think coaching 24/7 or do you find some free time as well? JD: It’s not an 8 to 16 job but you’re busy the whole week. We have more free time during the winter but even during December there are a lot of phone calls about what’s happening with these players and if he goes, what can we do then and how is the financial situation and so on. There’s a lot more than just training and games. UBZ: Do you have any hobbies outside football? JD: Yes, I have. I like sport in general, the nature, I like going to the movies and such. UBZ: What is your footballing philosophy; how the game should be played according to you? JD: That’s something we could talk all day but to put it in a nutshell, my aim is to win each game but the way we do it is important. I want my team to play attractive football so people will like it. I like to build from the defence up, passing game, playing more combinations and I know that players like it, too. You need more skills to do that but that’s more or less the way I want football to be played. That’s my philosophy about the game and every coach in the world will have to find his own philosophy very early on so you get your own identity. I will never change my identity. If we lose ten games, I will not change it. I believe fully in it. Some years it works better, some years worse but that’s me. I try to find the players that fit in this and want to play in a style what people recognize. That’s very important to me and that comes from my way of thinking, what we want to do when we have the ball and how do we want to defend. Those are the starting points and they will always be the same. I want to do the same with the youth teams as well. Starting point of the game should be the same. Every team should play the same way the first team is playing.
UBZ: Then everyone knows how to play and what is his role in the team. JD: Yes and then you try to coach the players to this own style of playing. It makes no sense to do this long ball kicking this week and the next week we defend like this and next week we do something else. You have to have that red line of how to play. That makes it easier to say something about their playing, otherwise everything is allowed. If he doesn’t know how he’s expected to play, how could I say to him that you didn’t do your job today. UBZ: Do you think that a club should always change their tactics according to the opponent? JD: Not more than a little bit. I do it a little bit but the main thing should always be your own style of playing. Of course we can defend ten meters lower or higher but you shouldn’t do more than small adjustments to your own playing style. Every team can play against us the way they choose and we have to deal with it. I’m always thinking in a scope of 40 or 50 games and we get in general the best results out of those games with our playing style. That’s my philosophy. UBZ: Are you at all worried about those things, which are happening around football in Europe; e.g. the ridilously outrageous wages players are getting? JD: Although I can’t change things the wages are outrageous. If a player gets 5 million euros per year it’s good for him of course but not good fot football. I think football is for people and these wages are out of every proportion. How do you feel about the goalline controversy; should technology be used as FIFA wants to or is the current 5-referee system what should be used as UEFA wants to? JD: The 5-referee system is OK, but I feel that technology should be used. Why not stop a game for 15 seconds and get a reliable result after looking at footage from a camera? I think it’s more important than a short delay in the game. UBZ: So you don’t think that it would take the romantics away from the game? JD: I think that in this case we have to accept that little loss of romantics. The alternative is to do nothng at all but then don’t complain about referee’s decisions. The goals allowed or disallowed may mean millions to the clubs in revenue and we have to look at the bigger picture. It’s a question of fairness, too. The game should be fair in this respect as well.
UBZ: What are you looking for in the pre-season games? JD: We lost some players and I’m looking for replacements who can play according to my philosophy and who can do the same or more than the players we lost. I’m looking for Finnish players at first and our youth team, then players already playing in Finland and if there’s nothing to be found then I’ll turn to scouting. I tried to create a club who is in the top 5 in Finland structurally and I think that we are there quite comfortably. Now the focus is winning the medals. It means that choosing between a player from our youth team and another player is sometimes not so easy. I always look at young players first but sometimes you need a certain type of player like Gruborovics is. We really want to be one of the top teams. If you look at Jaro, Jeremenko is a very good coach and I like him and the way Jaro is playing because they have more or less the same philosophy. UBZ: Totta ja he ovat rohkeita omassa pelitavassaan. JD: It’s still always easy when you’re in the position when you just want to stay in the League. If I was in that kind of position I would put young players in and everyone would be happy that I play with all my young players. But I have to find a balance between results and putting in players. I’m looking for young players from Finland first but that’s not easy and then I have to look abroad. Take Pim Bouwman, for example, who I knew from Holland to be quite talented but for some reason things didn’t work out for him there and so I got him to play here. Young players like Jos Hooiveld and Pim, they somehow missed the door when it was open but that doesn’t mean that you can’t reopen it if you play well somewhere else. I’m still looking in Holland through my contacs. They know my way of thinking and when I was over there in December I told people that I’m looking for certain type of players and maybe someone will contact me. If that happens, we’ll take him here for a test and see what happens. It’s important that the players who come here for a test know the Finnish level and what to expect salarywise and else. Those agents who send here players from Brasil know nothing about Finland. It’s easy to say that he’s a good player. He may well be a good player but does he fit in the team, does he fit in the Finnish climate and culture? That’s why is good to have a test player here for 5 days so they can learn a little about the level, the club, their role in the team and Turku. Then they can see if they could live here. Even when you try to scout new players very carefully you make mistakes sometimes. It is the most difficult thing to get players in from abroad.
UBZ: Some players might be thinking that maybe I have to lower my salary request to get a contract somewhere. JD: Yes, it goes like that because otherwise they have to get back to amateur level again. UBZ: How do you see the upcoming season; will the same teams be on the top? JD: HJK for sure, I expect more from KuPS, then MIFK because they have a solid financial backing, I think that we have a very good first 11 or 12 players and TPS will be there, too. I believe that the overall level is going to be a little higher this season because even RoPS is going to be a better team than people think. They have signed some good players and their financial status is good. UBZ: If you were an animal, what animal would you be? JD: A wolf. UBZ: If you were a car, what car would you be? JD: A Porsche Cayenne.
UBZ: Do you think that there are more available players now due to the economic hardship in Europe? JD: Yes, especially in the segment of players we are looking for there are more players available. The top clubs will always have money to pay millions for players like Messi and Van Persie but the smaller clubs are struggling a bit. Although there are more available players it’s a question of finding the right players for us. UBZ: Yes, if a player is not getting a new contract from his club, is there something wrong in him healthwise or something? Is he good for us or not? JD: Yes, that’s what you have to search out. Clubs are downsizing their first teams from 24 players to 20 so there should be some leftover players. We’ll see.
Jere Koponen 5.1.2013
Ultraboyz: You spent season 2012 on loan to second division club KTP, how did that feel for you? Jere Koponen: It felt really good to get to play meaningful games since after the youth team A it was a bit unclear where I could play. I got to play mens’ games the first year I became too old to play in the youth team A and my pIaying as well as my mental toughness developed a lot since the environment was new and the players in my new club were new to me as well. UBZ: You came to that team as an outsider at first a bit like a foreign player comes to our squad and people size you up and try to figure out who this guy is and what he can do on the pitch or can’t he? JK: It took a little bit of getting used to at first and I had to do my military service with the Sports School at Häme Regiment in Lahti at the same time. I grew up a lot mentally in a short time; from a boy to a man, quite literally. Mankku’s back injury here in Turku meant that my loan to KTP was cut short because Inter called me back. UBZ: Your transfer was reported on Inter’s website 28.4.2012; when the transfer to Kotka was realized? JK: Just a little before that. I went to play one training game with them before the transfer was agreed upon. They wanted to check me out first to see what kind of a player I am and what would they be getting if a loan contract would be agreed upon. I was able to convince the KTP people that I was worth signing and I got to play there. UBZ: I find it very strange if a goalie who won the Finnish Championship in youth team A wouldn’t have been convincing. JK: Well, yes but you never know for certain about these things beforehand. They made their final decision based on that one game I played for them. UBZ: Where did the iniative for a loan contract come from? JK: I’m not really sure; I just got a text from Jani Meriläinen. He asked in his text that would I be interested in playing for KTP. I texted back to him right away that of course if they promise I get to really play there. I took it as a positive thing right away. UBZ: Last season Mankku was the number one choice for goal and Eemeli was his second so you were kind of an odd man out. JK: That’s true and getting to play in earnest did wonders for my confidence although I didn’t play more than 9 games for KTP if my memory serves me right. I got some games under my belt and pretty soon I got my game together quite well.
UBZ: How was your welcome to KTP? JK: I got a really warm welcome. They had a couple of foreign players and some hometown boys from Kotka and their coach was Petri Ihonen who has played here in Turku back in the day. He gave me a really good welcome and we talked a lot about what are his expectations from me and what kind of games I’ll play, how the other teams are and what kind of goals does the club have. UBZ: Your debut for KTP took place 22.4.2012; how did second division feel like compared to youth team A games? JK: It wasn’t really all that hard because the training game I played in Hämeenlinna prepared me for a new style of play-
ing. They play a different style of football than us here in Inter. The coach and I discussed about my playing style and how I should change it to suit better for KTP’s style of playing. I got my game together well and when you’re on the pitch you don’t really notice whether the players are young or not. We had a good buzz in the team. UBZ: How did second division strikers feel like, many of them have much more experience in playing regular games than you; was it harder for you? JK: It was very motivating for me because I had to play harder than in the youth team both to take my own space in front of the goal and to protect myself against injuries. I had played second division games before but it was a new situation now since the clubs and their players were new to me and I didn’t know their strikers and their playing style beforehand. It was really great to play against new faces and I got used to a harder style of playing. UBZ: When you do well in a game that gives you more confidence and that in turn makes playing that much easier. JK: That’s true and I have been training with the first team for a couple of years already and I have faced topflight strikers. Second division strikers don’t necessarily have the same skills than topflight strikers have but second division strikers are maybe physically harder in their playing. UBZ: How did the cuptie between KTP and Inter on 25th of April feel like for you? JK: I wasn’t there myself because I had to stay in barracks in Lahti. I did follow live score and wondered that what an earth is going on there? I heard from the guys afterwards that the game didn’t go well at all by any means. Mind you, the charm of any cup is that in a single game a lower tier club can every now and then to win a stronger club. I’m bummed of course
that this happened to my own club but anything is possible in a single game. UBZ: Did your new teammates give you a hard time about that game? JK: No, not really. There is quite a division in Kotka between the club I represented, that is, KTP and the other local club KooTeePee. Some of my team mates were watching the game and they wondered how Inter played the way they played.
I still have an old Pointer leaflet I got as a boy. It’s the one where is the story about Canizares from Kaarina and Mankku had signed it for me all those years ago.”
UBZ: How was your status there; was there real competition? JK: It was pretty obvious that I was the number one choice for goal judging from the talks I had with the coach. They had another goalie, Ville Särkkä, who is two years younger than me. He is a local guy and he pushed me well, it was never a given thing that I would play in every game. Had I dragged my feet or anything, I would have found myself sitting on the bench watching Ville play instead of me. UBZ: All goalies feel probably some sense of kinship with each other since a goalie is in a sense responsible for quite a lot. JK: That certainly true and I got along with Ville really well. I didn’t experience any reservations or hostility from anyone in the team. Ville gave me a very warm welcome as well. UBZ: Which qualities in your game got better during the loan contract? JK: I’m better at high balls into the penalty area, I found more courage and hardness. My own style of playing got stronger and I’m beginning to find my own style of playing. UBZ: What kind of a goalie do you think you are? For instance; Patrick Bantamoi has great reactions, Mankku is very good at everything and the best with his ball kicking skills in Finland. How about you? JK: I regard myself being a pretty quick goalie; my reactions and my speed when coming out from my goal line to intercept the ball before a striker gets to it are my greatest assets. My ball kicking skills is something I’m going to put an extra emphasis on and I consider myself very lucky to have the best possible coaches for that particular skill. UBZ: How did it feel when the loan contract ended; was there any sadness in the air? JK: There was a little bit of sadness since the first games with them was getting used to the team and the players and when I really got my game together and reached a certain flow in my playing I got called back. On the other hand, I returned to Inter as an active, playing goalie so it wasn’t all that bad. UBZ: What about KTP; were they disappointed that your time was up so soon? JK: It was a little nettlesome for both parties but it was all ac-
cording to the loan contract’s terms and we had a mutual understanding about it. UBZ: Your two-year contract with Inter was announced on the 19th of December 2012. Was it signed already before that date? JK: It had been agreed upon for some time before that and the official signing of the contract took place about a month before it was announced. UBZ: Were there other clubs as well offering you a contract than Inter? JK: I really wouldn’t want to answer anything to that. (big smile) Inter was always the number one choice for me.
UBZ: How did it feel to sign the contract; did you reach one of your personal goals? JK: It was a truly unbelievable thing; I have now reached that one thing I have dreamed upon ever since I was just a boy. The military service is behind me now and I can place my academic studies on the back burner for a while and concentrate one hundred per cent on football. It’s crunch time now and I can develop my goal keeping skills without distractions. UBZ: Your official status is the second goalkeeper now; how does that make you feel? JK: It is so unbelievable I can’t even begin to describe it. Mankku has always been my childhood idol and I used to watch Inter’s games just to see Mankku play. It is absolutely mind blowing that I have a seat right next to him in our dressing room and my name is mentioned in the same sentence as Mankku’s. I’m going to do all I possibly can to develop my skills ever further and to be a good and dependable second to him in the upcoming season. UBZ: It’s really cool that Inter can publish an official photo of goalkeepers for the upcoming season and your idol and you are in the same photo together. One of your dreams has come true. JK: I agree; it’s a really cool thing. I have to maximize this opportunity and absorb everything about goalkeeping that I possibly can from Mankku. I will push him as well at the time, of course. Esa Aalto is our third goalie so I feel pressure from both directions. We have a very healthy competition going on and we push each other to better performance and we are having a great time doing that. Jani Meriläinen is a really good goalkeeping coach and I have learned a lot under his guidance. UBZ: Do you feel like being ready to take first goalie’s responsibility in the upcoming season already? JK: It would be unrealistic to say that I’m on the same skill level as a goalie as Mankku is. Having said that, I didn’t sign a two-year contract just to train here. I want to show in every training session that I’m ready to step up and be the first goalie if need be. UBZ: Do you think that you’ll get to play in the upcoming season? JK: I believe that both goalies will have to get to play in the preseason already so both of us can be ready when the proper games begin. I have to work really hard in training so I can perform to the fullest of my ability in training games. UBZ: How does the trust between a goalie and defense from; what is it based on? JK: It requires a lot of talking and playing together in order to everyone to know how each other is playing and how they move in relation to each other in different situations. A goalie has to really use his voice and defense has to really listen to what the goalie is saying, otherwise everything just falls apart. The chemistry between players has to work. Everyone has to know his role and play accordingly. I had a great defensive line when we won the Finnish Champoinship with the youth team A; everyone knew exactly what they had to do in relation to the others because we had played together for years.
UBZ: What goals do you have for your career? JK: To go as far as I possibly can and my skills take me wherever that may be. I don’t want to secondguess my choices when I’m an old geezer.
You can read the game; learn positioning and reading strikers’ movements and decisions not only from live feed but extremely well from the telly’s action replays and different angles to a situation.
UBZ: What about dreams? JK: I have a working defensive line in front of me and there is just enough shots towards my goal so I get to the center stage and take the role of the leader of defense and to be the pillar of my team. To achieve this kind of status in a prestigious international club would be exceptionally cool.
UBZ: Who do you think is best goalie on the planet at the moment? JK: I have many favourites but I feel that Manchester City’s Joe Hart has risen to the elite among goalies under recent years and he is the best in my book. He is extremely athletic and authoritative goalkeeper and he really stands out from the rest.
UBZ: So when Ikerman takes his gloves off for the final time in his career in Madrid, Jere enters the stage? JK: Well, why not, I wouldn’t mind. Or if I start really building dream castles then blocking the decisive penalty kick in the Champion’s League final at Old Trafford playing for ManU. I could take my gloves off after that one.
UBZ:If you were an animal; what animal would you be? JK: That’s a difficult one. (thinking hard) For some reason I’d like to say hippopotamus but in stead I say wild boar.
UBZ: When you watch say, La Liga from the telly is the game just good entertainment for you or do you look for pointers in goalies’ or strikers’ actions? JK: The best entertainment football games are for me when both or at least one goalkeeper is able to show his best performance.
UBZ: Is there anything else you’d like to say to our readers? JK: I wish that people come and pack the stands and really live in the game and help the team to success. It would be great to play in front of a capacity stadion.
UBZ: If you were a car; what car would you be? JK: Chrysler Crossfire (after pondering)
Nonna Touru 6.1.2013
Ultraboyz: What sparked your enthusiasm about football? Nonna Touru: I can’t pinpoint a single event or moment in time but it happened after my teens. I wasn’t interested in football in high school but after high school I spent almost a year working in England and I started to watch football there because it’s much more visible sport there than here in Finland. I don’t remember seeing football ever during my school years. UBZ: What sparked your enthusiasm about Inter? NT: My father took me to my first Inter game in season 2004 or 2005 if my memory serves me right. I thought that great football is played in Finland as well and since I have a chance to see and support a fine team from my hometown I should go. If it weren’t for Inter I wouldn’t watch Veikkausliiga at all. There is only one club in Turku for me and that’s Inter. UBZ: Did your father have to twist your arm or anything to make you go watch the game together with him the first time or were you easily persuaded? NT: If I remember correctly I was easily persuaded, I was interested in knowing how it would feel to watch live football. After a few games I made the decision to go to every game I could. UBZ: And you haven’t looked back since? NT: That’s correct. UBZ: You’re an ultra; what does that mean to you? NT: A great deal, it shows and feels in everyday life. More during the season of course but even during winter in all kinds of things like I got a black and blue woolly hat my mother had knitted for me for Christmas, for instance. During the season the anticipation of the next game is always hard and we speak about games played and games to be played every day at home. UBZ: Could it be said that to be an ultra defines somehow who you are as a person? NT: You can say that, it’s not wrong at all. UBZ: Is the club or the team important to you or do you differentiate these two at all? NT: I don’t really think about that, they are practically the one and the same for me. It’s the big picture that counts although I watch mainly the first team.
UBZ: Do you look more closely some player or players in particular? NT: There are two such great players who don’t play for Inter any longer but I still watch closely how they are doing. Those players are Jos Hooiveld and Timo Furuholm. They are both my big heroes. UBZ: I fully understand why just these two are important for you. They are both big personalities who play with a big heart and aren’t afraid to show it. NT: Exactly and they played a big role in our recent success although that doesn’t mean all by itsefl but their personalities are the decisive thing for me. UBZ: What has Ultraboyz membership given you? NT: The main thing that comes to mind is participating in travelling to away games arranged by Ultraboyz but the very next thing is getting to know new like-minded people. UBZ: For how long have you been along? NT: My first travelling to an away game arranged by Ultraboyz was in season 2008. That was when I crossed the threshold to travel to watch an away game. I joined Ultraboyz in 2010 if I remember correctly. I met new people in that first away game and I thought that I could just as well watch home games from ultras’ O-stand. I can’t even think about watching a game from anywhere than the O-stand. It’s easy to make some noise together with other ultras. UBZ: How do you feel like fitting in the group? NT: Really well indeed. It’s great to watch a game together with like-minded supporters and the social aspect is very important as well. In a way this is modern tribe culture. Although people come from different walks of life the O-stand unifies us all together behind our team. UBZ: Have you felt safe with us even during the away games? NT: Absolutely.
UBZ: Are you going to uncork a new away game in the upcoming season? NT: I’ve been thinking about Lahti since I haven’t been able to go there on account of my work. Another place that interests me a lot is Jyväskylä. I have personal contacs there, too and I could tick several boxes at one go. UBZ: Is there something you’d like from Inter that isn’t available yet? NT:An Inter cat’s eye would be great. A small thing but I’d like to have one. The good old Pointer leaflet was an important thing for me in the early days. It had nice stories in it and it made me feel connected with Inter and I got somehow closer to Inter. UBZ: Is there something you’d like from Ultraboyz that isn’t available yet; should there be something new? NT: It’s difficult to pinpoint any one thing but I wish activity to all of us in getting new members and people to the stands. Ultraboyz is open to everyone, we’re by no means a closed bunch of friends where everyone should know everyone in order to be a member. UBZ: Are you happy with your Ultraboyz membership? NT: I’m happy, I can’t complain about anything. UBZ: Do you have a message to the club, the team, the spectators, the league, the FA? NT: I have one for the spectators: come and fill the stands. UBZ:If you were an animal, what animal would you be? NT: A cat. UBZ: If you were a car, what car would you be? NT: A bicycle.
Preseason games Preseason games were more or less introducing our new players to the team and our style of playing as well as proving ground for our younger players. We beat second division club Atlantis home at Javenture Arena quite comfortably 5 – 0. The next game took place in February when Estonia’s champion JK Nömme Kalju travelled to our home turf. They were beaten 2 – 1 in a tight game by Turku’s black and blue pride. Shorly after that our boys travelled to KOMIA tournament played in Seinäjoki’s WallSport Arena. The host team SJK beat us 4 – 2, VPS proved to be slightly better on the day by 0 – 1 and Nömme Kalju lost to us 1 – 2 and
League cup 2013 Preseason’s mandatory does someone really care cup started in January with a 1 – 1 draw against crapstripes and continued with a 0 – 1 defeat by business city FC. One week after this we were visited by JJK and we witnessed a 2 – 3 defeat to them. We visited Lahti in February and took home a 2 – 1 away defeat. The second derby of the year was a disappointment with a 5 – 1 defeat and next we lost to JJK away in arctic conditions 3 – 0. That was the group stage done and dusted and waiting for the regular season begun.
that meant Inter taking the fifth place in the tournament. That was a disappointment to us but the pain was eased by strong performances of our young players. This deserves a warm thank you from us to everyone involved in Inter’s youth development program. We were visited by Honka from the garden town Espoo in mid-March. An even and lively game ended 0 – 3 to the tree people. During Easter we went to Sweden to find out if Örebro SK could play football and they could since they beat us at the Behrn Arena 2 – 0.
Finnish cup 2013 After the who really cares cup was over for us we found ourselves from round 4 of the Finnish Cup playing against a division 4 team Valkeakosken Koskenpojat away at the Sahara field in Valkeakoski late March. We beat the home team with a decisive 0 – 9. Our cuptrain was derailed when we lost to RoPS in Rovaniemi after an even game and a penalty shootout 5 – 3.
Speculation 3 about season 201 Preseason went by with friendlies same as the League Cup and it wasn’t all a bed of rosies. That’s understandable taking into consideration the fact that we lost such key players like Mika and Joni and the replacement players need some time before they really fit in to the team. The playing got better as the season start got closer so there’s no need for panic just yet. The whole idea of friendly games is to give new players a possibility to get their game together with their new mates and vice versa, as well as to give our own young players a chance to show their skills. Our own young players got to play quite much and their performance was promising. Doing well in the beginning of the season would be important obviously to get a good start to the season. It seems likely that as the season progresses our team will glue together better and better and our performance improves towards the end of the season. Last season was the first three-rounder and presented some new challenges on account of being long-
er than previous seasons. The matchdate program is better than it was last season but it didn’t take much to accomplish that. Our coaches have undoubtedly analyzed the events of last season and we can surely benefit from lessons learnt last season. There are many unanswered questions, of course. How well and soon will the new players fit in to the team? How big a role will they take in the upcoming season? How will the young guns from our youth development program perform? Will the mental toughness of our players be sufficient? Will this season be another championship season? Nothing is as difficult as looking into the future but one thing is absolutely certain: regardless of what will happen during the season Ultraboyz will stand behind our team always and unwavering and proud of our team. A black and blue heart will never stop beating for Inter.