RoPS matkalla Eurooppaan osa 4 – Mitkä ovat tunnelmat ensimmäisestä vastustajasta?

Rovaniemen Palloseura changes
the head coach on the 22nd of May. Pasi Tuutti takes the reins in RoPS. The head coach change
came as a surprise. I heard about the coach change
after the Vaasa game in Vaasa. After many phone calls
Toni Koskela came to tell me – about this opportunity
and I decided to take it. Pasi Tuutti came as a coach recently. Obviously we knew him.
He has been with us for 1,5 years. So we know the way he works. He’s a good person also and treats us
quite well in the dressing room. The players’ reactions
to the coach change varied a lot. Young players reacted more strongly
than experienced players. A coach change is a commonplace
thing for experienced players – but in Finland it happens very rarely
for other reasons than getting fired. The atmosphere is the best thing
that we have at RoPS. As I said, I have been here
for so long. And every single season
we have kept this atmosphere – and helping each other. Obviously it’s one of the best things
for any team to succeed – and we are doing that. And also with the new staff
we are trying to build that – and it helps a lot. European games are a nice
experience. I think we hit the jackpot. We were drawn against one of the
most successful clubs in Europe. It’s a great showcase
for our young players. They can step in big boots
in those games – and showcase themselves
for the next stage on their journey. The fact that we play against – a great club like Aberdeen
has many positive aspects. RoPS’ first opponent
in the Europa League is Aberdeen. I have played international matches – but it’s a bit different to play
international matches at club level. They bring their
fanatic supporters with them. That’s a new thing to me,
but there are similarities, too. The skill-level and tempo
are really high – but you have to get used to it,
if you want to play abroad. Aberdeen FC is one of the
most successful clubs in Scotland. For us fans it’s of course
about supporting our club. The trip is the most important thing
to us fans. If we’re not on the away trip
we gather here – or somewhere else
and the watch away games together. Otherwise we are at Keskuskenttä
in all the home games. We round up the guys
and hit the road. General exercise
is part of my lifestyle. In my free time
I ride a bike and go to the gym. I play disc golf and do
all kinds of normal activities. Go for a walk and whatnot. I spend almost all of my free time
with our 2 1/2-year-old child. So I know well
all the playgrounds in Rovaniemi. I always say that I signed
my contract for three months – just to play these European games
that RoPS was playing by that time. And then I ended up
staying here for four years. So it says a lot that
how happy I am here. My family, or my wife in this case,
is with me. We’re going to have a baby.
He’s going to be born in Finland. So, it says a lot
that I’m happy in Rovaniemi. Palloraati-podcast follows
RoPS’ goings-on during the season. Last year I was a guest in
Lapin Kansa’s Viikkoraati-podcast – and we brainstormed a podcast
about RoPS and Veikkausliiga. And it has been running this season. The podcast called “Palloraati” – is hosted by Mikko Kinisjärvi
and Kari Pyykkö from Lapin kansa. And then there’s Janne Turunen, – a veteran sports writer, who has
followed RoPS since the 1980’s. I have visited the podcast
as a guest analyst – and there are also other guests
who are close to RoPS. The podcast was launched in April
before Veikkausliiga season started. I’m honoured to represent
Lapin Kansa in Aberdeen. TO BE CONTINUED!

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