A Report by
Thomas Hagman, Head Coach Team Finland
Having won the semifinal
against Great Britain Team Finland now has its sights set on
continuing its reign in European football with clenshing its 4th
consecutive European title. A task that today looks more
difficult than ever to accomplish taking into consideration the
very strong performance of Team Germany in its semifinal game
against Team Ucraine.
"I must say that Team
Germany is a great football team; fast, strong and very
disciplined. I know that football at this level and with this
speed will be for most of our players a totally new world. How
they respond to it is somewhat of a mistery. But having seen the
attitude and the high disciplin of this years Team Finland I feel
confident that they will do a very good job " says Offensive
Coordinator Kim Wikstrom.
On offense Team Finland
will be happy to see their star field general, Petrus Penkki,
return to the line-up after a wrist injury that sidelined him for
the Great Britain game. Petrus Penkki is the most experienced QB
in Finland having played on three European Championship teams. In
addition QB Penkki was the field general when the Helsinki
Roosters played an outstanding game against the German powerhouse
Braunschweig in the Eurobowl 1999 semifinals. He will be back-up
by Jarkko Nieminen the Game-MVP in Finland vs GB. So as far as
the QB's go OC Kim Wikström should be more than happy.
On defense DC Tuomas
Heikkinen will field some of the very best defensive lines ever
to play the game in Finland. The players are strong, fast and all
have experience from playing in the big games. The line is
backed-up by a very elusive and fast reading linebacker corps.
And on pass defense the secondary is lead by the ex-Claymore star
J-P Nummi. All in all a very strong defensive troop.
Team Finland is facing a
very difficult task. It can not be denied that there is a certain
David vs Goliat theme to this years European final. Team Finland
is used to very humble stadiums and crowds and now have to fly
down in to the mecka of German football, the Volkparkstadion, to
face a hungry and star packed Team Germany lead by a very
experienced professional coaching staff. But as always the
outcome of the football game will not be determined by the size
of the stadium or any other non-football aspects. How well this
is implimented from theory to practise will probably be one of
the biggest tasks that the coaching staff of Team Finland will be
faced with. A Team Finland that is not intimitated by the
surroundings or by the size of the opponent but instead come out
to play as to the best of their potential is in the position to
give the host a run for their money.
On behalf of the team, its
staff, as well as myself I hope to see a competitive and hard
fought battle that offer both teams as well as the audience a
memorable European football experience.
Yours in football,