UA-52481335-1 Esport Honka - Football Finland

Esport Honka

Full Name: Esport Honka
Nicknames:
Founded: 1957
Stadium: Tapiolan Urheilupuisto (6000)
Manager: Vesa Vasara
Chairman: Harri Pellikka
Last season:1st in Kakkonen – Newly promoted

Honours:
Titles: –
Cup: 1 (2012)

Europe:
European Cup: –
Cup Winners Cup: –
UEFA Cup: –
Europa League: Best 3rd qualifying round 2009 Qarabag 3-1 on aggregate
Champions League: –

Esport Honka, also known as FC Honka or just Honka were relegated in 2014 from Veikkausliiga due to financial issues and were forced to start in the Kakkonen (Finnish 3rd tier). They are one of the biggest and best youth developing teams in Finland and were immediately able to start building a strong team with old Honka players with Veikkausliiga experience coming to help. In their first season in Kakkonen, they won it but failed to earn promotion in the play-offs after losing to KPV. Last season though, they succeeded and are immediately the main favourite for promotion.

Honka has had a very strong pre-season. In the Finnish Cup, they lost their opening match 3-2 to strong HJK but after that, beat all other teams in the group and FF Jaro and KuPS in the Last-12 and quarterfinals. In the Semi-finals they forced SJK to penalties where they eventually lost.

The biggest thing that has changed since last season was that former HJK assistant coach Vesa Vasara took over as head coach with Honka. He has brought in some more professionalism into the team and changed the way they train. They have a good mix of experienced players with many who have played in the Veikkausliiga and some youth players who play for Finland youth national teams and are potential future stars. From last season they have managed to keep the core group of players. Some players left who did not get enough playing time but even those have been replaced with some good players who make the team stronger.

They have a very strong defense and they have good players for rotation also so injuries will not affect the team so much. Initially they will start with LB: Ilari Äijälä – CB: Robert Ivanov – CB: Tommi Saarinen (C) – RB: Jatuli Laevuo. It speaks volumes of how good this defense is that their new signing Konsta Rasimus who played in the Veikkausliiga last season is not a guaranteed starter.

Their midfield could be compared to some of the Veikkausliiga teams also. Their most experienced player is of course Joel Perovuo who has also played in Sweden and Poland during his career. He now got some more experience alongside him as Duarte Tammilehto moved back to Honka from FC Lahti. Tammilehto has a lot of experience and was part of the IFK Mariehamn team that won the Finnish Cup in 2015. Lucas Kauffman who played with PK-35 Vantaa last season also joined Honka. The attacking midfielder had a trial with HJK and played with them in the Finnish Cup but eventually signed with Honka. As a new signing, Joni Korhonen moved from Veikkausliiga team HIFK. On top of these, they got the skillful foreign players Felipe Mello, Douglas Silveira and finnish youth international Maximo Tolonen. There is no better midfield in this league.

Their attack is good but not the best in the league. Jean Silva was the top scorer in Kakkonen last season but now with one level higher, it is uncertain if he can deliver. They brought in Masar Ömer from PK-35 Vantaa and he has the experience definitely to succeed in this level. Kasperi Liikonen and Toni Sjöstedt will also score some goals this season.

Their biggest weakness is probably their goal-tending, but with this defense in front, it will not show so much. Their main goalkeeper from last season Johansson retired (only to come back to play on lower level) and they brought in Tim Murray who has experience in the Finnish Kakkonen and from EIF in Ykkönen. He will be their starting keeper but they have some good younger goalkeepers also who can replace him. With so many good players in the team, the goal-tending is average.

 

Players in: Masar Ömer (PK-35 Vantaa), Konsta Rasimus (PK-35 Vantaa, Lucas Kaufmann (EIF, PK-35 Vantaa), Joni Korhonen (HIFK), Duarte Tammilehto (FC Lahti), Joachim Böckerman (Klubi-04), Tim Murray (EIF)

Player out: John Weckström (retired), Mika Johansson (retired), Antonio Inutile (KäPa), Patrick Aaltonen (Gnistan), Karim Jouini (Gnistan), Valte Vuorela (Gnistan), Riku Selander (Gnistan), Alex Lehtinen (Gnistan), Jere Siltala (PK-35), Eero Haapala (FC Espoo 2), Tarik  Boschetti (Portuguesa Sao Paulo), Calvin N Sombo (free agent) and Juuso Pasanen (free agent)

Squad:
Goalkeepers:
Tim Murray USA
Ville Hursti FIN
Lauri Jylhä FIN
Atte Paunio FIN

Defenders:
Tommi Saarinen FIN
Robert Ivanov FIN
Konsta Rasimus FIN
Joachim Böckerman FIN
Jatuli Laevuo FIN
Ilari Äijälä FIN
Antti Uimaniemi FIN

Midfielders:
Toni Sjöstedt FIN
Maximo Tolonen FIN
Lucas Kauffman BRA
Joel Perovuo FIN
Filipe Mello BRA
Elias Tuomela FIN
Duarte Tammilehto FIN
Douglas Silveira BRA

Forwards:
Onni Puhalainen FIN
Jean Silva BRA
Miko Puuskari FIN
Kasperi Liikonen FIN
Rony Huhtala FIN
Joni Korhonen FIN
Masar Ömer FIN

Our prediction: 1st with many clean sheets