UA-52481335-1 SJK Seinäjoki - Football Finland

SJK Seinäjoki

Full Name: Seinäjoen Jalkapallokerho
Nicknames: SJK
Founded: 2007
Stadium: OmaSP Stadion (5,876)
Manager: Sixten Boström
Chairman: Raimo Sarajärvi
Last season : 3rd  / qualified to Europe through the Cup also

Honours:
Titles: 2015
Cup: 2016
League cup: 1 (2014)

Europe:
European Cup: –
Cup Winners Cup: –
UEFA Cup: –
Europa League: –
Champions League: 2nd qualifying round BATE Borisov 2-4 on aggregate (2016)

SJK had a nightmare start to their last season. They won their first game but had played with illegible players and their win was changed into a 3-0 loss to PS Kemi. After this they lost to IFK Mariehamn, HJK and Ilves and were bottom of the league with 4 losses in as many games.

In the beginning, the defense was not balanced at all and goalscoring was too much the responsibility of Roope Riski. All those teams that they lost to, they were more prepared and SJK was dragging their feet. Results started to improve when they played weaker opposition but things did not start to change around until they brought in Vales, Aimar and Ojala into the defense and Ions into the attack. Also when they moved to their new stadium, they started to become the force they were a season ago. Without that bad start, they would have been celebrating a second consecutive Veikkausliiga title.  Now though, they finished respectively 3rd and they won the Cup for the first time.

This pre-season started with high expectations. They were desperate to start the season better and thus finish higher in the table and challenge HJK. However that did not happen. From their solid defender Aimar went back to Spain and Juhani Ojala moved to Häcken in Sweden. Henri Aalto also left to Germany. The big hit though was that they allowed their top scorer Roope Riski to go out on loan to 3. Bundesliga team Paderborn. Even though they had brought in the Ykkönen top scorer Mboma, the offense looked weaker. Especially as Jussi Vasara had decided to retire.

To make matters worse their head coach of 4.5 seasons, Simo Valakari, was released from his contract. Valakari had helped the team for two promotions and brought them the title and the Cup win. None of those things helped though as the relationship between him and the chairman Raimo Sarajärvi had gotten strained.  The fact that Valakari had publicly criticised the club´s transfer policy, did not help.

Almost immediately they brought in former FF Jaro, Örebrö and HJK manager Sixten Boström who had been for the past 2 seasons, the assistant coach of MLS team Colubus Crew. He is a quality manager who was not liked that much in HJK despite winning the title with them. He immediately started bringing in more players as the quality was not there especially as some good rotating players had left to Ilves. Penninkangas, Rahimi, Tuco and Aleksis Lehtonen all moved to Tampere.

They already noticed in pre-season that their defense is not good enough again. Instead of waiting until summer, they brought in Dani Hatakka on loan from Brann and Spanish players Diego Bardanca and Chema Anton. Anton could be a key player as he came up from the Real Madrid Academy and has played also in Austria with Red Bull Salzburg.

With Matej Hradecky getting injured during the pre-season for the whole season, SJK midfield started to look weak. They brought in Matej´s brother Tomas who moved from Bohemians in the Czech Republic and Uruguayan Facundo Guichon who had been playing in the Spanish Segunda division for the past 2,5 seasons. Despite these new players, SJK midfield is not as good compared to for instance HJK and Ilves.

In attack Billy Ions and Aritide Mboma will be the starters but young Elias Ahde is ready to shine in the Veikkausliiga. Last season Ahde scored 12 goals in the First Division Ykkönen for two different teams Haka and Jazz. SJK also loaned from MLS team New York Red Bulls, young Cameroon international Anatole Abang. He is only until end of June so not too much time to make an impact.

Players in:
Aristote Mboma (AC Oulu), Ville Tikkanen (OLS), Diego Bardanca (Real Jaén, Spain), Facundo Guichon (Ucam Murcia CF, Spain), Tomas Hradecky (Bohemians Praha 1905, Czech rep.), Dani Hatakka (SK  Brann, Norway, loan), Anatole Bertrand-Abang (NY Red Bulls, USA, loan until 30.6. asti), Chema Anton (CD Eldense, Spain)

Players out:
Jussi Vasara (retired), Ariel ”Tuco” Ngueukam (Ilves), Teemu Penninkangas (Ilves), Aleksis Lehtonen (Ilves), Youness Rahimi (Ilves), Jere Koponen (FC Inter), Roope Riski (SC Paderborn 07, Germany), Juhani Ojala (BK Häcken, Sweden), Aimar Moratalla (UE Cornellà, Spain), Henri Aalto (Vfb Oldenburg, Germany)

What to expect from SJK this season is again they will be strong at home. Despite scoring many goals in the pre-season, they might not be so strong offensively. Also defensively they might be weaker. They still has a strong squad but as there are so many other Veikkausliiga teams that long stronger, we rate SJK as the 5th best team in Veikkausliiga.

Pre-season:
SJK 7-0 SJK-Akatemia Cup
Jaro 0-1 SJK friendly
Jaro 2-1 SJK Cup
SJK 6-1 MuSa
Jazz 0-6 SJK
SJK 0-3 VPS
Molde 1-0 SJK friendly
RoPS 0-2 SJK Cup
SJK 3-2 FC Inter Cup
Honka 1-1p SJK Cup

Squad:

Goalkeepers:
M. Aksalu EST
P. Valakari FIN
L. Fernando BRA

Defenders:
M. Vales AND
D. Hatakka FIN
J. Hurme FIN
D. Bardanca ESP
C. Anton ESP
R. Dorman WAL
T. Tahvanainen FIN

Midfielders:
J. Laaksonen FIN
M. Hradecky FIN
T. Hradecky FIN
M. Klinga FIN
V. Tikkanen FIN
F. Guichon URU
J. Sarajärvi FIN
M. Hetemaj FIN

Forwards:
A: Abang CMR
B. Ions ENG
A. Aromaa FIN
E. Ahde FIN
E. Lidman FIN
A. Mboma FIN