Finnish footy's first all non-Aussie match
Friday, June 18 2010 @ 08:49 pm ACST
Contributed by: Aaron Richard
The Finland AFL reached a new milestone last Tuesday with the first ever league game being played where both teams were comprised entirely of non-Australians.
The Salo Juggernauts, who have had a completely Finnish line-up for their entire 3 year history, took on the reigning premiers, the Turku Dockers, who rested their three Aussies for the match and had a line-up for the 9-a-side game that included eleven Finns, two Estonians and one Greek.
This report courtesy of Craig Primmer.
"It really warmed my heart to witness this moment considering the short history footy has in Finland" said Grant Siermans, coach of the Turku Dockers and the Finland Icebreakers. "It's a testament to the hard work a lot of people have put into getting Finland AFL on its feet over the past few years".
The tight game was eventually won by Turku, who after leading by just a couple of goals at three quarter time had a strong last quarter to eventually run out winners 9.10 (64) to 6.2 (38). The win means Turku are assured of a spot in their second straight grand final, as they have a 4-0 record in the 6 round series.
Salo take on the Helsinki Heatseekers to complete the fourth round on Saturday. Having beaten Helsinki in their previous encounter, the all-Finnish Juggernauts will have one foot in the Grand Final if they can reproduce that form on Saturday.
The Finnish national league then takes 2 month break in order to allow their national team, the Icebreakers, to prepare for EC2010. This preparation includes a 16 a side friendly against Norway on July 17.
Photo courtesy of Saara Hämäläinen.