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Friday, February 28 2020 @ 03:54 am ACDT

Finland ready to Break the Ice at Euro Champs

Europe

The Finland Icebreakers are bringing a lot of new faces to the inaugural European Championships, with only five players still in the squad from their 2008 IC campaign. Despite having a number of rookies, the Icebreakers are confident they can hold their own against Europe's best.

This weekend saw Finland take on the Norway Trolls in Helsinki, and although the Icebreakers were defeated 36-34, they were not by any means disgraced, with the Norwegian team featuring a large Australian contingent.

Coach Grant Siermans says the Finns are good across the ground, but are strongest in the midfield. "Ville Koivunen, Jani Saarinen and EU Cup all-star Mika Kupila will get plenty of the football and are also very physical. Their job is made easier by our very mobile ruckman Ville Suominen. The defence will be held up by Jukka Reiman and Juha-Antti Koskinen and the main target up forward will be Juuso Timosaari."

"Selection was initially undertaken through invitations which was then going to lead to trails combined with form, but unfortunately it turned into who was available, who could afford it and if they could get the time off work. The team will be arriving for the first game with either eighteen or nineteen players, and more might join the squad during the week."

Five members of the team played in the IC in Australia two years ago, and many have also played in EU Cups. However, most of the squad have only one game's experience on a full ground, which may test them against the British and Danish teams. All four domestic clubs are featured in the squad, including the new Vaasa Wombats side who are currently in development. The team is very close to all-Finnish, with the only third-country representatives being Irishman Keith Byrne and Colombian Fernando Leon, both of whom are veterans of Finnish Aussie Rules.

NameClub
Fernando Leon Sanchez  Helsinki Heatseekers
Jani SaarinenSalo Juggernauts
Janne HokkanenTurku Dockers
Janne MustonenTurku Dockers
Juha LeinoTurku Dockers
Juha-Antti KoskinenTurku Dockers
Juho ParviainenTurku Dockers
Jukka ReimanSalo Juggernauts
Jukka ToivonenSalo Juggernauts
Juuso TimosaariTurku Dockers
Keith ByrneHelsinki Heatseekers
Lasse KaleviTurku Dockers
Lasse PuntillaHelsinki Heatseekers
Lauri SyvänenTurku Dockers
Mika KupilaVaasa Wombats
Simo SaarinenSalo Juggernauts
Tero SalomäkiTurku Dockers
Tomi VirtanenTurku Dockers
Tuomas VenhoHelsinki Heatseekers
Ville KoivunenSalo Jugganauts
Ville SaarinenTurku Dockers
Ville SuominenTurku Dockers
Anti VasemägiTurku Dockers
Riku KanervaTurku Dockers
Kimmo HeikkiläHelsinki Heatseekers
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