Who are the Nomads Europa League opponents HJK Helsinki?
The Nomads were recently drawn to play against HJK Helsinki in the first round of qualification in the UEFA Europa League but who exactly are they?
HJK Helsinki are a professional football club based in Finland – they were first founded in 1907, 110 years ago and currently play their football in the Veikkausliiga, which is the top flight league in Finland, where they have spent most of their footballing history. Their nickname is Klubi which translates to ‘The Club’
In terms of honours, HJK Helsinki are the most successful club in Finland – they have won 27 Championship titles, alongside winning 12 Finnish Cups and five League Cups.
So, who is their current manager?
HJK Helsinki are currently managed by Mika Lehkosuo – the 47 year-old made 250 appearances as a player, scoring 35 goals. He also made 17 International appearances for Finland, scoring one goal. Before coming to manage HJK, Luhkosuo had managed FC Honka for nine years. He also had a two year spell from 2013 to 2015 as assistant Finland manager.
Arguably, his best achievement as manager of the Finnish outfit is leading them to the Europa League group stages, courtesy of a thrilling 5-4 aggregate win in the play-off round in 2o14.
Where do they play their football and what is it’s capacity?
HJK Helsinki play their football at the Telia 5G -areena. It has a capacity of 10,770, and was officially opened in 2010.
HJK Helsinki are the only Finnish team to date to have participated in the UEFA Champions League group stages following their win over FC Metz in 1998. The club’s record win in Europe came in the 2011/2012 season, against a Welsh Premier League side, where they defeated Bangor City 13-0 on aggregate – that included a 10-0 home win for the Finnish side, a season after the Citizens had won the Welsh Premier League.
The player the Nomads must be most wary of…
Atomu Tanaku is a 29 year-old midfielder who scored eight goals from 23 appearances last season. He’s one of those rare kind of ‘goal-scoring midfielders’ and will be hoping he can maintain his good form from last season when travelling to Flintshire next week.
(Featured Image: Anders Henrikson)