A football player Anni Hartikainen has been named to the Finnish women’s national team at the end of February.
There was a commotion around Hartikainen last December, when he was late for his flight the morning after the Captain’s Ball gala. The management of the national team shelved him for the Nations League match against Slovakia at that time.
A couple of months later, Hartikainen is involved again when Helmarit is camping and playing in Spain.
“We dealt with the matter when we came out of Slovakia. A couple of days after returning to Finland, I traveled to Kuopio, we sat down and went through things for an hour and a half. I even saw one training session. We are on the same page,” Helmarie’s head coach Marko Saloranta told STT by phone.
Hartikainen, 20, played in Kuopio Palloseura last season and moved to Swedish Rosengård this season in December.
“We choose players who have earned their place by playing. Everything is fine with us”, emphasized Saloranta.
Finland on February 21 will face the World Cup visitor Philippines and three days later will continue their games in the tournament against Slovenia.
The trip also includes a third match, which is either the bronze or final match of the tournament. Opposite that is the Philippines or Scotland.
“We will gamble on a wide front and try some playful things. This is the last event before the EC qualifiers, so we want complete games,” said Saloranta.
The head coach named a total of 25 players to the team, so there is room for recycling.
“The purpose is that there are hardly any players who play three of the 90 minutes. We want healthy players home. A good month after the tournament, the EC qualifiers begin. You have to get a lot of information about many players, how they play against good teams”, Saloranta opened.
Anna Tamminen was supposed to be involved, but he had to stay on the sidelines, and take the place in the goalkeeper trio Milla-Maj Majasaari.
“Anna got sick. It’s not a big deal, but he’s not yet capable of playing,” Saloranta said.