More on Haka

Monday 1 July 2002

Fulham's Intertoto Cup opponents Haka Valkeakoski may not be a household name here in the UK but the Fins have a fine tradition and history that any Premiership Club would be proud of.

The Whites will be hoping to progress in their European adventure but getting past Haka won't be easy, as their history suggests...

This courtesy of the Haka website:

Short history

Valkeakoski is a small town near Tampere with a population of around 20,000. For a small town club FC Haka has been very successful, winning the Finnish Premier League eight times and the cup ten times.

Haka was founded in 1934 and team won promotion to the Premiership in 1949. In the year 1955 Haka was the first champion in Finnish Cup. Haka had to wait until 1960 to win their first championship. Haka got the title in great style, taking 41 points from a possible 44, scoring 78 goals and conceding only 23. Haka won the 1960 Finnish Cup as well. It was the first double in Finnish football history.

The 1960s were a marvellous decade in the club's history. Haka won the championship and the cup three times. But the early Seventies was not so good for Haka. The team were relegated in 1972, but signed four Finnish internationals and came straight back to highest division. In the year 1977 Haka won the double again.

But the Haka fans had to wait until the 1990s for their next championship, though Haka enjoyed cup success in the 1980s. After winning the cup in 1982, Haka had a good run in the European Cup Winners Cup when coach Jukka Vakkila led them to the quarter finals, before being narrowly beaten by Juventus.

Early 1990s Haka changed it's name to FC Haka. In 1995, Vakkila returned to the club, after a long spell coaching the Finnish national side. Under Vakkila, Haka won the Finnish Championship again as Russian players Valeri Popovits and Oleg Ivanov inspired the team. Goalkeeper Olli Huttunen, finally won a championship medal. During his 18 seasons at the club, Huttunen made 432 appearances in the Premier League.

If 1995 had been a good year, then 1996 was a disaster. Like the previous year's champions TPV, Haka were relegated. However, next year Keith Armstrong led them to the first division title and another cup triumph. Haka followed that double by winning the Premiership in 1998.

In the years 1999 and 2000 Haka won the championship again. In the year 1999 it was the outstanding Valeri Popovits who was voted player of that season, after scoring 23 goals in 27 games.

In the year 2001 FC Haka played against English giants Liverpool in a Champions League qualifying tie in August 2001. After losing the first leg 5-0 at home in front of over 32 000 spectators the return match at Anfield was nothing more than a sight-seeing trip. The final score at Anfield was 4-1.

Year 2001 was Keith Armstrong's last year with FC Haka. His replacement Olli Huttunen is now leading the team towards new heroic moments.

Playing squad:

1 Panu Toivonen
2 Dragan Bajic
3 Lasse Karjalainen
4 Jukka Koskinen
5 Juha Pasoja
6 Harri Ylonen
7 Mikko Innanen
8 Iiro Aalto
9 Ville Vaisanen
10 Sami Ristila
11 Jukka Ruhanen
12 Mikko Vilmunen
13 Juha Paulamaki
14 Valeri Popovitch
15 Jukka Rantala
16 Tommi Torkkeli
17 Peter Kovacs
18 Tommi Halonen
19 David Wilson
20 Jaakko Pasanen
21 Jarkko Okkonen
22 Juuso Kangaskorpi
23 Tarmo Koivuranta
25 Markus Koljander
26 Jarkko Riihimaki
28 Aki Iso Pietila
30 Mihail Slawuta

Coaches: Olli Huttunen, Kari Martonen, Asko Peltoniemi
Team leader: Olli Paasio
Kit man: Kalle Myyra
Physio: Jouko Takaniemi

FC HAKA
Kirjaskatu 1
FIN-37600 VALKEAKOSKI
TEL. +358 3 584 5364
FAX +358 204 16 3629
fchaka@fchaka.fi