This time last year, the 2010 World Cup in South Africa was in full swing. It was at the end of that tournament, after a really soul-destroying final, that I decided to start this blog. Now it’s time to look back at the past year and consider the future.
As I made clear right from the beginning, the person this blog was primarily aimed at was me. I wanted to provide myself with an education in Finnish football after a lifetime of following the English and international games. Over the course of a year I’ve accomplished that; I now know so much about the national team, its players and staff, that I had absolutely no clue about last July. Even during the five months at the start of this year when I didn’t write anything, I was keeping up with the news and taking in information without difficulty.
I did have another, more ambitious target though: I wanted this blog to become the best English-language resource for Finnish national football on the web. I’ve discovered a few other sites that offer excellent coverage which I could only hope to match, but none of them seem to offer the regular previews and post-match analysis which I have done for every competitive match, and every friendly match but one since I started blogging. Regardless of quality (or lack of it), I think I’m doing something that nobody else is, and I’m very happy with that.
Moving on to the future, then. Just recently I’ve started getting my name and work out a little more – I wrote for Charlie Anderson’s Stone by Stone website and I was a guest on a podcast for the Andrew Gibney’s Gib Football Show. The latter experience in particular gave me a realisation that should not have surprised me: there are still many layers of Finnish football I know nothing about.
To give you a couple of examples, I don’t really follow the domestic game except for glancing at the league table every once in a while, I don’t particularly follow the fortunes of Finnish players at their clubs abroad, and I know virtually nothing about other Nordic nations or leagues. As someone who always wants to acquire a deep understanding of any subject that interests me, I am bothered by that. There are plenty of other independent bloggers and football writers who have immense knowledge of their specialist nations or leagues – I respect them hugely and in many ways I wish I could join them.
In the long term, there might be things that prevent me from doing that, including my important exams in September and next March, but for now I’m going to try to cover some domestic football, and perhaps at some point in the distant future, U21 internationals and women’s internationals. This evening I’ll be going to my first Finnish league match, HJK against RoPS (look out for a report later), and I intend to attend and cover more Veikkausliiga games this summer. I’m very excited about it, and I have plans for this blog if it all goes well, so I hope you’ll join me for the journey!