Here’s a little bit about me, this blog, and how you can get in touch.
I’m Oliver Lewisohn, 25 years old. I suppose that’s a good place to start. I was born in the English town of Hemel Hempstead, and I spent the first twenty years of my life living in towns called Berkhamsted and Chesham before I moved to Finland in 2008.
I have dual British and Finnish nationality, which meant that when I moved here, I became liable for national service either in a military or non-military capacity. I chose to join the army, in which I served for six months in 2009. It was extremely tough, and I think in most regards I was a terrible soldier, but it was a unique experience which forced me to learn a lot of Finnish – including much of a kind I had never come across in civilised society.
Upon leaving the army, I began studying at Eiran Aikuislukio, a self-described “high school for adults” in Helsinki. I graduated earlier this year with grades good enough for direct entry into the city’s university. I’ll begin my degree in mathematics there shortly.
I follow all sorts of sports, but there are two which really stand out: Formula 1 and football. My first memory of watching the latter is the 1994 World Cup, in which England didn’t participate. Euro 1996 was a really big deal for me two years later at the age of eight, and I remember crying heavily when Gareth Southgate missed his penalty in the semi-final shoot-out against Germany. The 1998 World Cup was a similarly painful experience, and put me off watching football for about four years.
It wasn’t until the 2002 World Cup that I rediscovered my interest. A short while after that, I did something that is considered blasphemous by most partisan football fans: I changed the team I support. As a child, I had supported Manchester United, because they were my Dad’s team and therefore my household’s team, but I felt no strong connection to them by the age of 14. I wanted to support a smaller, more local team, and when a relative of mine, who was a minicab driver for Fulham players, offered me the chance to go to a game with him for free – after we picked up Martin Djetou on the way – I thought I had found my new team. A signed birthday card from the whole squad in 2003 confirmed that I would support the Cottagers from that point onwards.
I didn’t really notice the Finnish team at all until they came close to qualifying for the 2008 European Championships, when they missed out on second place in their group by just three points, and despite watching most of their matches since I moved here, I only started making an effort to follow them when I started this blog in the summer of 2010. I said when I started writing that this was a learning process for me as much as anything, and that has certainly proven to be the case.
My primary objective has always been to cover the Finnish national team, but that has since extended to cover Finnish league football, Finnish players at other European clubs, and more. I even attended my first women’s football match in the scope of writing for this blog. My Mika Väyrynen profile received over three hundred unique visits in one day, I have been involved in a Nordic edition of a popular football podcast and I’ve received media accreditation for a Finland match for the first time.
The more I know, the more I want to know – that’s what keeps me writing.
This blog was first launched In July 2010 under the name “Sisu”, with the strapline “Finnish football through English eyes”. It was moved to a new host and overhauled in September 2011, with the slogan changing to “A Finnish football blog”. It became The Frozen Pitch and got its own dot-com domain in October 2011, with the simple sub-title of “Finnish football news in English”.
At the bottom of each page, you’ll see that I currently license my writing under the Creative Commons NC-BY-SA 3.0 license. That means you are free to use and adapt my work – by publishing it on your own website, for example – with three conditions: you must not be using it commercially, which I take to mean that you must not be making any money out of it; you must state that it was originally my work and link to this website (for offline publication, please contact me directly); and you must share your own version of the work under the same license or one that is similar in spirit. There is one important exception: none of the images (which includes photographs and graphics) on this website fall under the license and are therefore subject to copyright. Some of them are my own work, but many are not, so I’ve made that decision for the sake of simplicity. You can contact me to ask for permission to use them.
- Find me on Twitter at @FrozenPitch.
- Email me at this address (click the link and solve a CAPTCHA to reveal it).
- Leave a comment below, or on any of my articles.