Thursday, 7 August 2008

HJK Helsinki; Finnair Stadium, Helsinki,Finland.

I returned to Helsinki at the end of July 2009, for another match with the Dulwich Hamlet Supporters' team, against our good friends from 'Forza HJK' & although I had everything covered really from the Finnair Stadium the previous year, I have added a few more here:

Here are some flags flying outside, prior to their Europa League game against a Lithuanian side.



A shot of 'pikey corner', where you can look into part of the stadium for free! It is up above, in front of the Olympic Stadium.



Food and drink is available under the stands.



See if you can spot our Dulwich Hamlet banner, and not the small section of terracing behind the goal.



Here is our flag, flying proudly in support of our Helsinki friends.



The terraced bit is occupied by their 'ultra' type 'hooligan-wannabe' group of fans!



I'm not sure if this poster is related to their activities or not! If anyone sees this who can offer a translation I'd be most grateful!



Finally, from this new set, some of the 'Forza HJK' group of fans.



Below is my original post, from 2008:

My first ever visit to Finland, and a visit to HJK Helsinki; thanks to their fans agreeing to play the Dulwich Hamlet Supporters' Team.
Their Finnair Stadium was hosting the Finnish Amateur Football Championships this weekend. And-amazingly to an Englishman-their actual stadium was in use, as well as the surrounding pitches. It had an all-weather surface, but we were told that grass is due to be laid for the UEFA Womens' European Championships next year.
We were playing on the Sunday, and then watching the HJK First Team in the evening, before heading back to Tallinn, in Estonia, by boat. I had booked into the cheap, but perfectly adequate for me, Olympic Stadium Hostel, adjacent. I didn't find time to get into the Olympic Stadium itself (not sure if you can) nor go up the Olympic Tower, which was open; which would have made for some cracking photos. There was also a Sports Museum, which I never had time to see.
But the HJK fans were so welcoming that there is no doubt that we will return to play them in a couple of years or so time. So I will do all the Olympic stuff then.
The bonus of staying at my hostel was that I could wander into the Finnair Stadium, which was fully open as part of the amateur football weekend, so I will now take you on a tour of the stadium.



A map of the ground. I start off behind the stand at the left
hand side; then walk around the one at the top, before
enetering the ground at the bottom right hand corner.



This is a view of the stadium, from an adjacent ground, which we
will look at later, and this is behind that stand 'on the
left hand side'.



I don't know how old the ground is, nor how long HJK have
played here, but it is all very modern.



And also home to the Finland Football Association.



These are gates in the corner





And I stroll outside behind the main stand, the club shop
being in the middle.



This is the corner I enter the ground. These are
seats behind the goal, but I walk the other way, in a clockwork
direction.



From the corner this is the view down the side.



And looking back behind the goal. Opposite you can see
part of the main stand, clearly the biggest area in the ground.



A view from around the half way mark of the seats.



And glancing back from the end. I didn't know when I took this,
but this would be roughly the area we would watch the match
from.



Behind the goal, which was the end I started off from, when
outside.



Glancing through the pillars at the back, I attempt
an unusual shot or two.





Behind the goal again.



Having moved on, behind the goal, I glance back down the side.



Tucked in behind the goal is presumably the score from the
last game. Or someone being psychic? As this was the very
score by which HJK won by on Sunday evening!



Behind this stand is an open refreshment area. You can see
the Olympic Stadium complex behind.



Back into the seats behind the goal, and here is your first
real glimpse of the main stand.



And looking back across, with the sportshall, by the training ground
pitches, visible behind.



Looking up at the 'posh boxes'. note the flowerpots!



Down at pitch level, by the dugouts.



And looking across to the corner where I entered the ground.



Now I start to move up into the main stand, and look down
on another entrance to the ground.



With a view over the pitch, as I climb the steps.



Looking down along the lower tier.



This is the upper area.



A decent view from up here.



And looking down behind the goal, both ends almost identical.



The press seats, in the upper section.



And having walked back along this side we get another
glimpse of the end we have seen.



I go right to the back to give you a view from 'up in the gods';
not that high at all really.



One of my favourite shots out of this group, looking down
again behind the goal.





And a last look downwards to the pitch...



Before I'm back down pitchside at the other end, where
I entered the ground, as we leave the ground for today.



Back the next evening for the big match.
This was the programme.



And the HJK yearbook.



And our match tickets, complimetary ones kindly arranged
by our Finnnish counterparts.



The majority of the crowd were either behind the goal here



With a sprinkling of fans in the main stand opposite



With most supporters down the same side as us, which was
strange, as the sun was in our faces for the whole game, with
no shade!



Another snap of the crowds behind the goal.



A snap of under the stands



Somewhere under roandabout here!



We had a great time, as guests of the Forza HJK supporters',
and this was one of their flags.



Behind our corner was a sort of 'pikey hill', for those
too tight to pay to get in!



Our flag proudly on display.



These are some of the lot we played football against.





And the final whistle signals not just the end of my digital tour
of the Finnair Stadium with you, but one of the most memorable
days i've EVER had with the Dulwich Hamlet Supporters'
Football Team, in almost twenty years of the team!



For more photos you have the follwing from the Forza HJK site here, here, & here.

Plus a few, some copied in this post, from my own Supporters' Team blogsite here.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi,

I don't know if you'd yet got the translation of the poster with the British flag, but here it comes:

"To the [English] Premiere League for the price of a MSN -message! Vote for the most convincing player of the match."

This is an ad by an insurance company. After each game they gave some price for the winner of the vote and after the season they added up the score and awarded the winner. Plus gave a trip to the English Premiere League game to some of the voters.

Anonymous said...

My Finnish isn't as good as it could be, but I think the poster reads:

VOTE REG GRUNDY.