"NOW THEY MUST BRING BACK THE PRIDE AND EMOTION." EX-MYPA PLAYERS SPEAK TO MNM COACHING AH
Former Veikkausliiga side Myllykosken Pallo (MYPA) will make their return to competitive football this week in the Finnish Third Division.
MYPA folded in February 2015 for financial reasons but staff of the club's existing academy put together a first team for the 2017 season after hosting open trials at the end of last year.
MnM Coaching spoke to seven ex-MYPA players about their playing days in Myllykoski ahead of the club's first league match of the season.
Ben Webster (2009-2010)
"I can clearly say that my time at MYPA was the best time of my career. It was a feeling of not just being part of a football club but a feeling of being part of a family from the day I signed. Leaving MYPA due to injury and saying bye to the club was heartbreaking for me.
"I really enjoyed playing in Finland, the physical and fitness side was fantastic. I had great respect for the coach who I believe was a reason I enjoyed my time there. Everyone backed me through good and bad times.
"Living in Finland was difficult, as I'm used to living in livelier places but I was determined to being the best I could be and I gave 100% to the club and the supporters.
"I was devastated to hear that the club had gone bankrupt but I'm glad that MYPA and the supporters can come together again as I love the club and the people."
Hugo Miranda (2005-2008)
"My time at MYPA was definitely the best period in my career. I have so many great memories from there, such as winning the league title in 2005, and meeting so many amazing people.
"Settling in at the beginning was difficult because it was winter time. That was also the first time I saw snow. But once the season started it was easier as we started playing well and the atmosphere in the team was fantastic.
"It was very sad news to hear that MYPA had folded. But I hope that one day they will return to the Veikkausliiga and win the league title again."
Nebi Mustafi (2007-2010)
"When I decided to join MYPA I had a million thoughts in my mind. I had options to go to other clubs or to continue the Finnish dream that I started with FC Haka. It wasn’t a very easy decision as I was in good form and at a good age but I had a good time in Finland and that was the reason I decided to sign for MYPA. The spirit of the team was great and I felt I had found a perfect environment and club for myself.
"We had a very good season and the game against Blackburn Rovers in Europa League was the game to dream of. I could see the real emotion and the enthusiasm of the fans that time and how much they loved their team. I met a lot of amazing people at the club and I would like to express my thanks to all of them.
"The news of MYPA folding was very unpleasant to me. I can only imagine how it must have felt for the fans and the people who worked and played there. But now they must bring back the pride and the emotion. I'm everyone involved in bringing the club back will give everything to helping the team rise up again. MYPA has my support and I hope to see the club back at the top."
Tosaint Ricketts (2009-2010) "MYPA was my first professional club so my fondest memories were signing the contract and knowing that I worked hard enough to make my dream come true. "I was so young and inexperienced in the professional football world at the time. But it was a great club and country to start off in. I learnt a lot during my time there and MYPA helped me grow as a professional. Finland was not much of a culture shock because the majority of people spoke English and were very willing to help me along the way.
"It was a sad moment for me when I heard that MYPA had folded. I knew the club had a great history and some iconic football players had played for them. It also was the heart of the city, I will always be grateful for everything MYPA did for me."
István Mitring (1999-2003)
"I have many fond memories from my days at MYPA. I remember my first few days well settling into a new culture and environment with new challenges. I also remember the first home league match against Inter Turku, as well as the excellent training camps and international matches. There was a perfect team spirit with a professional strength coach.
"I joined MYPA after my former teammate called me about the opportunity to play for them. I enjoyed playing for the team from the very first moment. We had clear goals for the season and we were very focused. Living in Finland was great and it was there where my second son was born.
"I felt pain and a sense of loss after I heard the news about MYPA’s bankruptcy. I thought of my friends who were playing and working at the club. MYPA will always remain in my heart."
Kuami Agboh (2007-2008)
"I spent two beautiful years at MYPA where I came across a very professional club and many wonderful people.
"My favourite memories are the two matches against Blackburn Rovers in the UEFA Cup. I enjoyed playing in the Veikkausliiga as it's a competitive league with good teams and some very good players.
"I loved living in Finland. Finnish people are very friendly and If I had the choice I would have stayed in Finland even though it's a little cold.
"I was surprised and very sad when I heard that MYPA folded. They were a very good team in Finland at the time."
Niklas Tarvajärvi (2004-2005)
"MYPA is a "family" club where was it easy to come as a young footballer. One of my best memories is the 2004 Finnish Cup final, which was played in my home town of Helsinki. The UEFA Cup matches in 2005 before I left for the Netherlands will always stay in my memory.
"Playing in Finland is enjoyable and a good learning experience until a certain age. It helped me take the next step forward in my career. Finnish people may not seem so open minded at first but when you get to know them they are ready to help you with everything.
"When I heard that the club had folded I couldn't believe it. It was a real pity that a club with such history suddenly just disappeared. Luckily they are coming back so hopefully we will see MYPA in the Finnish top flight in the coming years."