Fredrikstad have today announced the signing of 21 year old Finnish youth international Joona Veteli. Veteli signs from PS Kemi, who finished 9th in the Finnish top division last season.

(Foto: Fredrikstad sine hjemmesider)

Veteli is a midfielder and has played both centrally and out wide. He is said to be a bit of a utility player who is able to fill in many positions when needed. In all competitions last season he contributed to 9 goals (8 assists, 1 goal.)

The 21 year old made his Finnish U’21 debut in March last year and has currently played 4 times at International level.

“This will be my first professional club outside of Kemi. I’m going to a larger, more professional club in a nice city with a great stadium. The people here seem nice and I am looking forward to this season” Said Veteli to Fredrikstad’s official site.

The signing is somewhat out of leftfield for FFK, who had only signed players who had competed in the Norwegian leagues at some point in their career last season. The ‘bigger’ signings such as Brix and Thomt Jensen had only ever played in the Norwegian leagues and never ventured abroad, for example.

Joona Veteli is making his first strides outside of his homeland with this move and so the transfer could be seen as a bit of a risk for FFK. It is good, however, to see them seemingly adopt a new transfer policy this season after last season’s unsuccessful signings. Veteli looks like a player who has all the attributes needed to succeed in Norway’s second tier and maybe even higher.

New FFK boss Andrea Loberto said of the signing; “Joona is a young player with great potential. He has senior experience in the Finnish league, and four Under 21 games at national level, including a game against Russia recently in the fall.”

The reaction on social media has generally been mixed with many not expecting Veteli to be Loberto’s first signing. I spoke to @stadionhue on Twitter about the signing;

“I didn’t expect the first signing to be a young Finnish midfielder. We already have local lads such as Asheim, Westgaard and Anas Farah in that category of offensive midfielders.

Loberto has said his priority is signing new defenders, which is not hard to understand, so i expect to see some new signings next week.

We need a RB and a CB with pace. Next to that, FFK also need a new CM with leadership abilities in the same mould as Roger Risholt.”

It will be interesting to follow the development of Veteli this season, but clearly Fredrikstad still have a lot of work to do to assemble a squad capable of earning promotion next season.

Ben Wells

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