The Finnish transfer window was shut on Friday evening, with Robert Kakeeto being the last of IFK:s transfer in the summer window.
– I’m pleased with the current squad. Our goal has been to think and work more long-term, and that’s something that has been clearly reflected in our ambition so sing longer contracts with new players, HIFK director of sport Mika Lönnström commented.
Six new players have joined IFK during the summer transfer window, defender Macario Hing-Glover, midfielder Robert Kakeeto, attacker Thais Damgaard Nielsen, goalkeeper Martti Puolakainen, midfielder Jabar Sharza and attacker Sakari Tukiainen.
– The new players have adapted themselves well to their new environment, and some of them have been here for almost a month now. We’re happy that we got the kind of players we were looking for, and that their performances have been positive so far.
Team captain Hannu Patronen’s also been satisfied with the new additions, who according to him have been important additions to the roster.
– We’ve had some changes to the squad, but that’s just a normal part of this game. The core of the team has stayed the same and we’ve only become stronger through the new transfers. The spirit of the team is good, and i think that’s also something that could be seen during our last home game, when we went from 0-2 down to a 3-2 win, said Patronen.
One of the goals for the summer was to begin building the roster for next years team, and as of right now, next years squad is already beginning to shape itself.
– We’ve begun building the team for the next season. And eventhough we still have a lot to play for during this season, we’ve decided that we need to think more long-term if we want to be able to finish in a position at the top of league table. I can reveal that we’re completely on schedule for next year right now, said Lönnström.
Some of the negotiations have already been concluded. During the summer IFK announced that it had use its options for extension with players Jani Bäckman, Jukka Halme, Tino Palmasto, Nikolas Saira and Riku Selander. In addition to this IFK have also signed new contracts with Erikson Carlos, Hassan Sesay and Toró. This means all of these players will represent HIFK for atleast another season.
– We’ve negotiated with a lot of players, as well as with all of the backroom staff, regarding their possible futures in IFK. The team really believes in what they’re doing, and I think the positive results from the beginning of the season has only strengthen that belief. We’ve also noticed a growing interest for joining us among young finnish players.
During the summer, IFK has also had to say goodbyes to four players. Defender Silver Grauberg, midfielder Fernando “Nando” Cózar Torres, attacker Mauro Severino and defender Tobias Vibe have left the club for new challenges. Despite public rumours, the club would like to state that Jakob Dunsbys situation has not changed, and he still has a contract for the season 2019.
Brief introduction of new players
The first player to join HIFK during the summer transfer window was the American Macario Hing-Glover, who’s born and raised in Phoenix. Hing-Glover has played for various European teams the last years. Most recently with Spartak Trnavasta in Slovakia. Before that he’s had spells with NK Krsko in Slovenia and NK Istra in Croatia. Hing-Glover is a strong, defensive player, whos performances have already made him an appreciated player.
In the beginning of July, IFK signed finnish attacker Sakari Tukiainen. Tukiainen has represented clubs in Finland as well as most recently Thisted FC in the Danish second tier. The attacker was quick to show off his impact, as he managed to score the decisive goal during his first homegame.
Towards the end of July, Danish players Jabar Sharza and Thais Damgaard Nielsen joined HIFK. Jabar Sharza signed a contract with IFK for 1,5 years and Nielsen joined on loan for the rest of the season. Sharza has played three games for IFK so far, and scored one goal and made one assist. Nielsen has not yet made into the starting XI, but has been training well and will surely get his chance soon.
The last transfer for the summer was Robert Kakeeto from Uganda. The promising midfielder came to HIFK from Danish Aalborg BK. Kakeeto is convinced that HIFK has a lot of quality and spirit and he is ready and motivated to work hard for the club.