Örebro, the “Finnish club” of the Damallsvenskan of the Swedish women’s football premier league, grabbed the important three points when they beat league jumbo Kalmar 4–0 on Sunday.
19 year old midfielder Inca Series completed a hat trick in 11 minutes, i.e. three goals. The pass for two goals was provided by a striker familiar from Helmari Jenny Danielsson.
Örebro is currently tenth in the league, five points away from the relegation zone, with seven rounds left in the season.
In addition to Sarjanoja and Danielsson, the team also plays Heidi Kollanen, Emma Peuhkurinen and Sara Ikonen. Sarjanoja and peer Ikonen transferred from the National League’s Oulu Nice Soccer (ONS) at the end of August To Örebro.
Sarjanoja, who played his second league match on Sunday, says that he is a little surprised by the number of goals he scored. Before his transfer was confirmed, he scored two goals at Örebro’s test camp, when the team beat Norwegian Lilleström 3–0 in a training match.
– A couple of seasons went by in Finland with quite a few goals. If there have been them in a couple of matches now, it doesn’t say anything bigger. You have to be able to score more goals over the course of the season, says Sarjanoja.
Heki scored two goals in ONS last season and three goals in the current season in the National League.
– The hat trick is not quite a basic thing. I don’t know, maybe it surprised me too, so I didn’t know how to react, he describes his restrained breathing after the third goal.
You can watch the goal summary of the Örebro–Kalmar match from this link. Embedded below is Sarjanoja’s third goal.
Sarjanoja and Ikonen live in a new place together. Everyday life is made easier when there are also other Finns in the team who help when needed.
Örebro’s team is young, but Sarjanoja feels that it suits him well. He describes the group as having good players who already have a lot of experience in the Damallsvenskan.
– Sara’s (Örebro career) has also gotten off to a good start. He played a really good 90 minutes on Sunday. He has certainly convinced the coaches and everyone else, says Sarjanoja.
Örebro invests in young people
Head coach of Örebro Rickard Johansson says that Sunday’s match against Kalmar was important, but also a must-win for the series jumbo. Örebro beat Norrköping 1-0 a week ago, when Damallsvenskan returned from the series break.
– The more important thing was that we now have two consecutive victories, Johansson estimated.
According to him, Ikonen and Sarjanoja have joined the team well. Johansson says that the club invited the players to a test camp during the World Cup in July-August.
– Both players performed really well at the test camp, so we took them to the club.
There are currently five Finns playing in Örebro, and that is no exception at all. For example, they played in the team last season Elli Pikkujämsä and Amanda Rantanen. Katariina Kosola moved to league leader Häcken at the end of August.
– We have good experiences with Finnish players, besides, I follow the Finnish main league a lot.
Örebro bet at the moment for young players. The club’s budget is modest in Swedish terms.
– The budgets of Finnish clubs are pretty much the same as ours. We can find players in Finland that we can afford, says Johansson.
He believes that with the help of young people, the club will be able to assemble a team that can fight for a better position in the league table in the coming seasons.
– Even though they are young and inexperienced, we apply our game plan and player grouping on a match-by-match basis. We want to get the best out of our players, so we try to apply according to the characteristics of the players.
In addition to Sarjanoja and Ikonen, Örebro acquired Jenny Danielsson in the summer. Johansson says Danielsson may not be the youngest, but he sees a lot of potential in the 29-year-old forward. Most recently, Danielsson played for the Scottish Glasgow Rangers. Before that, he represented the Swedish AIK.
– In my opinion, Danielsson’s best potential has not been seen yet, because his previous clubs have used him in the wrong way.
Independent training is visible
ONS head coach Toni Koskinen praises Sarjanoja effusively. According to him, the player’s moves show self-directed training.
– Inka has an incredibly good shot with both feet. He is good at deflecting, in one-on-one situations and in duels. Even when he was younger, he really wanted to analyze his own game with great enthusiasm.
Koskinen has coached Sarjanoja for several years, because before becoming the head coach, he worked at ONS as a talent coach.
– We’ve had quite a few meetings with Inka, watched clips and practiced shots. He has a tendency to tear himself apart a lot. That’s why his skill level is completely different from that of many other players.
Ikonen also gets a lot of praise, who, among other things, is good at passing the opponent’s attackers in press situations. Koskinen and Ikonen’s time together was slightly hampered by the player’s long injuries. Now, however, Ikonen has reached 90-minute game condition.
– He is a skilled player and, despite his small size, a good main player, although he may not be making enough use of it. Like Inka, Sara is a really conscientious trainee. His ball transport and spreading the game are top class – it has been admired elsewhere, Koskinen describes.