Will the head coach of the Mäkimaa team change? Lauri Hakola now responds to Niko Kytösaho’s criticism | Sport

Will the head coach of the Makimaa team change Lauri

Piloted the Finnish ski jumping national team last season Lauri Hakola thinks about wanting to continue as head coach.

According to Hakola, the negotiations regarding the extension contract were supposed to be completed at the end of March, but the negotiations have been delayed due to the financial situation of the Ski Federation.

– This matter is not clear yet. Information about the economic situation is still too vague. It’s probably clear to everyone that when they start any responsible role, they have to know what they’re getting into, says Hakola.

Hakola’s current contract lasts until the end of April. Living in uncertainty is nothing new for the coach from Kuopio. When Hakola piloted the national team for the first time in 2018–2020, resources were even thinner than they are today.

However, the starting points for last season were anything but commendable. The Ski Association laid off its staff for the summer, as a result of which it saved 400,000 euros in expenses.

– We were by no means able to implement what was agreed and planned in the previous training season. A lot had to be adjusted until August. It was compromise upon compromise. Despite this, the season was the best in terms of results in ten years. It could have been worse, says Hakola.

Despite its cost-saving measures, the budget of the Ski Federation was in deficit by 1.28 million euros in the financial period from June 2022 to October 2023. In addition, the association’s commercial company Nordic Ski Finland Oy made losses of 623,000 euros.

Belt-tightening is likely to happen again next summer.

– At no point did I get an accurate budget last season. We just went as rationally as possible.

The chainsaw lifted the switch

Hakola has had more than just financial figures on his mind. Eetu Nousiainen the season ended on the operating table when he crashed on the last weekend of the World Cup season at the Planica airfield.

After this, the number one jumper of the season Niko Kytösaho announced In the evening newspaperthat he plans to prepare for next season outside the national team.

Kytösaho criticized “that the coaching of the national team has no responsibility for the results”.

– Last summer I returned to Kuopio and for nine months I worked with the coaching of the national team. The balance was only 17 points in the first 13 World Cup races, Kytösaho said in IL and continued:

– After the mountain week, I was simply feeling empty. Confidence that things would turn out better with the union’s systems was completely gone. I tried to do everything as the coaches say, but the result was zero.

Hakola says that he was surprised by Kytösaho’s decision to leave the national team.

– I had no idea about it until after the last games we had a meeting. That’s when this came out. In that sense, I was surprised that Nikohan had a really good season in the end, says Hakola.

Hakola estimates that Kytösaho’s disappointments from the beginning of the season stemmed from the challenges of the mental side.

– He opened the season at Ruka at the best level of his career. After that, some kind of lock hit in the competition, which could not be opened very well or well enough.

The chainsaw ended up burning Pekka-to his uncle’s coaching around the turn of the year and in January finished seventh in the lentomäki World Championships.

Hakola underlines that he does not hold a grudge against Kytösaho, who gave public criticism.

– If some outside tips have helped this knot to open, then great work. Of course, I would hope that these, or it would always be better if these could be solved in cooperation.

– Let’s hope for the best that another kind of project will be successful, says Hakola.

No room for extortion

Hakola insists that a credible development path must be guaranteed for Finnish ski jumping in the future.

– In the functions behind the A national team, i.e. the youth and the B national team, such big compromises were made that something similar cannot continue. It won’t go very far if the activity is only focused on a small group, Hakola says and refers to the A national team.

Hakola says that he is at peace with his own future – whether that means continuing or stepping away from the head coach’s job.

– It’s always a privilege if you get to work with the sport. Haven’t had to go to real work yet. But let’s see now. Before you can make decisions, you need to know more about things.

– I’ve been involved in ski jumping more or less around the world for eight years. At the same time, my own children are growing up. I’ve had enough to go.