Finland searching for new national team coach

The Finnish Federation of American Football, SAJL (, is looking for a new head coach for the Finnish national team.

When former head coach Tuomas Heikkinen stepped down to become head coach of the United Newland Crusaders in Finland’s Maple League earlier this fall, it left a void that will be difficult to fill according to Roope Noronen, Chairman of the SAJL, but he says that the process will get underway in December:

“We were fortunate to have had Tuomas run our Men’s National Team for many years and hope nothing but success for him in his new position as head coach for United Newland Crusaders. Our national team staff otherwise is pretty much in place and I am certain that we can find head coach to take over and be successful.”

Heikkinen has been the coach of Team Finland, one of the most successful national teams in Europe over the past two decades, for the past 11 years.  In fact, the 55 year old Heikkinen was perhaps the longest-standing head coach in international American football and was involved in the Finnish national team in some capacity or other, as player or coach, from the early 1990s. Under Heikkinen’s tenure, Finland played in the European Championship tournament three times, capturing the bronze in 2018. Since 2014, the Finnish national team has lost only one of the eight games it has played. Heikkinen officially takes over the Crusaders on January 15, 2021.

Needless to say, with a European Championship semifinal game presentlyy scheduled for August 2021, the search for a new head coach is now a top priority for Noronen and the SAJL.

“We will open the position for applications this year and hope to interest qualified coaches all over the world.”

All applicants are asked to send their resumes to Roope Noronen at the following email address: [email protected]

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