Mika-Matti Paatelainen appointed Finland coach
Mika-Matti Paatelainen was appointed as Finland’s national
football team coach Thursday, on a five-year contract.
The Finnish Football Association said the 44-year-old Finn,
previously manager of Scottish Premier League club Kilmarnock, will
replace Stuart Baxter with immediate effect. Baxter’s two-year
contract ended in November and was not renewed.
Assistant coach Olli Huttunen took over temporarily in November
but Finland has managed only one win – over San Marino – in a tough
Euro 2012 qualifying group that includes Netherlands and
Paatelainen said the position of Finland coach was ”a dream,”
which he had worked hard for. ”It’s great to accept such a
challenge,” he said.
Before coaching, Paatelainen had a 20-year career playing for
nine different clubs in four countries. He played mostly for
Scottish teams Dundee United, Aberdeen, Hibernian, St. Johnstone
and St. Mirren.
Paatelainen scored 18 goals in 70 appearances for Finland’s