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Katriina selected for the EURO 2022! 

By Topias Kauhala, Sport Journalist
Katriina Talaslahti, GK for National Team of Finland EURO2022

Photo: Palloliitto

This season just keeps on giving. After ten months, 14 league games, three Coupe de France matches and one national team game there’s still the EURO 2022 to play, as Katriina Talaslahti (21) was selected for the Finland squad for the forthcoming EURO which will be played in England in July. 

“It does mean a lot to me. It’s already a big thing for my football career to get selected to play for the national team and to be in the EURO. I’m one of the youngest ones to get selected”, Katriina says. 

“And it’s surely a nice to thing for my club FC Fleury 91 too, as one of their players gets to go there. It’s definitely a big thing to be included in the EURO squad. It’s not an everyday thing for us to be in the European Championships.” 

Finland’s previous three participations were in 2005, 2009 and 2013. The tournament will be played between 6th and 31st July in England and Finland will play their games in Milton Keynes, just north of London. Finland is in the Group B alongside Spain, Denmark and Germany. 

“Of course, we have big expectations for the group games. Our aim is to win every one of those games, but we know it will be a challenge, as we are playing against such good teams. Our spirits are high nevertheless. We’re going to try our best and I am going to give my best to maybe even a get chance to play.” 

Katriina made her Finland debut in April against Georgia. The camp around games against Slovakia and Georgia was her first call-up to the national team for official games. 

“The national team debut went well. It wasn’t the hardest of games, but I still had to deal with some situations. It was a bit of a surprise to get the call to play, but it was maybe better that way, so that I didn’t have time to get nervous. I don’t often get nervous anyway, but I think that game went well.” 

“And it was a good camp all in all. It was good preparation for this EURO. That was the last time we were together before this tournament and we got a lot out of it with the girls.” 

The EURO follows a great season in the French top division, Arkema D1. FC Fleury finished fourth and even reached the semifinal stage of the Coupe de France. 

“I don’t think the club expected us to be this high in the league. We for example played great games against Montpellier and Bordeaux. And I played really well in those games myself.” 

Katriina established herself as the number one goalkeeper of Fleury and recently signed a new contract with the club for next season.  “I only had some injuries which took some games away, but I’m very proud of my own season. For finally to be playing more or less all the time and for us to do so well as a team and to develop as players. You can see it from everybody that we are better as players now and I am already looking forward for next season.” 

The EURO was originially scheduled for last summer, but due to a domino effect caused by the pandemic both the women’s and the men’s tournament were moved one year forward. 

These new dates provided Katriina with an opportunity to take the leap to the national team after a succesful season of club football. 

“What I’ve probably learned the most during this season is confidence. When you get to play more, you start to believe in yourself a lot more. You get to show yourself and everybody else what you can do. Including the national team.”