I confess. I am a sportsfanatic! Almost anything goes. Perhaps lawn bowling and darts being the rare exceptions.

I used to play ice hockey, handball and golf rather seriously. I even made it to the Finnish National team golf in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

Okay, I admit that being in the Finnish National team in golf at that time, was a bit like being the UK National Team in ice hockey…not much to write home about.

Nevertheless, I got to play in a few European Championships and Opens. I even made it to the British Amateur Open, but alas missing the cut with shots.

I follow many sports closely. Not least football.

The English Premiership has always been my favourite. I grew up with it on Finnish TV. When I was a kid I’d always watch matches on Saturday afternoons with my dad and brother.

The Finns have never done that well in football, but fortunately things are changing. The women have been doing well lately and the men are followings suite.

The men’s national team is coached by Roy Hodgson and the players play professional football all over Europe. The team is currently top in the Euro 2008 qualifiers and with hard work and a bit of luck I think we will make it to the finals for the first time.

The team is talented has many great characters. Most of all, they gel.

I am a fan of Mikael Forssell, Aki Riihilahti and Hannu Tihinen. They have all played for my favourite team in Finland, HJK.

Forssell played for Chelsey and Crystal Palace. He is now with Birmingham City, getting ready for a major come back after injury.

Riihilahti was a long time favourite with Crystal Palace and is currently playing for Kaiserslauten in Germany. He is a great character. If you don’t believe me check out his homepage. Or read any of his columns in the Times.

Tihinen is currently with Zurich. He used to play for Anderlecht here in Brussels.

We are in the same qualifying group with Belgium. I have already started scalping for tickets…