Football Season Guide

AC Oulu


Elias Collin (def) Haka; Aaro Tiihonen (def) RoPS; Yann Emmanuel Affi (def) Gomel; Alexander Forsström (def) Ekenas; Eelis Taskila (def) RoPS; Yassin Daoussi (def) Ekenas; Cristian Valencia (def) free agent; Lasse Ikonen (def) Gnistan – end of loan; Moshtagh Yaghoubi (mid) SJK Seinajoki – end of loan; Maximus Tainio (mid) HIFK; Daniel Heikkinen (mid) Honka II; Yanga Baliso (mid) IFK Mariehamn; Rony Huhtala (mid) Gnistan; Ashley Coffey (att) Eskilstuna; Eemeli Raittinen (att) HJS; Onni Suutari (att) Gnistan – end of loan;


Rafinha (k) (def) retired; Michael López (k) (att) Sheriff; Sandro Embaló (r) (def) Al Naft; Rafael Floro (r) (def) released; Magnus Breitenmoser (r) (mid) Thun – end of loan; Mehdi Hetemaj (sp) (def) released; Miika Koskela (sp) (def) Tromso; Roan Nogha (sp) (mid) Nkufu Academy; Marius Könkkölä (sp) (mid) Lahti; Armend Kabashi (sp) (mid) released; Samuel Anini Jr. (sp) (att) HJK Helsinki – end of loan; Ibra Sekajja (sp) (att) released; Aapo Heikkilä (sp) (att) released; Moshtagh Yaghoubi (mid) released;

Oulu had a disappointing 2022 as they ended up missing out on a top 6 finish simply because in one of the games during the regular season they used an unregistered player and this saw them being deducted 3 points. Oulu were simply too good for Play-off II and they comfortably won the second group of 6 teams to end the campaign officially in 7th place. In his second year in charge the Portuguese coach Duarte made Oulu play some attractive football and at times it looked as if they will even try to fight for a top 4 finish. In the end the downfall proved the shaky defending, conceded 43 goals in 27 matches. Somewhat expectedly Duarte addressed the shaky defensive line in the off-season and 6 defenders left the club, including the underperforming, or often injured in 2022, Embalo and Floro. The 2 other important players to leave were playmaker Breitenmoser, returned to his parent club, and striker Lopez. Duarte replaced all of his centre-backs, he signed 5 new players in that position this winter. Baliso was also added to the ranks and he is expected to take Breitenmoser’s role as the main box-to-box midfielder. Up front Karalajnen and Luquinhas, both had impressive back end to last season after joining Oulu in the summer, are expected to be even more important this term. Still, to fill the void left by Lopez’s departure the English forward Coffey was added. He will start when Oulu feel the need to play with a typical target man. Duarte’s aggressive tactics and decent squad depth should give Oulu edge in many matches. However, it is yet to be seen if the brave decision to replace practically the entire defence will work out.


Oulu aim to secure a top 6 finish. Have the squad to challenge for it for sure. However, yet to be seen how fast all the new signings will settle.