Football Season Guide

AC Oulu


José Elo (def) Merida; Samuli Hölttä (def) Mikkelin; Liiban Abdirahman Abadid (def) Brommapojkarna – on loan; Niklas Orjala (def) Mikkelin; Juho Lehtiranta (def) KTP; Dimitrios Metaxas (mid) Volos; Jake Dunwoody (mid) SJK Seinajoki; Aleksi Paananen (mid) HJK; Roope Salo (mid) JJK; Asla Peltola (mid) Honka II; Daniel Heikkinen (mid) Kapylan – end of loan; Julius Körkkö (mid) Hercules; Otto Salmensuu (mid) Salon; Justin Rennicks (att) New England Revolution; Marcos André (att) Retro – on loan; Jesse Huhtala (att) Salon;


Yann Affi (r) (def) released; Noah Pallas (r) (def) HJK Helsinki; Cristian Valencia (r) (def) VPS; Magnus Breitenmoser (r) (mid) released; Luquinhas (r) (att) Amazonas; Onni Suutari (r) (att) Kalev – on loan; Juhani Pennanen (sp) (gk) released; Hamed Dramé (sp) (def) Olympiakos Nicosia; Riku Selander (sp) (def) Lahti; Elias Collin (sp) (def) TPS; Maximus Tainio (sp) (mid) SaIpa; Rony Huhtala (sp) (mid) released; Rasmus Karjalainen (sp) (att) SJK Seinajoki; Aaro Tiihonen (def) RoPS; Lasse Ikonen (mid) TPS; Nestori Kekonen (mid) OLS; Eemeli Raittinen (att) OLS;

For long last season Oulu looked destined for a great campaign. They even sat in the top 3 17 rounds into the season after winning 10 of those games. However, shocking drop in form came at the end of the regular season (1 win, 1 draw and 5 defeats). As a result Oulu finished just outside the top 6. They were too good for Play-off II and easily won it but then failed to win the Conference League play-off. Lost in the semifinal against Honka, which makes the bankruptcy of Honka only a month later an even more bitter experience for Oulu. Coach Ojanen took charge only late last season (August, 2023) but he did enough to convince the ownership to give him an extra year. He was tasked to manoeuvrer a hectic off-season. Oulu parted ways with 6 regulars and even more supporting players. This explains why 16 new players have been signed this off-season. Oulu will certainly have a very different look in 2024. Especially, in midfield everyone seems to have been changed. From the 5 new inner midfielders the Greek youngster Metaxas and the experienced in Veikkausliiga Paananen and Dunwoody should be nailed on starters. It is yet to be seen how fast all the new players will build synchrony. Also, many doubt coach Ojanen’s abilities to be a successful long-term decision for Oulu.


Confident they can finish in the top 6. Even if they do so not likely to be able to challenge for the medals.