Birthday | Veli-Pekka Ketola, 75, has ended up in the role of commemorative speaker when his playing friends have left: “It’s the worst”

When Veli-Pekka from Ketola asks about the news, he laughs and even gets a little excited. Ketola, Iso Musta, turns 75 next Tuesday.

“We’re almost a hundred! There is nothing more wonderful than that. Let’s move forward one day at a time,” he continues.

I’ve had enough health. Ketola says that he feels well and that the success of his beloved club Pori Ässie will lift his spirits even more.

Aces has been playing in the playoffs for a long time. Ketola follows the pot shirts closely.

“Years come, but there’s nothing to worry about here, as long as the mind remains fresh.”

Ketola says that Ässi has had many ups and downs. He himself has experienced them at one time as a player, head coach and CEO of the club. It’s clearly an upswing now.

Pata is sizzling in the quarterfinals after a five-year break. Even last season, Ässät was the worst team in the league.

Veli-Pekka Ketola works out by jogging to the beach sauna in Luvia’s Lemlahti.

“I have watched with joy when the boys over there fight and play hockey the way it should be played,” Ketola says.

The head coach Karri Kivi is in the familiar style in Pori as a lift creator.

“I give Karri a big plus for this.”

Keeper Niklas Rubin he also gets a lot of praise from Ketola.

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“The goalkeeper is usually half the team, but Rubin has been even more for us this year.”

Pori’s disc icon also highlights workers and war horses, as he calls them.

Jesse Joensuu especially. Also Lenny Hämeenaho and Aleksi Heimosalmi must raise. Despite their young age, they have taken on a lot of responsibility. They’re going to the NHL from here. Nikolas Matipalo has raised his level very much.”

Lynx is a clear favorite in the quarter-final series, but Ässät is a tough word on home ice. The charm of Isomäki is breathtaking.

Ketola talks about the battle between spirit and matter.

“There are skill differences between Ässi and Ilves, because Ilves has much more of that material than we do. In other areas, we level the playing field.”

Finland Ketola is happy with the current state of hockey. It’s literally raining medals. Lions is almost unbeatable.

“Finnish ice hockey is booming in a rather tailwind. The sails bottle forward. We’re a pretty small country, where ice hockey is a big deal and has brought us a lot of experiences.”

Jukka Jalonen is the main architect of success.

“He knows how to get the most out of the team he chooses at any given time.”

In 2016, Ketola was the team leader and Jalone’s head coach at the Junior World Championships. There was gold that time too.

Seppo Lindström (left), Veli-Pekka Ketola, Jorma Valtonen and Lasse Oksanen pose in 1969.

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Ketola is a big, strong and awe-inspiring character. He has always taken care of his health, and in later life also of his lifestyle. Ketola closed the cork in 1993.

Exercise is a lifelong thing.

“It is here to stay, it will never end. It’s in my DNA to always be doing something. I don’t think I’ll ever have a phase where I don’t do anything.”

Ketola says that she does sports four or five times a week.

Is the iron still rising?

“Yes”, yes, it does run very nicely!

He does not reveal the amount.

“I would say enough,” Ketola says with a laugh.

Ketola has charisma. There has even been talk of Finland’s most charismatic hockey player.

Veli-Pekka Ketola lifted the Canadian toast as the star player of the Aces in 1978.

When the coronavirus spread to Finland in March 2020, Ketola stepped forward in the name of solidarity.

He announced People of Satakunta on the front page: “Because of the corona virus, I’m staying at home now – you should stay too.”

He committed to follow the instructions of the authorities and urged everyone else to do the same.

The message was received.

Ketola himself contracted a disease caused by a virus a year ago, but he fully recovered from it.

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“It went pretty well. It was kind of a little flu. We managed pretty well. There was nothing in it,” he says.

Ketolan Marita-wife did not get infected.

“In our family, Corona was very mild, but in many families it was not. It was a difficult time for society.”

Veli-Pekka Ketola participated in a charity match in Rauma in 2018.

Anyone is not eternal. Ketola has seen it up close when his old game friends have left this world.

In recent years, Ketola has been left with the role of commemorative speaker. He has done honor to the deceased.

“After family members, it’s the worst when friends and teammates leave. But it is inevitable.”

There is no escaping death.

“We’re all leaving here. It is determined at birth.”

Ukrainian the war surprises Ketola. Russia has continued its brutal and extensive attack for over a year now.

“It’s absolutely incredible that some bonehead can do whatever he likes from that Moscow tower.”

“We are quite powerless.”

He says he understands being on guard so that the situation doesn’t escalate even worse. Still, the lack of action is frustrating.

Ketola is disappointed with Finland’s actions.

“Our aid to Ukraine is kind of slow. It seems strange that such long negotiations are needed. We should put stuff in there at a slightly faster pace,” says Ketola.

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