Arctic Circle to Granite City: Travel is no issue for Finns says RoPS boss

Taye Taiwo
Taye Taiwo

RoPS Rovaniemi head coach Pasi Tuutti insists travelling from the Arctic Circle to the Granite City will not affect his players.

Instead Tuutti reckons Aberdeen should be concerned about jetting out to the north of Finland for the return leg.

Finnish side RoPS, who boast in their ranks former AC Milan and Marseilles defender Taye Taiwo arrived in Aberdeen ahead of the Europa League first qualifying round at Pittodrie.

Tuutti insists travelling does not hamper his squad – instead it makes them stronger.

He reckons due to the club’s remote location in Lapland they spend more time on the road as a team than they do at home with their families.

Tuutti said: “Travelling is not a problem to us.

“Our location is our strength.

“We travel three times the kilometres than a club like HNK Helsinki.

“During the season we spend more time together than with family.

“This gives us the opportunity to create great togetherness and team spirit which comes across in the games.”

The Finnish side were tonight set to train on the Pittodrie pitch ahead of the Euro showdown.

This will be RoPS’ fourth successive season competing in Europe.

Although they have yet to progress beyond the second qualifying round RoPS have not lost at home in European competition during that period.

Tuutti said: “Our home stadium is not a nice place to come and try to take points from.

“However, despite that Aberdeen will still get a warm welcome.”