21.10.2005 klo 14:21
Turku Trojans had it´s traditional end of the season party at the Olympia -sauna near their home field in Paavo Nurmi Stadium. In the official part of the evening head coach Tomi Haula had a word about the last season, some new player and coaching contracts were announced and the trophies for the best players were presented.
Coach Haula emphasized that the season was successful although the team did not win any medals this year. "When the season started no one expected us to win a single game and still we ended up in playing for the bronze medals" said Haula and continued that the key of this success was the commitment of both the young and the old players. There were very young players who grew up to be excellent players and many of them continued to play in the junior national team which won the Nordic championship some weeks ago. Haula has not yet made any decisions about the next season but the possibility to continue as the head coach is not totally excluded.
The head coach of the junior teams Pasi Sillgren urged the older players to take up the challenge to coach the junior teams. "There are plenty of kids who will start to play the game and we don´t have enough coaches at the moment. Coaching young players is very rewarding and every player has something to give" said coach Sillgren.
Some new player contracts were also announced. DB Mikko Virolainen and his brother WR Juha Virolainen will come back to Turku after playing one year in Seinäjoki Crocodiles. Mikko will also act as a special coach for defensive backs. From Lieto Oakmen three new players will take a step to higher level. they are RB Jaakko Pääjärvi, LB Pasi Virtanen and OL/DL Tero Kinnunen. In addition negotiations with 4-5 Maple League players are still going on. Another new member in the coaching staff is Antti Palmroos who will be an offensive coordinator and also continue to play as a wide receiver.
The presentation of the traditional trophies was the last official number of the evening. The Coach Of The Year title was given to Janne Salonen who coached the Trojans defense. The Sky-Box Official Of The Year is Ville Heikkilä from the stats team. Kamran Osman was named as the Defensive Lineman Of The Year. The nomination of Offensive Lineman Of The Year was a close race between a veteran OL Esko Pirkiö and his younger apprentice Tomi Myyrä, who eventually won the trophy. Also the Rookie Of The Year trophy was pursued by two equal candidates. Defensive backs Iisakki Ullakonoja and Ville Järviö were both excellent young players who also represented Finnish junior national team in the Nordic championship games. Of these two fine young gentlemen Ville Järviö was named as the Rookie Of The Year.
The two most prestigious trophies were left. The Player Of The Year trophy and the Fighter´s Bowl were given to the same man, Janne Salonen who totally cleaned the table. The evening continued the traditional Trojans way, but that is another story...