Shane Wenzlick / Phototek.nz
Logan Rogerson is celebrating when he scored a goal for the Solomon Islands during the Olympic qualifiers.
Logan Rogerson took a second look as he walked through the headquarters of his Finnish football club and saw some All Blacks memorabilia on the wall.
The club is based in Valkeakoski, about 16,000 kilometers from New Zealand, but everyone there knows everything about New Zealand’s famous rugby team and its beating before every game.
This is because the football club is called FC Haka, which loosely translated is good somewhere.
Rogerson said he had received requests to perform a Maori ceremonial war dance to his teammates since he arrived on loan from HJK Helsinki in the middle of the Veikkausliiga season.
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“For the first two weeks, I heard the same thing over and over again: ‘Can you do Hakan?’ Rogerson said. “Apparently it’s a little funny that I’m a Maori too.
“But as this season approaches, I know the boys are trying to get me to survive the team night.
“When I played in Germany, they forced me to do it three times because they liked it so much.”
The 23-year-old striker moved to Finland’s most successful club, HJK Helsinki, from Auckland City, where he had been number one in the National League.
All Whites striker Logan Rogerson scores first goal in Finnish football club FC Haka.
But after a few HJK reserve games where he made a team with Kiwi with Chris James, he was sent on loan to get minutes higher and he impressed FC Haka so much that the move was made permanent.
“All the players there are young players who have the ambition to get to a higher level and who live around the club and just practice, which is the perfect line-up for me right now,” he said.
“The leap coming from New Zealand isn’t too high and I think more kiwis will pass soon. They come to Finland and use it as a springboard to larger leagues.
Rogerson began his professional career here in New Zealand in Wellington Phoenix, but then moved to Germany to try his luck in Europe with 3rd League club Carl Ziess Jena.
When he was having trouble getting in, he returned home and joined Auckland City, but Rogerson knew he had to play professionally if he wanted to get back to All Whites, which sped up the move to Finland.
He said FC Hakakin had actually made the offer, but he decided to sign the 31-time Veikkausliiga championship at HJK before 2021.
“HJK is a real football club and it was really good to be involved in it during the time I was there. I learned a lot.
– We had the Helsinki Derby and there was a pretty intense atmosphere. You would sell the stadium and own the torches and everything. “
Rogerson made his All Whites debut in 2015, but has not performed since his previous appearance in 2016.
He served as Captain of OlyWhites in the Tokyo Olympics qualifiers, but was not selected for the Olympics.
Rogerson scored one goal and made a couple of passes in 12 matches in FC Haka, but hoped to build it on the floor in 2022 when coach, former Tottenham player Teemu Tainio tried hard to keep him.
– He saw that towards the end of the season he improved with each game and he believes that next season I can have a really good season if I am there from the beginning.
– You have to play football. There’s no point in sitting on the bench, so I wanted to get all season next season and see what happens next.
“I haven’t had a full season under me in Auckland City, so it’s the next step for me. I know if I get a full season, I’ll be fine.