Pelham Soccer's new hire, Tuukka Salonen. SUPPLIED

Pelham Soccer President Erin Pasma has announced that the club has hired its first Technical Director, Tuukka Salonen.

“This is a new role, a new endeavor,” she said. “The club started talking about it a couple years ago, and decided that this is the way to go. Tuukka will be working with all the teams and coaches throughout our system. He will be a great asset not just for our more competitive players, but for all players, who will be able to tap into his expertise.”

Salonen played professionally for TPS Turku, TSG Hoffenheim, FSV Frankfurt, Chemnitzer FC, and KFC Uerdingen. Born in Finland, he spent many years competing in Germany before relocated to Canada in 2011. He has been training Canadian youth players since then. Pasma said that he will be running various clinics for Pelham Soccer Club players.

His coaching philosophy centres on the development model created by Horst Wein, the late master coach from Germany who was revered as the world’s foremost authority on developing youth soccer players. Salonen plans to introduce FUNiño, created by Wein, which features three-on-three games that develop passing options, on-field perception, decision making, and generally lays a solid foundation for game intelligence.

“We are so excited to have Tuukka join us,” said Pasma. “The 700 boys and girls in our club, spread across 15 travel teams and 40 house-league teams, will surely benefit from Tuukka’s experience.”

Pelham Soccer covers a wide spectrum of player ages.

“We start at age three, and plan to expand it this year to age 23,” said Pasma. “We even have a senior ladies team.”

Home games are mainly played at Glynn A. Green Public School in Fonthill, and at Centennial Park in Fenwick. The synthetic turf field at E. L. Crossley is also a resource.