It’s not very often that most of us get to speak to former professionals. Some are public figures in broadcasting or coaching, some move on to other careers, and some slip away from the crowds and make a life for themselves with their families. Those that are public often seem, at least to me, unreachable. You can see them, you may even say hello, but to actually sit down and have a chat is not something most of us will get the chance to do.
John, of the Saints FC Podcast, has managed to track down several former pros for the podcast, and I truly enjoy those episodes because I learn so much about the team and the players of the time, a time before I began following the red and white stripes, before I began singing “Oh When the Saints” at 4:00am most Saturdays, before I began calling it football. For that reason, I feel especially honored have had the chance to speak with former Saints’ and Finland goalkeeper Antti Niemi. If you have been a fan of Saints since the early 2000s then you will know Antti. The blonde haired shot stopper is a fan favorite remembered for his cat like reflexes and acrobatic saves in goal.
But, prior to doing this interview with him, I didn’t really know him at all. So, in the very short time between learning about the opportunity and actually speaking with him, I enjoyed learning about him and his career, watching highlight videos and reading up on other interviews he had done. My hope is that the interview is slightly different than what he would have been asked elsewhere. I didn’t want to do the same old interview, but I hope the interview I did is enjoyed by whoever listens. There are so many other people out there probably better suited to do this interview, but I am grateful for the chance to speak to such a thoughtful, talented, kind and hardworking person.
Antti is still active in football. In addition to coaching for Finland he likes to spend time fishing and with his family.
He is on Instagram @udde72.
Special thanks to Jamie Grant for setting this interview up. Thanks also to Lee Calendar and Michael Kurn for helping with some of the question ideas.
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All music in this episode comes courtesy of the Free Music Archive at freemusicarchive.org.
Intro Song- “Epic Song” by BoxCat Games- http://freemusicarchive.org/music/BoxCat_Games/
End of Show/Credits- “Aim is True” by Podington Bear- http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Podington_Bear/
Until next time, cheers.