"This blog is not necessarily for lovers of art, it includes a variety of topics and whatever. I'm a painter who likes to know what's really going on in the world today. So you might find anything from Shamrocks to Salmiakki mentioned here on my blog. There will of course be some boring, factual and informational posts, but I'll keep them to a minimum, I promise!

And I might get a bit nostalgic now and then.

So you have been warned!"

- Alan Hogan

Showing posts with label sports. Show all posts
Showing posts with label sports. Show all posts

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Kick-off! - football in Finland

It was time to give my BK-46 football jersey a good wash
in preparation for this year's football season in Finland.

This year's football season has just started here in Finland and I took myself along to the local derby-match between my local team here in Karis/Karjaa called BK-46 and nearby neighbours EIF in Ekenäs/Tammisaari

Ekenäs / Tammisaari

This Finnish League second-division match took place yesterday in the beautiful seaside town of Ekenäs with the home supporters wearing their EIF green shirts and the visitors wearing their BK-46 red and white shirts. The second division or Kakkonen in Finnish is the third-tier of Finnish football.

BK-46 fans arrive at Ekenäs train station

Having watched my favorite English team Liverpool lose out to Manchester City in the English Premier League title race I needed a bit of a lift.

Some matches are already over in this years Finnish football season, in both the league and the Finnish Cup. But for me it really feels like the beginning when the weather improves and I can leave my coat at home. And this was just the case yesterday afternoon. Blue skies and warm sunshine made for a great afternoon as myself and other fans boarded the train and made our way to the game. 

EIF Ekenäs and BK-46 players line out before kick-off.

The match began in a very competitive manner as expected and my team BK-46 were playing good. The home team EIF have beaten BK-46 in their last three meetings. Supporters from both sides were in full voice cheering on their respective teams with plenty of colour added from waving flags, jerseys and scarves. There was even a Norwegian flag being waved from the BK-46 fans in honour to their neighbouring country's national day which is celebrated on May 17th. 

As the match progressed the home team were gaining more possession and control of the game, and eventually scored the first goal in the 34th minute of the game (EIF 1-0 BK-46). It stayed that way until half-time. 

BK-46 looked alive for a brief period in the second half. But they lacked leadership and it was evident that individual performances were substandard. This allowed EIF to improve their already good performance and add a second goal in the 52nd minute. It didn't look like any response was coming from the BK-46 players with most of the play taking place in their own half of the pitch. And when one of their players was red-carded it became an impossible task. Heads were down among the many fans including myself who had made the trip from Karis. It came as no surprise when a third goal by the team in green arrived in the 79th minute, and eventually EIF 3-0 BK-46 was the final score of the match. I must mention that three key players on the winning team have moved from the opposition team over the last two years, which along with the appointment of a new trainer at BK-46, must be considered as factors in this poor result.

... a bad day at the office!

Luckily it's only the beginning of the season, so a lot of work can be done to improve the side from Karis. One thing's for sure though, BK-46 still have the best fans (aka the Pälkka Sviinen) around these parts of Finland to help out and support their team.


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- Alan 


Saturday, April 21, 2012


Some of you reading this who know me will also know that I have another passion apart from painting. For those of you who don't know, my other passion is soccer. As a young boy living back in Ireland I used to watch weekly football matches broadcast live from England on our television. My father was a supporter of Arsenal football club. This was mainly because of good connections between Irish players and the club during the 1960's, 70's and 80's. Names like Niall Quinn, Pat Jennings, Frank Stapleton, David O'Leary and the fantastic Liam Brady come to mind. I don't suppose he was too happy when an uncle of mine came along and converted me to a supporter of Liverpool football club. This was quickly done by my uncle as Liverpool was a liitle easier to travel to from Dublin instead of London where Arsenal FC are based. A quick trip on the ferry and before I knew it I was in Liverpool watching The Reds at Anfield Road. I didn't feel too guilty as there was quite a good connection between Liverpool and players coming from Ireland back then also. Think of names such as Ronnie Whelan, Mark Lawrenson, Ray Houghton, John Aldridge and of course the brilliant winger Steve Heighway. I was six or seven years old when I went to Anfield. Unfortunately this is the only time I have been there. I saw Liverpool play again at a friendly in Dublin and a league match against Arsenal in their home ground at Highbury, London. 
I know some will say that's hardly being passionate about your club, but I have always been more of an armchair fan. And also ticketprices were never really within my budget. I have spent a small fortune on beer at several Dublin pubs over the years however. 
And on one particular evening in May 2005 I spent a little more than usual. 
Here's a ticket I made up especially for myself and all my friends who went to watch the match at The Flowing Tide pub in Dublin city. It was the incredible night when Liverpool FC beat AC Milan in Istanbul to win the Champions League Final in what for me was the greatest ever final to date in that competition. It was an especially good night for me as all my friends and my brother were also there to share the celebrations. Nights like this don't happen that often so it's important to enjoy and remember them. 
I must have been on a wave of euphoria for days afterwards. So much so that I even agreed to buy a pet for my girlfriend. I'm not a great fan of having pets in small household spaces. But this was a dwarf rabbit, and we had the space. And as I paid for the rabbit I took the honour of naming him. I had a few ideas, but I finally decided on 'Rafa' after the Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez. Here's a short clip of Rafa out in our garden.

After our little friend settled in to his new home in Ashbourne he seemed very happy. Apart from keeping him from chewing on the television cables he was great fun. I would definately recommend having a dwarf rabbit as a pet. 
Towards the end of 2005 I started working on a new painting. I wanted to experiment with contrasting colours, in this case yellow and violet. I also wanted to paint something a little contemporary with influences from my recent trips at the time to Finland. I painted this canvas in my kitchen as it was the only area in my house which had plenty of natural light. I did however have to bear constant interruptions from the kitchens main resident, Rafa the rabbit. He was very fond of climbing up on the table to see what was going on. I reckon the colours I was using had something to do with it also, especially the flourescent yellow which he was so attracted to. It was a battle of brush and whiskers! Anyway, with the 'help' of my hoppy friend I managed to get my painting finished. The result was a simple flower-like figure on a yellow background. Now all I needed was a title. 
It was spring 2006 now and this is when something terrible happened. I got up one morning to find my rabbit very ill. After a trip to the vet we discovered he had developed diarrhea. After giving it medication all we could do was wait. Unfortunately as with many dwarf rabbits, once they get diarrhea they very rarely recover and Rafa was no exception this time. I came home one day to find him gone to the big pile of straw in the sky. It was sad. We did give him a nice send off and buryed him in a nice strong Guinness box at the back of our garden. 
After this upsetting incident I returned to look at the painting I had created and decided that it could only have one title, and that was 'Flower for Rafa'.

'Flower for Rafa' 2006 - Alan Hogan

This painting completed during 2006 in Ireland is presently on view in Helsinki, Finland. It can been seen along with some more of my work from now until June 2012 at NDN Studio, Eerikinkatu 18, 00100 Helsinki. 

Thanks for reading my blog and please share it with all your friends. And here's a reminder of that wonderful night in Istanbul back in 2005 for any Liverpool fans reading this. Enjoy!

You can receive my blogposts direct to your email or facebook profile by pressing the follow button at NetworkedBlogs  and you are welcome to visit my art page on Facebook by clicking the 'Like' button under my signature below.


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The Art Garage, Finland

The Art Garage, Finland
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