Ralf Wunderlich

Football coach (UEFA A)
from Berlin (GER)
@ FC Santa Claus (FIN).

"Ralf developed the club's player path comprehensively."
Jose Hiltunen (FC Santa Claus Juniors president, 2022)
"Ralf is a great coach and the trainings are the highlight of every week!"
Suvi Aikio (FC Santa Claus women's 8v8 player, 2021)
"Ralf's ideas are generally the same as our previous coaches tried teaching us, but his implementation is much better."
Siiri Sammalkangas (FC Ylivieska Girls 2004-06 captain, 2019)
"The basis for our defensive behaviour that Ralf laid for us is now bearing fruit."
Petri Laine (SC Riverball board member, 2017)

About me

Football for life.

I'm a footballer from Berlin who is working as a football coach in Finland since 2015.

I currently work full-time for FC Santa Claus Juniorit in Rovaniemi as "Head of Coaching". I'm also the head coach for their womens' and B-girls' teams (and in 2021 was also for their men's team).

I got the UEFA A-license from the Finnish Football Association (SPL) in 2019 and am as of 2022 also an official instructor for SPL's first three license courses (up to UEFA C). In Germany I got the UEFA B-license from the German Football Association (DFB) in 2013. Additionally, I have a diploma in "Professional Football Management" from the IST-Studieninstitut in Düsseldorf (2013). Outside of football, I have a master's degree in psychology, philosophy and media studies from the University of Potsdam (2010).

I like living in Finland, particularly the beautiful nature and the fact that it isn't as hot here yet as in central Europe. My Finnish language skills (acquired autodidactically with the help of my players) are quite good. I currently have no plans to go back to Germany, except for holidays. I'm very happy to work for Santa Claus' own football club. This role suits my personality (INFJ) very well. Feel free to tempt me with a spectacular offer anyway. ;)

Contact Me Pics say more than words.


What I do.

Aside from being a footballer for almost all my life, I've had official roles in my clubs continuously since 1998. If you scroll further down, you find a more detailed list of my skills.

  • Coaching

    I've been coaching football teams since 1998, from little girls to old men. In Germany, I almost exclusively coached men. In Finland mostly girls and women.

  • Head of Coaching

    This role includes tasks such as recruiting new coaches, founding teams, handling shifts, cooperating with sports councils, acting as teamleader for the coaches, holding courses, seminars, analysing videos, organising events and tournaments, and more.

  • Instructor / Trainer

    Since 2021 I'm an instructor for the E-, D- and UEFA C-license courses of the Finnish Football Association.

  • Secretary / Head of Office

    I can do the various tasks that happen in and around the office of a football club, such as membership organisation, marketing, events, invoices...

  • IT / Website / Social Media

    I handle my clubs' websites and social media. I have admin experience with JOPOX and MyClub. I digitally design and create flyers, posters, pictures etc.

  • Club Board

    I've been president, vice president, secretary, and normal board member for many years.

Games as a coach in Finland
(31.7.22., without friendlies)


Games as a player in Finland
(31.7.22., without friendlies)


Goals as a player in Finland
(31.7.22., without friendlies)


Years in Finland


My Philosophy

Part 1

Footballwise and otherwise. Wise. From a certain point of view.

If you want to develop good football players, you first have to teach the kids to love football. The love of football comes first. Without this love, no football future. Players who love football, want to train, want to learn, want to play. I develop players who (hopefully) play football for all their life. I love football and I show that to my players all the time. After footballlove comes time and patience. Juniors football is not result-oriented football. Juniors football is learning and developing football!

I'm the type of coach that I would like to have had as a junior (and partially, albeit not enough) had. Peter Stöger said during his time at 1. FC Köln in the Bundesliga some years ago: "Football is a game. A game has to make fun." That is so true! No matter whether Bundesliga or Sunday League. If you don't have fun playing football, why do you play? If football causes you stress or bores you, you quit. It's so old-fashioned to think that seriousness ≠ fun. In my opinion: The more fun, the more serious. Flow!

In Finland (but not just there), we have a big "drop out"-problem. I've watched many trainings from various clubs throughout the country during my years here and I'm not surprised. I seldomly witness fun in the trainings. I see young kids who get positional tactics and who tell me "I can't go forward, because I'm a defender." - "Is something happening here where we both stand?" - "No." - "Do you have fun here?" - "No." - "Is it boring?" - "Yes." - "Would you like to go up there where the action happens with the ball?" - "Yes." - "Well, go!" Kid runs up in joy. This conversation actually happened in 2017 with a 9 years old girl.

I see teenagers whose coaches yell at them during games as if they would be professional players getting paid a bonus for winning. I see juniors sitting 70 of 80 minutes on the bench, because they are "not good enough". Well, how are players supposed to get better if they rot on the bench? The only thing you learn on the bench is bench life. Benchwarmers don't develop their football skillz. You need to be on the field for that. If you don't develop, you might as well stay at home on the sofa. So they quit. Another drop out. That makes me sad. And unfortunately it happens again and again and again. Why? It's not rocket science: The more undeveloped your skillz are, the more playing time you need.

I studied psychology and philosophy. This reflects in my coaching methods. I don't want to only develop good players, but good human beings. Ethical values are very important to me. And I have to be a role model for the kids, on and off the pitch. I try my best, but I'm not perfect, of course. I'm there for my players, no matter what age. I believe that my players understand that I offer them 100% and my best. That's why they want to give that back to me. To their team. To themselves. We create a symbiotic effect. I love football. You love football. We love football. It's simple, if you think about it. It's a question of mentality. That's not a theoretical matter. You have to live football. Because you want to.

My Philosophy

Part 2

From Aristotle to Santa Claus.

I studied philosophy and follow Aristotle's concept of phronesis (prudence). In short: Between two extremes, striving towards the middle between both is the wise thing to do. Football-example: Offensive pressing is risky. Defensive pressing is craven. Midfield pressing is the wise choice in between those two extremes.

Football happens on the field. Coaching isn't just a question of theory. It's a practical matter. I don't only think about football theoretically. I think about it practically. I think about the game. Like a player. Because players play the games, not coaches. No players, no game. Fact! I have a lot of playing experience and know how players think and function, what they need. Been there, done that. That's something you can never learn in theoretical courses and seminars.

Experience is important. You need to know and understand what happens on the field, why it happens, and what effect it has on the players. For example, when you lead 2-0, and the opponent scores a goal. What do you do? Take out your tactical board? Nah, man. That's now a psychological issue. If I'd be your player and you'd give me a tactical speech in that situation, I wouldn't listen. I need to find solutions myself on the field. And it's the coaches task to provide their players with as many possible solutions to as many scenarios as possible.

As a coach, I value sportsmanship and fair play. I support the #kannustamua campaign from the Finnish Football Association and I am convinced that top level football automatically evolves when there is a sufficiently large base at the grassroots level. Thus that level needs to get more focus and attention. All players who want, need to get a chance and deserve your support. It's easy to only work with already developed players or natural talents. The challenge is to work with players who still need to learn and improve a lot. Never give up on a player. Quantity is needed to achieve quality.

The legendary German footballer Alfred Preißler once said: "All theory in life is grey - what matters is on the pitch." That's how it is.

I like to work with adults. That's where I come from. It's fun and interesting to work on a team tactical level and you have players who understand what you're talking about. On the other hand, I also find it very fulfilling to work with young kids and teach them how to become a footballer. My personal interest shifted during the last years from mens to womens football. I'm critical of the recent developments in mens professional football internationally, especially regarding the amount of money and - even more - where it comes from. Womens football reminds me more of the football style with which I fell in love with in the first place. Women play good football. And that's what it's all about in the end: good football. My two cents. From a certain point of view like Obi-Wan Kenobi.

im Kopf des Trainers Podcast Episode 85
Anchor fm / Spotify, 25.12.2021
Bunteto article, 06.12.2021
Transfermarkt interview, 29.04.2021
BBC article
BBC UK, 19.12.2020


I don't just have skills. I have skillz. With a z.

Or, as they shout it: "1, 2, 3, skillz!" In alphabetical order:

  • Communication

    I explain, I show, I ask. During games, I don't want to interrupt the game, because the players need to find their own solutions according to the options I taught them. When I raise my voice, my players know that I have something important to say. Being quiet doesn't mean I don't know what's going on.

  • Creativity

    Very important! Boring trainings are boring. No variety. Everyone does the same thing. I always try to do new things in trainings, and implement new ideas (for the same old topics).

  • Difficult environment

    All my clubs in Finland had organisational difficulties. Working in such an environment thus became a speciality for me. I help "repairing" clubs and do a lot of backend work which needs to be done, but doesn't happen on the field, and no one recognises them being done.

  • Empathy

    I seriously consider this one of my biggest skillZ. With a big Z. You break your leg? I feel your pain.

  • Germany & Finland

    I know the player path of DFB as well as SPL and am able to combine the best of both worlds.

  • Humor

    Also very imporant. Without humor, life ain't worth living. That applies also to trainings. I pity the people who think that good training can't be fun. The more fun, the better the training. And please, don't take yourself too seriously. You're just the coach.

  • Instructor

    I am an instructor for the Finnish Football Assocation for the E-, D- and UEFA C-license. You may officially book me for your club.

  • JOPOX, MyClub, Interwebz, SoMe...

    I know the club management system JOPOX and MyClub IN and OUT. (See what I did there?) Also WordPress, S9Y, HTML & CSS. Social media in three different languages. But I don't overly like SoMe. Too weird, even for me weirdo. That's why I have my own online photo gallery. That's not weird, isn't it?

  • Languages

    German and English fluent. Finnish quite good. French I understand, but I probably reply in Finnish these days. Zut alors! ;)

  • Love of football

    Comes first. No love for football, no future in football.

  • Mentality

    I love football. I live football. I am football. I always give 100% for my team and teach that mentality to my players.

  • Motivation

    My players "want", because... well, I won't tell you my magic, unless you hire me and pay me a decent amount of salary.

  • Philosophy

    Master of. Helps me shape my trainings. For example Aristotle's prudent middle way, as outlined above.

  • Psychology

    Also Master of. General psychology, organisational psychology, development psychology, group psychology, social psychology, mental training etc.

  • Reaction time

    Too many players are slow in their head, because their own thinking isn't triggered by their coaches. I call such players "little robots". Fast legs, slow head. The robot turns on when the ball enters its periphery and turns off when it leaves. I like to vary rules and tasks to trigger faster reactions.

  • Stamina

    Basic stamina, speed, speed stamina, agility, strength, warmup, stretching etc.

  • Tactics

    Individual tactics, universal tactics, group tactics, team tactics, positional tactics, "matchplan" etc.

  • Tactical seminars

    I swear, they aren't too boring the way I do them. Try me.

  • Team spirit

    Football is a team sport. The team is all. "You have to be 11 friends." (Sepp Herberger, coach of the 1954-WC winner). Seriously!

  • Techniques Dribbling, passing and stopping, ball control (first touch on the ground and in the air), shooting, kicking, faints, crossing, headball etc.
  • Video analysis

    Longomatch, Adobe Premiere, VLC, creating video clips, editing them and explaining what you see on them.

"Ralf is a gentleman."
Emma Mattila (FC Ylivieska Girls 2007-08 captain, 2018)
"Thanks to Ralf, my view of football has become clearer and simpler, which has made my playing and training easier."
Kiia Laine (FC Hertta women's team captain, 2016)
"One of the most talented coaches I've ever had."
Suvi Kumpulainen (FC Hertta women's team captain, 2015)
"Ralf is one of the greatest football minds of our time."
Juha Pakarinen (AFC Keltik board member, 2015)


Footballwise and otherwise

I have a couple of diplomas and stuffz. FYI.


November 2020 - October 2022

Finnish Football Association (SPL), Rovaniemi

Instructor for E-, D- and UEFA C-license courses

I have been trained to be an official instructor for coaching courses of the Finnish Football Association.

January 2019 - December 2019

Finnish Football Association (SPL), Eerikkilä

UEFA A coaching license

I did the UEFA A-course in Finland. In Finnish. Successfully.

January 2013 - November 2013

German Football Association (DFB), Berlin

UEFA B coaching license

There were several former pro players in the course, including one from Argentina. It was an interesting experience, and pretty tough.

January 2013 - December 2013

IST Study Institute, Düsseldorf

Professional Football Management diploma

This diploma theoretically enables me to be a club manager in the German Bundesliga. It was a very interesting course and I learned a lot about running a club successfully.


October 2004 - March 2010

University of Potsdam

Master degrees in psychology, philosophy and media studies

Focus in psychology: identity, personality development, group dynamics, learning techniques; focus in philosophy: media ethics, sport ethics, Aristotle, identity; focus in media studies: media literacy, media criticism, music video, marketing. Master's thesis: "The prudent player and the ethics of video gaming." Final score (total): 1.0 (best grade possible). In 2006-07 I was an Erasmus exchange student at the University of Joensuu (now Eastern Finland).

August 1998 - June 2001

Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Berlin

Kaufmann für Bürokommunikation

Trade school in Germany. I don't know what this job title equals to in English. Something with office communication. On top of that, I got a diploma for "Business English" in 2001.

2001 - 2002

Management Circle, Berlin and Munich

Various (see below)

"Internet Editor" (2001), "Internet Programmer" (2001), "Portal Manager" (2002). Those courses were continuation courses for my trading school diploma.

Games as a coach in Germany
*estimated amount +/- some


Games as an adult player in Germany
*estimated amount +/- some


Goals as an adult player in Germany
*estimated amount +/- some


Total yellow cards as an adult player
*+2 red cards



Coaching History

Since 1998 step by step forward. First as playing coach, then as voluntary coach, then as part-time coach, then as full-time coach. On top of that additional roles like board member or referee.


June 2020 - Present

FC Santa Claus Juniorit

Head of Coaching, headcoach, coach, instructor

I'm the Head of Coaching for the whole club (full-time). That job includes coaching a womens hobby group and the Girls 2008-09 team which functions as my "show"-team in e.g. courses or for other coaches' tests. Additionally, I coach the Girls 2006-07 team and the Rentofutis Womens 8v8 team as head coach. In 2021, I also coached the mens team and organise morning trainings during the summer.

November 2017 - May 2020

FC Ylivieska

Head of Coaching, headcoach, coach, instructor, Head of Office

After the predecessor YPA had gone bankrupt twice within few years, I was hired to change things (full-time job). I was the Head of Coaching, which later changed to Head of Office due to the tasks that needed to be done. The job included morning trainings and afternoon skill schools for talents as well as organising different summer groups and two yearly tournaments. Additionally, I coached the Girls 2003-04 and womens 8v8 teams in 2018, the Girls 2004-06 and the Girls 2007-08 in 2019 and the Girls 2007-08 and the Boys 2005 in 2020. Due to the Corona situation, I had to be laid off. During that time, FC SCJ offered me a job. Thus I left FCY. I'm still on good terms with their president and others.

November 2016 - October 2017

SC Riverball

Head Coach

Immediately after my time at FCH ended, the SCR president contacted me and asked me to become their mens team's head coach in the Kolmonen and help them prevent relegation. Despite a difficult season, I accomplished the mission. The highlight was the first Joensuu-derby loss for JIPPO against any city-opponent in the history of time and space. Maybe I put that achievement on my gravestone. ;) SCR and I would have wanted to continue, but the financial situation made it impossible. I'm still on good terms with the club.

May 2017 - October 2017

University of Eastern Finland


My goalkeepers coach Cristian Pandelescu organised a football group for students at the university as an additional job. After he went back to Romania for a coaching gig, I took over his group for a couple of months. After leaving town, I passed it on to my British friend Karl Hancock.

May 2015 - October 2017

Joensuun seudun monikulttuurisuusyhdistys ry

Coach, social worker, consultant and Erasmus+ instructor

Because FCH didn't fulfill their part of the deal, I needed to find an additional job in Joensuu. I became the coach of a football team for refugees. I created structure within chaos and within two years, we went from half a team to two full teams, both playing in the 6v6 hobby league in Joensuu. On top of that, we organised a yearly tournament, and I organised a workshop for an Erasmus+ project ("Futsal United") with participants from Finland, Somalia, Afghanistan, and Spain. The work was more social work than coaching. I passed on the teams to my friend Karl Hancock. He has continued the work in a wonderful way, and has raised the numbers even further.

April 2015 - March 2017

AFC Keltik

Playing coach, vice president

AFCK was the club I joined as a player while studying in Joensuu in 2006-07. I stayed in touch with them after my Erasmus-time, and eventually was voted vice president. After I got the gig with FCH, I also became their playing coach. Unfortunately, it's always difficult to transition from player to playing coach. In Spring 2017, I quit after some disagreements. However, the issues are buried. In 2022, the club awarded me "Keltik-legend" -status at their 20th anniversary gala.

March 2015 - October 2016

FC Hertta

Head coach, Head of Coaching

FCH hired me from Germany to Finland, which was my dream for many years. For that I am thankful. FCH has a completely new leadership since 2020. None of the people in charge now were involved back then. I'm still in contact with several ex-players from the womens team.


June 2014 - March 2015

SG Eichkamp-Rupenhorn 1973

Head coach, playing coach 32+ team

After I quit at FFV, I wanted to take a break as a coach after all these years. However, Paul Grünig aka "Mr. Eichkamp" had been trying to hire me as coach for SGER for quite some time, and he eventually convinced me to join them. I coached their mens team due to their main coach being occupied with work, and was the playing coach for their 32+ seniors team together with my assistant (and now friend) André Pahl. After 3/4 of the season though, I got the job offer from Finland, and I left Germany behind. I am still in very good contact with SGER, particularly with Paul and André. We meet every time I am back in Berlin and keep each other up-to-date with our clubs.

October 2010 - May 2014

1. FFV Spandau

Head Coach, playing coach

After my decade as playing coach for AOK, I wanted to take a break from coaching and joined FFV as a player. However, it didn't take long (and the president's threat of hiring an external coach the team didn't like) until I became the playing coach. With me, the club promoted for the first time in the club's history and we managed to prevent relegation the next season. Unfortunately, tensions within the team and unfulfilled promises from the club made me quit at the end of the (successful) 2013/14-season. Since bridges were burned after my departure, I'm not in contact with anyone from FFV anymore except their former captain Björn Döling who is welcome anytime to join me in Finland as player - or assistant coach (since he's not getting any younger, just like me).

October 2000 - September 2010

BSG AOK Berlin

Playing coach, Secretary to the Board, teamleader, caretaker

AOK is something like the German Kela (state health insurance in Finland). Companies football has a strong history in Germany, mainly because sport clubs were banned after WWII. Instead, many sport activities happened under company disguise then. AOK was the first German companies league champion back in the 50s. It was common practise for many decades that companies gave jobs (with more or less actual work to do) to footballers in return for them to play for their companies teams. My father transfered from Tennis Borussia to BfA because of such a deal in the 1960. One of the most known examples in Berlin is legendary Michael Fuß, a paid amateur player who allegedly earned 400€ per game from his teams, including Gillette in the companies league. I was a trainee for AOK in the late 90s, and their football team's president asked me to join them as playing coach, since he had seen me with my university team. I cannot tell anything further about the deal, but I spent a decade as their playing coach, and I have a lot of great memories. I particularly cherish all the beneficial games and tournaments which we played. I'm still in contact with a couple of former teammates. Shout-out to Thomas Stelter, Alexander Scheutzow and Burhan Ünal + family. By the time of writing this text (2022), companies football in Berlin has died. The leagues as well as the association don't exist anymore. A pity. I'm proud that I was part of the companies leagues' last stand.

October 1998 - September 2000

Absoluter Angstgegner

Chairman, playing coach, referee, caretaker

This is how it all started: my own university league football team. During the mid to late 90s, friends and schoolmates quit their teams, whether football or other sports. It was a bit of a dark time regarding coaching in Berlin back then. Lots of unqualified coaches. I could tell stories... But I won't. Towards the end of our high school time, we joined different university league teams. I don't remember how and why, but I think that AA's vice president Philipp "Hippe" Frauenhoffer started it all via his cousin whose team had a lack of players. I remember training on a caged rubber-field at a campus of the Free University of Berlin. Insider joke: "Oh noes, Bernd, leave it." In 1998, we eventually founded our own club within the university league system. We thought about starting a real club within the Berlin Football Association's league system, but there were too many bureaucratic hurdles for us. I was the chairman, referee, caretaker, and also (albeit not wanting to be, as always) playing coach. After I transfered to AOK, the team re-founded as X-Men under the leadership of our teammate Julian Gebauer. I continued as player with double-playing-right. We still like to reminisce about those good old days of football, when we were young, and without bodily pain everywhere. ;) Shout-out to Jens "Don" Hellinge, Patrick "Katze" Wolf, Ingo Lüken, Oli Klein, and the rest of the bunch. Good times, boys, good times!

Lapin Kansa article
Lapin Kansa, 30.11.2021
11 Freunde article (print edition)
11 Freunde Magazine, April 2021
Lapin Kansa article
Lapin Kansa, 31.08.2020
Keski-Pohjanmaa article
Keski-Pohjanmaa, 23.08.2018


Player History

I've been a proud amateur footballer as long as I was able to actively play. I can't show much regarding quality (level), but I acquired a huge amount of game experience during almost 4 decades. In Finland, my highest played level is Kolmonen (aged 43). In Germany, it's Kreisliga A in adult football. For many years, I played in Berlin's university league and companies league systems. I have played on every position on the field, from goalkeeper to striker, in all imaginable tactical systems. Most of my games I either made as a central defensive midfielder (6er, my favourite position) or as a central defender. My best position was probably goalkeeper. In total, I played more than 1.000 games in my life. Unfortunately, my statistics are incomplete, because most of my games happened before online-statistics. During the 90s, I also played a lot of games as "guest player" *ahem*. My records are 4 games on one weekend (2 and 2) and 3 games in a row on a Saturday. Yes, I'm football-crazy. Yes, I love football. Yes, I sometimes bent the rules if it was beneficial to the involved parties. ;)


January 2021 - Present

FC Santa Claus Juniorit

Mens team, mens hobby team

In 2021 I played 11 games for the mens team and scored 1 goal as defender and midfielder. Unfortunately, my left knee went bad for good, and I had to quit my official career aged 44. In 2022 I played without moving much as goalkeeper for the mens hobby team in the 7v7 series. That's as much as is still possible. Better than nothing.

June 2020 - October 2020

Sodankylän Pallo

Mens team

Sodankylä is a small town 135 km North of Rovaniemi. After I moved to Rovaniemi they were the only team still in need of players, so I joined them. They were a very friendly, fun team. We played in Kolmonen, but it was a too tough season with only one victory. I had 6 goal chances in total and should have made at least 1 goal. Oh well. It was fun nonetheless. 14 games as defensive central midfield, wing defender, goalkeeper, winger. 1 yellow card.

December 2017 - May 2020

Sievi FS

Second mens team

FC Ylivieska's second team played futsal for SFS. In 2017/18 I played 8 games as field player and scored 3 goals. In 2018/19 I played 7 games as goalkeeper. In 2019/20 we only played friendly games and a tournament (3rd place).

November 2017 - May 2020

FC Ylivieska

Second and third mens teams

After Ypa's bankruptcy in 2017, FCY was founded. Both mens teams had to start in the lowest tier (Seiska). In 2018, both played in the second lowest tier (Kutonen). I decided to join the second team, because the teammates were nicer. Played 11 games and scored 1 goal. In 2019, I started my own third team as my "show team" for the UEFA A license course. I coached and also played (15 games, 3 goals, 2 yellow cards) for them. On top, I joined the second team for 4 games as goalkeeper. I played on all positions except winger.

April 2017 - October 2017

Niemisen Urheilijat

Mens team

After I left AFCK, I immediately got asked to join NiemU, who acted as Riverball's (whose coach I was) cooperation second team in 2017. I played 9 games with 1 goal and two yellow cards. On top of that, I was 3 times in the Riverball-squad with 1 active participation in the Kolmonen.

May 2017 - September 2017

Ystävällinen Jalkapalloklubi Joensuu

Mixed 6v6 team

I founded the "Friendly Football Club Joensuu". It was a mixed team with women from FCH's hobby team, men from Riverball and friends from Jomoni. We played 8 games in the 6v6 league and I scored a couple of goals. No statistic available. That said, I actually also played three years in the 6v6 series for Jomoni. Every time they lacked players. Which was often. ;)

April 2007 - April 2017

AFC Keltik

Mens team

When I studied in Joensuu in 2006-2007, I intended to try out for JIPPO in the Ykkönen. Unfortunately I got injured just before I left Berlin. By the time I was fit again, I instead joined AFCK, because they had a female coach which I thought was cool. It went well. I came back for a couple of games every summer except in 2010 when work didn't allow it. The highlight was a cup game in Hamina in 2014. I worked in Berlin, went from the office to the airport, flew to Helsinki, slept at the airport, drove by train to Lappeenranta, got picked up by car to Hamina, played the game, back to Lpr, dinner, back to Hesa, back to Berlin, directly from the airport back to the office. Why did I do that? Because they didn't have enough players due to the trip from Joensuu to Hamina being "too far". ;) I played 86 official games with 8 goals, 6 assists, 7 yellow cards and 1 outrageous red card in Kuopio. With friendlies and tournaments, I might have crossed the 100 games mark. In 2022, I got awarded "Keltik-legend" on the club's 20th anniversary gala.


June 2014 - March 2015

SG Eichkamp-Rupenhorn 1973

Mens team, mens 32+ team

I transferred to Eichkamp, because their stadium was around the corner where I lived and their president tried to recruit me for years. Originally, I joined their 32+ "old men's" team, but then I had to play for the men's team as well. And then I also became their coach. The usual story. Unfortunately I don't have statistics for this season.

October 2010 - May 2014

1. FFV Spandau

Mens team

After a decade with the AOK, I wanted a coaching break and try out something new. I chose the newly founded men's team FFV, because it is the only men's team in a women's football club. I liked that idea. I only wanted to be a player, but it didn't take long until I also became their coach... Statistics were found only for 3 of 4 seasons with 51 games, 2 goals, 6 assists, 4 yellow cards. With friendlies and tournaments, I should be at around 75 played games in total for FFV.

October 2000 - September 2010, 2012-13

BSG AOK Berlin

Companies league team

I was the playing coach for BSG AOK Berlin for 10 years. Many stories to tell... I particularly liked the beneficial games and tournaments we played for good causes etc. In 2012-13 I returned for one season to play for their second team. For that season and the first three seasons, I miss the statistics. From 2003-2010 I played 97 games with 18 goals, 25 assists, 9 yellow and 1 (after the game retracted) red card. On top of that many benefical games, tournaments and friendlies. I'd say that I played a total of about 200 games for AOK.

October 2000 - July 2006

X-Men Soccer

University league team

X-Men was the continuation team of my own team Absoluter Angstgegner in the university league system of Berlin. It became my second team after I joined AOK. In total we had 8 great years together with my friends. Due to injuries and age, the team had to disband in 2006. One special thing was that all players got assigned X-Men names. I was "Rogue". The statistic for the last season is missing. Before that I played 90 games with 12 goals and 5 assists. It's safe to assume that I played at least 10 games during the last season, so I cross the 100 games mark with the X-Men.

October 1998 - September 2000

Absoluter Angstgegner

University league team

AA was my own founded university league football team where I gathered friends and school mates who had all either quit playing due to bad experiences in their clubs or never even played in a club before. When I got hired by AOK for their team in 2000, teammate Julian took over and we continued as "X-Men Soccer" (see above). In the first year, I played 32 games and scored 5 goals. In the second year, I miss the played games statistic, but I know that I scored 16 goals.

October 1997 - September 1998

Traktor Eiskeller

University league team

2nd university league. After Torpedo ended, we searched for a new team. Someone found Traktor. That's all I remember. No statistics available. Fun fact: Eiskeller is a small, rural area at the Western end of Berlin. We thought it was a joke name.

October 1996 - September 1997

Torpedo Kontergrätsche

University league team

1st university league. Some classmates joined that team during our last year in high school. I broke my ankle in January 1996, so I could join them only in October that year. They disbanded after that season. I don't remember anything else. No statistics available.

1983 - September 1996

Sport-Club Charlottenburg, Tennis Borussia, Berliner Sport-Club

Juniors stage

As a junior, I played badminton, field hockey, football and table tennis for more or less long periods of time. My home club is Sport-Club Charlottenburg. It's a big club with 25 different kind of sports. Their men's football team played in the 2nd Bundesliga in 1982/83 for one season. That's my oldest football memory. I'm still their biggest fan. No statistics available, and barely any memories.

Karjalainen article
Karjalainen, 24.08.2015


Work Experience

I work as a full-time coach since 2015. Before that I had a normal work life with football being my hobby or side job. Aside from employmentship, I also ran my own record label, distribution and webshop as a side hustle for about 10 years. The label still continues, but only as a hobby. It's not listed below, because I keep it separate from my coaching life.

Part 1

May 2014 - April 2015

recordsale & musicberlin GmbH

Record seller and customer service

Recordsale is a big vinyl record online shop, specialised on second hand records. Their office was in Berlin-Kreuzberg back then. It was an interesting job in the sector of my second passion in life besides football: music. I had a good relationship with my boss, but there was one co-worker who for some reason hated the guts out of me. I called her "the hateful colleague". Bianka, should you read this: I regret gifting you that one record out of niceness. Hopefully it reminds you of me every time you put it on your turntable. ;)

April 2010 - September 2012

AOK Nordost

Private customer sales and strategical planner

(Before this part, read below about my time at AOK Berlin.) When my 6 years long special holidays for going to the university came to an end, and it was time to go back to my old job, it so happened that at the same time, AOK Berlin got taken over by AOK Nordost and came under new management. The people I made my deal with were no longer in charge. The new HR department wasn't interested in fulfilling their part of the deal. A series of unfortunate events arose which eventually ended in an agreement about which I am not allowed to talk.

October 2008 - March 2009

University of Potsdam

Student assistant for the ”Centre for Entrepreneurship and Innovation”

"CEIP" helped students who wanted to start their own company/startup. I don't remember much about this job, but I was helping at various events and trade fairs in Potsdam, informing students about our services. I also had to act for their new marketing video, together with my friendly colleague Dana (who was a semi-professional footballer; another sign of the universe that my destiny lies with women's football) with whom I'm still in contact.

Part 2

January 2007 - August 2007

Oi fm

Trainee and radio show host

For my media studies, I had to do a three months internship at a media company. I did this during my Erasmus-year in Joensuu, where I accidentally ran into the foundation meeting of a new radio station called "Oi fm". I had two own radio shows on Monday evenings. I shaped the planning of their programming by marketing Monday evenings as the "International evening at Oi fm". After my internship ended, Oi fm kept playing repetitions of my shows. Some years later, I returned with new episodes on a monthly basis via pre-recorded files. During my internship I learned how radio planning and organisation works, how to produce radio shows and also some things about studio equipment. It was very interesting. Unfortunately, Oi fm stopped airing on 4th January 2015. It got replaced by Radio City Joensuu.

2001 - September 2004

AOK Berlin

Internet Supervisor, Intranet Editor and marketing assistant

AOK Berlin was a big health insurance company for many decades. When I was at trade school during the late Nineties, the practical parts happened at AOK. During that time, their Head of Student Insurance witnessed me playing football and coaching my university team. He insisted on recruiting me for their company's football team. As you know by now, since you followed this website thoroughly, he succeeded. In return I got a neat job in the marketing department and was responsible for their online activities. Back then, the internet was still a mystery for most people. I was in charge of the website, e-mail and online communication as well as the marketing information in the intranet. The job and my boss were pretty cool, and I had appreciated freedom. In 2004, the company got into financial troubles and was looking for creative solutions to save money without firing people. I sacrificed myself for the team and made a deal to take unpaid, 6 years long holidays to go to the university in the meantime. As stated above in the AOK Nordost section, there was no AOK Berlin anymore after I returned from my studies.

October 1996 - November 1997

Jugend- und Freizeitheim Haus Uhlenbusch

Community service (the alternative in Germany, if you didn't want to go to the army)

Haus Uhlenbusch was a youth hostel and education center in Hanstedt in der Nordheide, about 30 minutes South of Hamburg. It was a great experience. We community service providers lived on the premises in the middle of the forest. We had a ninepins alley under our apartment where we could play if no guests were there. My job was either indoors (kitchen, rooms) or outdoors (gardener, repairs, driver). Since I was a good transporter driver, I was often send to the supermarket to do groceries or pick up guests from the bus stop. In the summer, I sometimes had to drive with the tractor through the region. That was fun. Unfortunately, Haus Uhlenbusch got closed a couple of years later. I visited the area in 2009 and only found ruins. In 2014, all buildings were torn down. On Google Maps, all you can see is forest and meadows.


Get in touch with me. Be nice.

To get a little idea about my humour and personality, please watch the video below first, then get in touch, if you think that I'm the right kind of guy for you. And don't forget to check out my PHOTO GALLERY.

Find me at

FC Santa Claus Juniorit
Keltakangas 1
96300 Little Rio, Finland

Call me at

Work-phone: (+358) 40 545 3880
(Unknown callers might get rejected.)
(Hint: Text me first!)