Turku Comrades 17 years old Petri Lehtonen at the end of the 1992 season, he was tormented by his limited playing time and ended up in a club transfer.

– I was a tutor in spirit and blood, a man with a red passport in my mind, but I wanted to play. My high school coach Timo Sinkkonen indeed attracted me to Inter, who played in the Three, “Pedro” says.

Inter had started its representative team activities a year earlier after taking the Turku-based Nahkakuula series. Shortly after Lehtonen’s transfer, it was time for a new club agreement again.

– I had coached TuTo in the juniors, so they asked if I could suggest an Inter-owner Stefan Håkansille the redemption of the Kakkonen series of his club, which was in financial difficulties. “Stefu” agreed, even though he had to pay TuTo’s debts pretty much. From that moment, Inter’s rise towards the top began, the coaches of the 1993 and 1994 seasons, Timo Sinkkonen, explain.

The story continues after the picture.


Lehtonen, who had just left due to playing time, soon sat in the opening meeting with his former teammates and the former players of the new club.

– We had a total of forty players at Håkans, of whom only I had a contract. Inter was a tremendous opportunity as I had never loved Teps and Inter was in many ways the opposite of it. It was great to be able to create something new and the company became ours for a long time, Pedro rejoices.

The forward-moving company had a hard suction from the surrounding area. Perhaps the brightest star on the team Samuli Lindelöf was Stefan Håkans’ own discovery from Hanko, but otherwise the accumulation of star cream was left to Sinkkonen.

– I knew the young players in the area who wanted to get into determined coaching. The players were extremely motivated: not just young people, but, for example, Tero Forss was very easy to handle. Our look remained positive, as everyone was allowed to have our own, Sinkkonen says.

In addition to the actual Finnish players, the young Inter would bustle, as the name implies, Brazilian players such as Marcelo, Nicca and finished 18 goals in the 1993 season Fabio.

– Acquiring brasses was more of a marketing idea, the purpose was just to get more color on the field. We might not have even needed game help, Timo estimates.


In addition to tough goals, players were attracted by Sinkkonen’s offensive playing style.

– I’ve always liked the games taking place, and they produce a lot of goals. We scored more goals in both seasons than any team in the national adult leagues. When Inter later glowed with his new foreign coach’s new kind of game philosophy, it had been forgotten what kind of football the club played in its early years, Sinkkonen regrets.

Petri Lehtonen signs speeches on an entertaining way of playing.

– We played 2-4-4 with a system where we were confident that two defenders and a functioning Paitsio would be enough against two opponents of the opponent. When we got the ball, we gave it to the brasses, after which we had the game tool for the next ten minutes, Lehtonen laughs.


Inter was also a spectacular revelation outside the field.

– It wasn’t very professional, even though we tried to play professional. Suits and a big bus were taken. We certainly aroused admiration and resentment while moving in away games, Lehtonen reflects.

Inter’s trademark was Aerosmith’s old gig bus, which Håkans bought advantageously after the car caught fire after the Yankee band’s tour on the Paimio motorway.

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The shipowner built the beds for the players in the car, but according to coach Sinkkonen, they remained very little used due to the joy of the return trips. Lehtonen confirms this.

– Kakkonen’s game trips to Helsinki lasted until three in the morning, when we stopped in Salo to eat steaks and cream potatoes and to draw wines, beers and cognacs according to a long formula. I guess I was still a minor, so the father who came to Kupittaa might be a little surprised. On those trips, the outfit was welded damn tight, Pedro says.

The only small stain in Inter’s ascent happened during Ykkönen’s debut season in 1994, when the Series Rise remained a dream, even though the club lost only one match. Investments were increased for the next season and the group joined Jyrki Rovion such names. Sinkkonen was replaced by coach Hannu Paatelo.

– Hannu was a guy with a hard ego who knew his own value. He once said he had received everyone’s votes in the captain’s vote for Teps, including his own. I thought the godboard is a tough guy now, Petri Lehtonen laughs.

League club

Under Paatelo, the league was celebrated in the autumn of 1995.

– Jyrkkälä’s group of friends asked what I was going to do when Inter got into the league. Caused a laugh when I replied that I guess I’ll play that league then. I didn’t really realize that I had grown up with the club as a league player, Lehtonen thinks.

The competitive situation of two strong league clubs arose in Turku and has continued to this day. More than 8,000 spectators arrived in Kupittaa to watch the first local game in 1996. Blue blacks were also quoted elsewhere.

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– In foreign places, we were stamped as a plastic club piled up with money. There was also much doubt as to how long our leap would last.

Inter came to the league map with a rumble as it clearly led the series during the summer break.

– We played a charming Wimbledon football: we were usually in the lower nail, but in some miracle constable we got a winning goal at the end, usually “Samppa” Lindelöf. Correspondingly, opponents hacked up open seats and harsh stacks. The championship already looked like the stars, Pedro remembers.

On last week’s prize trip to Playa del Ingles, Lehtonen had thrown Stefan Håkans to get to Hawaii by the time of the championship.

– Stefu replied that damn true. Be that as it may, we led the league next season with a summer break of as much as eight points. We knew that Håkans would keep his word and he had already asked the travel agency how much it would cost to take such a revenge to Hawaii, Pedro laughs.

However, the chicken flight still ended short at the time. FC Inter won its first and so far only Finnish championship in 2008.


The career of Petri Lehtonen, who played a total of 223 league matches in the Inter-shirt, ended a bit bitterly in 2002. Time has healed wounds and respect for the club and its leader is sincere.

– Stefu was a passionate futismist and father figure especially for me and “Sampa”. He has put himself in the league and has always kept everything he promised. Not every dude goes to that, because this is nothing about making money. You catch the money and sometimes look at the rampage and whining that was in the early days of our business. Even myself was ashamed, because we were like in a youth center. The venerable 30 years are full, so those times have come a long way, Lehtonen praises.


Full name

Football Club International Turku




Stefan Håkans

Home ground

Veritas Stadium (capacity 8072)

Audience record

9125 spectators are about to see this Football 7-aside match

In the Veikkausliiga

1996-1997, 1999-

Track record

League champion 2008, three Finnish Championship silver

Finnish Cup victory in 2009 and 2018

League Cup victory in 2008

Most matches

Magnus Bahne, 234 matches

Most goals: Tero Forss, 74 goals