Brentford B midfield player Jaakko Oksanen has been selected for the Finland squad for the upcoming UEFA Under-19 European Championships. Finland are hosting the tournament – which starts on Monday, 16 June – and announced their squad today. Jaakko has been chosen for the event despite being just 17 and two years younger than many that will be involved.
Finland will be in Group A for the tournament and will play Italy on the first evening of the event on Monday. They will then face Norway next Thursday, 19 July, and Portugal next Sunday, 22 July. The top two in each group will reach the Semi-Finals, which will be played on 26 July. The final will be held on Sunday 29 July. Teams that finish third in their group will have an extra game as a play-off for a place in the FIFA Under-20 World Cup 2019, which will be held in Poland next summer.
Finland have been in preparation for the tournament all summer. They played two games against Montenegro Under-20 at the start of June and Jaakko played in both. The Brentford B midfield player also completed a full 90 minutes in a win over Turkey last week. Turkey are in Group B for the tournament along with England, Ukraine and France.
Striker Marcus Forss is not part of the squad. The 19-year-old is currently with Brentford’s First Team squad in Germany having played for The Bees in a pre-season friendly win over Boreham Wood on Friday. After discussions between Marcus and Brentford staff, including Head Coach Dean Smith and B Team Head Coach Kevin O’Connor, Marcus is not being made available for the tournament. It falls outside the normal international tournament window so clubs do not have to release their players. It has been decided that Marcus, who has played for Finland Under-19 in recent months, will use the pre-season programme to build his chance of playing for The Bees in the Sky Bet Championship this season and not go to the competition.
Jaakko has ten caps at Under-19 level for Finland. He was 16 when he made his Under-19 debut against Georgia in October. He has also represented his country at Under-16, Under-17 and Under-18 level.