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MAENPAA DELIGHTED WITH NEW DEAL

14 June 2016

Albion's shot-stopper looks ahead to another year with the club.


Brighton & Hove Albion goalkeeper Niki Maenpaa hailed the incredible team spirit within the club after he signed a new one-year contract extension.
 
The Finn put pen to paper on a new deal until June 2017 and says that the togetherness within the club made the decision to stay an easy one.
 
He said, “I’m really happy that I've signed a new contract as I wanted to stay.
 
“I had a really good feeling about Brighton. Not only from the manager, but the board also gave me the feeling that they really wanted me to stay, whether we were going to play in the Premier League or the Championship.
 
“I had a really good year, not only with Ben [Roberts, goalkeeper coach], but with the keepers too. Even though I haven’t played many games, I have learned a lot and I am really looking forward to working with Stocko [David Stockdale], Ben, Casper [Ankergren] and Christian [Walton] again.
 
“The feeling we have in the dressing room and the team spirit we have is amazing. I could say it’s one of the best, if not the best team spirit I’ve experienced. It’s a really unique feeling here.
 
“We worked really well together when we had good periods and during the less successful periods. As a team, we created a really unique atmosphere.”

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Maenpaa is now looking ahead to next season and he is determined to make another push for the number one spot.
 
“Next season is a new challenge for all of us. Stocko did really well last year, but it’s a new season and I just need to do my job well.
 
“Last year I didn’t play many games, but we started the season so well. You just have to do everything you can in training.”
 
The shot-stopper also looked ahead to the start of Finland’s World Cup qualification campaign in September and explained his desire to feature in a major tournament for his country.
 
“We are in a tough qualification group, but it’s not impossible. Finland has never been in a European Championship or a World Cup, but we feel we can reach our dreams.
 
“I am 31 now and I still feel fit and really motivated. I feel I have many years to go and my dream has always been to play in the Premier League.

"International-wise, it would be great to reach a major tournament for the first time ever. But I don’t think too far ahead and I am just really delighted to re-sign here.”

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