Sligo Rovers are thrilled to confirm the signing of Finnish defender Teemu Penninkangas for the 2020 season.
The 27-year-old joins the Bit O’ Red after spending all his career in his native Finland where he won several trophies including the league title and both domestic Cups.
He moves from Lahti, having also played for Inter Turku, Tampareen Ilves, SJK and Jazz.
He played Champions League qualifiers with SJK having won the league with them for the first time in their history.
At 6ft 4in, Penninkangas can play at left-back, left-wing back or centre half.
Liam Buckley said: “It’s a signing that is really going to fit in with how we play. Teemu can play as a left-back or wing-back as well as in the middle of defence and I feel we are well-stocked in that area now.
“Teemu has done very well in Finland, he’s won several trophies and played in Europe. He wants to be successful here too.
“He’s tall, physical, he reads it well and he can also come up from the back and score goals which he has done consistently throughout his career.
“But first and foremost I’ve signed him as a defender and someone who will bring even more character to the group. His record in Finland is excellent and this is something he should relish, coming into a new league. We’ve added more height to the group this year as well as experience. We’ve got Garry Buckley, Teemu, and Will Seymore, who I think is going to prove to be a big player for us. That’s important in this league as we have a lot of young players as well.
“As a player I was willing to play in different countries and loved it. Outside of Ireland it’s just normal that you sign foreign players and bring them to your club. We take that approach. As our fans know it’s difficult to compete for every player in Ireland, we have to seek out the best possible value to fit within our remit and I think we’ve done that.
“There isn’t much more business to do, we are looking for a new striker. You’ll find that most clubs in the division are too so it’s not particularly easy. I can say that in this off-season I’ve researched more players than you would believe, along with Dave Campbell and John.
“Teemu arrives today on the back of that because it’s imperative we spend every cent wisely and I think you will find this will be another really positive signing for the season.”
Penninkangas said: “I’m very happy to become a Sligo Rovers player today. It has always been a dream of mine to play abroad.
“This is a very good club in a strong league and a challenge I really look forward to.
“I have had good times in Finland and been part of teams that have achieved great things. I’d like to do that here and help Sligo reach their goals.
“The manager and the coaches convinced me this is the place for me. I can’t wait to play my first game.”