Mariehamn

Founded In
1935
Location
Maarianhamina (Mariehamn), Ahvenanmaa (Åland), Finland

Mariehamn

About Mariehamn

Idrottsföreningen Kamraterna Mariehamn, usually known as IFK Mariehamn or more simply as Mariehamn, was first established as a sports club back in 1919, although the football department did not come into existence until the 1930s. Historically, the club have spent most of their time in Finland's lower divisions, although they have established themselves in the Veikkausliiga over the course of recent seasons. Based on the Åland island, the team are nicknamed 'Saarelaiset', which translates to 'The Islanders'.

During Mariehamn's first few years, the team competed in tournaments in Åland, against other small local sides. They occasionally played friendly matches against Finnish and Swedish opposition, before entering the Finnish football league system in 1945. Here, they competed in the lower divisions until gaining promotion to the second tier ahead of the 2004 season.

Their first season at that level was a huge success, with Mariehamn finishing in 2nd place. As a result, they entered the playoffs, where they subsequently gained promotion to the Veikkausliiga for the first time. Although they are yet to win any of the major trophies available to them within Finland, since reaching the top tier the club have gone from strength to strength and turned fully professional in 2009. Their highest league finishes have been 4th place, which they achieved in both 2009 and 2012. At the beginning of the 2013-14 season, they appeared in the UEFA Europa League, marking their debut in a major European competition.

Over the years, a number of well-known Finland internationals have taken to the field for the club, with examples including Anders Eriksson, Daniel Sjölund and Mikael Granskog.

Mariehamn's home matches are played at Wiklöf Holding Arena, which was previously known as Idrottsparken. The venue was built in 1932 and opened the following year. It is currently able to seat up to 4,000 spectators.