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Yengi Enjoying Challenge of Finnish Loan
Friday, 20th May 2022 09:39

On-loan Blues youngster Tete Yengi says he’s enjoying his spell with VPS in Finland.

The 21-year-old made his move to Finland in April having joined the Blues in September last year following a trial after coming to the club via a contact of the club’s head of sports science Andy Costin, a fellow Australian, having left A-League side the Newcastle Jets.

Adelaide-born with South Sudanese heritage, Yengi had featured regularly for the Town U23s prior to his move to Finland and was on the bench for the Papa John’s Trophy tie against Gillingham in October without making it on to the field.

Yengi, whose elder brother Kusini plays for Adelaide United, says his first months at Town went well but needed his loan to VPS in order to play first-team football.

“When I moved there last September, it was really great. To experience the professionalism at such a big club, it was so amazing. I just needed more game time at a senior level,” he said in a lengthy Optus Sport feature.

He says he’s enjoying his spell having scored four goals and picked up two assists in eight matches with VPS currently ninth in the 12-team Veikkausliiga, Finland's top tier, having been promoted last season.

“I love my life here. It’s a different city, with different people, and a different culture. I’m really enjoying the challenge,” he added.

“I’ve always been a shy kid, so it has been a challenge adapting to new clubs. But, actually here it was easier than I thought.

“I had a great start in England as well, despite not knowing people. In the A-League I knew everyone. Ipswich was a big jump.

“Finland is a very relaxed country and people are very nice. Playing consistently also helps, plus the football is better suited to my style; technical and a little more tactical which I like.

“It’s a good league with some top players. It’s physical, which makes it very tough against defenders. Playing games here will only make me better.”

Yengi’s agent Andreas Govas believes his client is one to keep an eye on: “When I first came across him in the NPL [Australia’s second tier], I was immediately impressed. He was special. I was blown away by his data and metrics, and thought, ‘How is he playing NPL?’

“He’s gone under the radar, due to arriving a little late in the professional game. But now, playing, scoring and doing well, he’s one to watch. When he gets back to England from loan, he will have a point to prove.

“There is strong interest from strong leagues across Europe and I think that’s only going to become more consistent.”

Yengi has international ambitions with Australia, despite having recently been overlooked by their U23s, but has also received interest from South Sudan, his father's home nation, with whom no Town player has previously won caps.

“Joeys [Australia's U23s] would be a great way for me to experience the national team set-up and I know if I go to South Sudan I lose that chance to play for Australia,” he reflected.

“The South Sudan coach has liked what he’s seen from me though and has been following my journey for a while now. He’s seen I’m scoring goals and thinks I would be good addition to the senior team.

“He is aware of my ambition to play for Australia and encouraged me to do what feels right, but I’m open to whoever accepts me and then wherever I feel right, that’s where I’ll be.

“To get interest from them is something very special. But I still have a strong place in my heart for Australia, the place where I grew up.

“I miss home as well, so it would be great to see familiar faces again soon!”

Photo: ITFC

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clive_baker added 09:44 - May 20
He's not finished, he's only 21.

Len_Brennan added 10:27 - May 20
Any player can look good if a clip of their best bits is put together, but I think Yengi has a chance. Big, strong, good feet & he knows how to finish. This loan move could be the making of him. The Finnish league may not be one the top leagues in Europe, but playing in their Premier Division has got to be better than going on loan to the Conference.
Hard work, determination & an openness to learn from good coaches will determine if he has a future with our first team.

Tractor_Boy_in_HK added 14:16 - May 20
I like Tete, but am not convinced he suits the English game (and from his comment it seems he knows that as well). I suspect he'll end up on the continent somewhere.

Linkboy13 added 19:58 - May 20
Gone there to improve his finishing. Joking apart he's 21 years old and should really be playing at a much higher level than this and fear his future might be elsewhere.


Bluedocker added 01:18 - May 22
Ian Wright was 22 when he signed for Palace. Straight out of none league you don't have to come through academys to become a footballer..

Tractor_Boy_in_HK added 04:32 - May 22

Point taken, but that was 37 years ago. The sophistication and professionalism of the game is miles ahead of where it was in 1985. Late bloomers are rare.

My point earlier was on his style of play though, not his rawness.

Bluedocker added 07:29 - May 23
Tractor boy in HK
Alright then Jamie Vardy is another a bit more nearer the time.. I wasn't replying to your comment but in the end of the day its a simple game made hard...

CraigEdwards added 15:03 - May 23
This lad has a bit of quality about him. The experience of playing regularly at a slightly higher level the u23s will help him know end .
Looking forward to seeing him in the 1st team very soon


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