Flash­back Fly­ing Finn left his mark with Saints

Paisley Daily Express - - Lost The Plot When Wife Asked Him For A Divorce - Play­ers come and go.

And, as sup­port­ers, there are some we re­mem­ber and many we don’t.

Mixu Paate­lainen’s ten­ure in Pais­ley may have been one of those “blink and you’ll miss it” stints but, to be fair, he was still a tremen­dous tal­ent.

Signed from St John­stone in 2004, the big Finn was brought in to aid the strik­ing ranks, as well as as­sist­ing man­ager Gus MacPher­son from the dugout.

He had al­ready cut his coach­ing teeth in Perth, while his sea­son-long spell in Pais­ley only fur­thered his man­age­rial am­bi­tions.

In­deed, when he left Saints, he would go on to man­age Cow­den­beath, lead­ing the Cen­tral Park side to their first league ti­tle in 67 years in his first year in charge.

In Paate­lainen’s sole sea­son, the Buddies would end up fin­ish­ing sec­ond place in the league ta­ble, be­hind ru­n­away ti­tle win­ners Mixu the man

St Mir­ren FC is a club with a proud tra­di­tion — and a his­tory to match.

They have been at the cen­tre of the Scot­tish game since their for­ma­tion in 1877.

To­day, we look back at the ca­reer of striker Mixu Paate­lainen who en­joyed a play­ing and coach­ing stint in the early noughties.

Falkirk.

An im­pres­sive, yet un­re­mark­able, sea­son pro­vided Saints with the solid base re­quired as they would lift the league the fol­low­ing cam­paign.

The striker would reg­is­ter four goals in his 16 league out­ings for St Mir­ren, in­clud­ing one on his de­but in a 2-0 win over Falkirk.

Fur­ther strikes would be found against For­far Ath­letic in the Chal­lenge Cup, Hamil­ton Ac­cies, Partick This­tle and Raith Rovers.

A breath­tak­ing start saw the hit­man notch all his goals by the end of Septem­ber, but in­jury woes would catch up on him be­fore the end of the sea­son.

Speak­ing to the Ex­press last year about his stint in Pais­ley, Paate­lainen in­sisted he looked back with fond mem­o­ries.

He said: “I had a very good time at St Mir­ren at a stage of my ca­reer when I was start­ing to fo­cus a lot more on coach­ing.

“Gus gave me that op­por­tu­nity at St Mir­ren but I was also keen to con­tinue play­ing. It was a great setup at the time and you could tell that the team was re­ally go­ing places.

“Un­for­tu­nately for me I got badly in­jured quite soon into my time at the club and never played as much as I would have liked.

“I ended up re­tir­ing as a player at the end of the sea­son and went on to man­age Cow­den­beath.”

He added: “I was very lucky at St Mir­ren at first. We had a good start to the sea­son and it was just a pity how things worked out.

“The fans there were al­ways fan­tas­tic with me and even when I was in­jured they still gave a great re­cep­tion.”

Blondie Mixu Paate­lainen scored four times in 16 league ap­pear­ances

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