Sausages Pajariel Bembibre adds a new piece to the inside game with the addition of the Finnish player Anniina Äijänen, a 188 centimeters tall pivot who returns to the Endesa Women’s League after playing last season in the DBBL, the highest category in Germany, with Inexio Royals Saarlouis. Born 26 years ago in the Finnish town of Tampere, she made her debut in the main Spanish women’s basketball competition with Cadí La Seu, where she coincided with Anna Palma in the 2018-2019 season, and played for two seasons with BAXI Ferrol, with which she managed promotion to the highest category in 2021 having a lot of prominence.
He made his debut in the highest category of Finnish basketball in the 2012-2013 season, although in 2014 he undertook a four-year stage in the United States University League (NCAA) with Xavier’s Musketeers. In 2018 he arrived in Spain and was part of a memorable course for Cadí La Seu, who played in the semifinals of the League and the Queen’s Cup. The following two campaigns she played in Liga Femenina 2 with BAXI Ferrol, where she achieved promotion and coincided with Marta Tudanca, Andrea Boquete and Brooke Salas, all former players of the Bercian squad. In 2021 she went to Germany, where she coincided this time with Moses Fernández, historical coach of the Aros de León; Tina Cvijanovi?, who played in Almería; Marta Sniezek, who did it in Jairis; and Hanne Mestdagh, former SPAR Gran Canaria player.
An absolute international in 5×5 and in the 3×3 modality, Äijänen has participated in the qualifying phases of the last continental championships, coinciding with two other former players from the Bembibrense team such as Sara Rokkanen and Marianne Kalin in a team framed in the qualifying group for the Eurobasket from 2023 together with France, Lithuania and Ukraine. In training categories, she also played two European Championships in the U16 category, in 2010 and 2011, and as many in the U18, in 2012 and 2013. In 2011, she was also proclaimed champion of the Baltic Sea Cup.
Vázquez sees her “qualified to be part of a team in this competition”
The coach of Embutidos Pajariel Bembibre, Pepe Vázquez, is “happy with the signing. She is a player with extensive experience in national teams and other leagues”, analyzes the man from Santiago, who recalls that she “knows what it is like to play in Spain after playing in La Seu and Ferrol. She has overcome her adaptation phase”, highlights the Bembibrense coach, who adds that she “knows the level of demand of the Endesa Women’s League. She has shown that she is qualified to be part of a team in this competition”, she signs.
Regarding her characteristics, Vázquez describes her as “a versatile player who can play 4 and 5. She can be an outside threat and has the resources to play from behind”, adds the Galician coach, who believes that “she can help in different situations . It is what we were looking for because she shows ambition and adapts to the two interior positions”, explains the trainer from Santiago, who also believes that she “can add in several facets. Defensively, we will demand that she help on the rebound and provide a lot of energy, ”he emphasizes.
For her part, Äijänen defines herself as a “team player. I like to play inside and outside”, specifies the Finnish center, who assumes that the Endesa Women’s League “is always strong and competitive. All the teams have good players, so you have to give your best to win”, recognizes the player from Tampere, who assures that “I am very competitive and I am willing to do anything for the team to win. I want to help the team win as many games as possible and improve as a player”, she adds.
The player: “Marianne Kalin has told me good things about the club”
Regarding her return to Spanish basketball, Äijänen admits that she is “very excited. I have had good experiences and I am impatient to live this new stage”, announces the inside player, who assures that “Marianne Kalin, my friend from Finland, has also told me good things about the club. I remember their pavilion and their fans because the atmosphere was very good”, specifies the Nordic center, happy for the first contact with the club: “The coaches, Pepe [Vázquez] and Diego [García]They have been very welcoming.”
In this sense, Pepe Vázquez is aware that Marianne Kalin, a former rojilla player for the last two seasons, “will have given him references about what Bembibre is and what is going to be asked of him. She wants to return to Spain, to play in a powerful competition like the Endesa Women’s League”, emphasizes the coach from Santiago de Compostela, who wants “that illusion and that desire to be reflected in the daily work. It is important that the player demonstrates the desire to play and the illusion to perform at her best”, he concludes.