Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Olga Ahtinen says that she is a leader and will demand high standards from herself and her teammates this season.
The 26-year-old Finnish international joined The Lilywhites from Swedish club Linköping FC earlier this summer. She is set for a first taste of Barclays Women’s Super League football this season.
Ahtinen is a player that will be unknown to many fans of the English game but the midfielder is eager to make a statement on the pitch. She says that she is a leader who demands high standards both from herself and her teammates.
“I feel like it is always refreshing to come into a new environment,” Ahtinen said when speaking to the WSL press pack. “I like to be a leader and I think that is one part of why Robert (Vilahamn) wanted me. I was a leader in my old team and that comes quite naturally to me.
“I believe that I am there to be myself and I want to always do my best. I also demand that from everyone else around me.”
Ahtinen has been with her new teammates for just a few weeks but she is already starting to feel at home with Spurs.
She said “I feel like every day I learn a little bit more and that is so important for me. In the centre of midfield, I feel like I need the connections with everyone and every day I learn a little bit more about how everyone is as a player and as a person. I feel like that will help me and it will also help the team a lot. The more the season goes on, that will be the key to keeping happy relations.”
Ahtinen joins national team colleague Eveliina Summanen at Spurs. She says that having Summanen close by is helping her to adapt to living in a new country.
“Yeah, she’s been such a big help,” Ahtinen said. “I think when you move inside Nordic countries, it is completely different to moving to the UK. The cultural difference is bigger. Of course, it helps that I speak English, so I don’t need to learn a new language but she has been a huge help.”
Ahtinen could make her Spurs debut when The Lilywhites travel to Stamford Bridge to face Chelsea on the opening day of the season.