Sep 29th 14:30, by Chris Hahn

Vienna Vikings extend Laalo and Pajarinen


Sep 29th 14:30, by Chris Hahn

Vienna Vikings extend Laalo and Pajarinen

The Vienna Vikings announce their first signings for the 2024 season in the European League of Football: Defensive back Elmeri Laalo and running back Karri Pajarinen, two key players of the franchise, will stay in Vienna to go for next season.
"I am happy that we are able to extend the contracts with Elmeri and Karri. These two are European elite players and did an incredible job for us in 2023. I can't wait to see what they are capable of doing on the field next season," said Vikings head coach Calaycay.

Outstanding athletes for Vienna

Announcing the two contract extensions at a press conference on Wednesday, head coach Chris Calaycay praised the intelligence and work ethic of the two Finnish national team players: "Elmeri and Karri are outstanding talents, great teammates and smart athletes. It is a pleasure to work with them. We are glad that we were able to sign them for another season with us."

DROY Nominee Stays With The Vikings

For 21-year-old Elmeri Laalo, Vienna is the first professional stop of his football career. He was a desired player of defensive coordinator Daniel Auböck, who scouted the Finn for several months already. "The Vikings have a great reputation in Europe, so my expectations were high when I joined the team in 2023. Now, after having been here for an entire season, I can only say that my expectations were far exceeded. It was a no-brainer for me to accept the offer of staying in Vienna when Coach Calaycay spoke with me."
Laalo was nominated as 'Defensive Rookie Of The Year' in the 2023 European League of Football and his individual performances were game-changing in the wins over Wroclaw and Berlin.

Laalo was the Defensive Rookie of the Year candidate 2023. © Jirgal

From Finland with love

Running back Karri Pajarinen is also looking forward to his second season with the Vikings. "The city, the infrastructure and the coaching staff here in Vienna are top notch. The team culutre and the Vikings' team chemistry are one of a kind. I didn't hesitate a single moment when Coach Calaycay offered me to stay in Vienna."
Pajarinen - along with unit-mate Florian Wegan - was instrumental in the Vikings' successful rushing game. At the end of the regular season, which the Vikings finished "perfect", the Vienna Vikings rank first in the ELF standings in rushing yards (2,035) and rushing touchdowns (27). Pajarinen ran for 560 yards in 115 attempts. More to come?

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