Evening Telegraph

Dundee new boy Kallman hopes to boost Finnish chances with Kamara in same side

Benjamin Kallman in action for Dundee on his debut.

Dundee’s latest Finnish recruit Benjamin Kallman believes the presence of fellow-countryman Glen Kamara in the ranks at Dens Park can only improve his own international prospects.

Although he’s had to withdraw from the Finnish squad for the Uefa Nations League clashes with Hungary and Estonia tomorrow and Tuesday because of injury, Kamara is regarded as one of his nation’s rising stars.

And that means it’s likely national coach Markku Kanerva will be heading for Scotland at some stage in the coming months to check on the progress of both.

Finnish international Glen Kamara

“Having Glen Kamara here could help in the way that if the manager is checking how things are going for the team and there are two players here,” Kallman said.

“It would be easier for the manager to look at a game if there’s two players who could possibly be in the squad. I think it might be good for both of us.”

While Kamara has remained in Scotland this week for treatment, Kallman is off on international duty, though not with the full squad.

But while, after winning his first full cap earlier this year, he appears to be dropping a level as he joins the U/21 squad for two vital Euro qualifiers, he’s happy.

The 20-year-old is very much of the opinion that his near-certain involvement against Denmark and Poland will be a case of taking one step back to make two forward.

The Dens loan signing from Turku doesn’t hide from the fact he would love to have competed at the higher level.

For him, though, time on the park is what matters most and that’s why he’s more than happy to be representing his country in the younger age group.

Ben Kallman scored his first goal for Dundee on Saturday

“Of course you always want to go forward and I heard back in Finland they were looking to put new players into the team and the manager said I was one of the options,” he said.

“However, then again you have to think about that. Now I am in the U/21s and we have two qualifier games.

“I’ve played with them all the time and am going to play as the first striker for them. You have to know which are the best moments to go to the first team because, if I go to the U/21s, I’ll get playing time and we have two games to try to qualify with them.

“For that reason I think it might be better to be with the U/21s to get playing time. If I got called up to the first team, yes, I would be there but how much playing time will I get, I don’t know.

“It’s easier to say afterwards because you don’t know how much time you will get but with the U/21s I know I am guaranteed playing time.”

And the benefit to Dundee of his trip back to the continent should be the competitive nature of the action he sees.

Not only are the opposition he’ll face of a decent standard, there’s plenty of stake in the fixtures.

If the young Finns can win both, they would still be in with a chance of qualifying for the Euro finals, though the history of the group so far does suggest they will have their work cut out.

When they faced the Danes at home last year they were on the wrong end of a 5-0 drubbing, so to beat them in the away tie will be a big ask.

Kallman, though, is up for the challenge and is determined to do all his can to at least extend Finnish interest in qualification.

“These will be a tough two games. They are the deciders for us because teams are four and five points ahead of us in the table with Poland first and Denmark second.

“We have to at least not lose these game to still have a chance to proceed.”