BY DANIEL MARSH
Marcus Forss was more grateful than most when discussing his first professional hat-trick – mostly to his international manager for allowing him to play for AFC Wimbledon on Saturday.
The 20-year-old Brentford striker has been in scintillating form for the Dons since signing on a season-long loan on September 2.
No player in England’s top four divisions has scored more than him.
Forss’ treble at Southend United on Saturday takes his haul to seven goals in as many matches.
But the striker was given permission to duck out of Finland U21 duty. They beat Malta 4-0 in a UEFA Euro qualifier on Thursday and were back in action on Monday night against Denmark.
Finland’s U21 head coach Juha Malinen gave the green light for Forss to stay in England and his clinical finishing proved vital as Wimbledon made it back-to-back League One victories.
“It was a very difficult decision,” said Forss, whose grandfather Rainer was capped at senior level by Finland. “I was needed here, and I was needed there [Finland U21s] as well. It turned out quite well – hopefully he [Malinen] is impressed.
“I’ve got to thank him – he understood what I needed to do here. I’m just happy he thought about my situation and he agreed, so it’s fantastic to see.
“Hopefully if I keep working hard, and I will keep working hard, then I can make the Finland national team at some point.”
Forss is third in the League One scoring charts, joint-third and just three goals behind top scorer Ivan Toney, the Peterborough frontman who was the subject of bids from Charlton in August.
Forss said: “It’s a very special moment for me and my family, people who are involved with me, it’s a fantastic achievement.
“I’m grateful for the team and what they gave to me – it’s a great moment. It’s good form but obviously it’s about the team’s performance, we’ve got three wins in a week now, that’s very good so I’m happy.
“I’m enjoying my time here. It’s a fantastic club, it’s got fantastic people in it. The performances before I came weren’t bad, it’s just the results weren’t going our way. Thankfully, me and a few new boys came in and we’ve turned it around and now we just need to keep going.”
Forss has eight goals this season, netting one for the Bees in the EFL Cup.
PICTURE BY KEITH GILLARD